Miss New England Earth United States 2018, Isabella Bennett, is an Environmental Activists and Information Technology Apprentice from the beautiful state of Rhode Island. She is a first generation college graduate who studied Wedding and Event Planning at the New York Institute of Art and Design and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Sustainability through the University of California: Los Angeles Extension Program. During her time competing in the Miss USA pageant system, Bella won the Miss Amity Award at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Miss Rhode Island USA Pageant. Last year, she was fortunate enough to receive the Beauty for a Cause Award at the 2017 Miss Earth United States Pageant. In her spare time, she serves as Treasurer of the Rhode Island Theatre Educational Association, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for high school to promote their theatre programs, advocate for theatre education, and feature the work of their talented students.
Hometown: Middletown, Rhode Island
Current city: North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Occupation: Audio Visual Technician & Information Technology Apprentice
Hobbies: Traveling, journaling, baking, performing, and napping.
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite movie: Armageddon
Three words that sum you up: Adventurous, adaptable, open-minded
Song you have on repeat right now: Move Together by James Bay
Dream job: Professional Actress
One thing you can’t live without: Moisturizer
Favorite quote: “Her courage was her crown and she wore it like a Queen.” – Atticus
Having a state title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? As an Audio Visual Technician for international science conferences, I spend a large portion of the year traveling. I am currently in the process of getting ready to leave for our summer conference season, so things are a little hectic right now. At the moment, a typical weekday for me consists of working 8:00am – 5:00pm at the office, running errands, taking a power nap, having dinner with my family, at least an hour at the gym, daily meditation,and then catching up on emails or watching an episode of Survivor before bed. On the weekends, I try to make at least one appearance as Miss New England Earth United States 2018, visit my friends and extended family because I won’t have the opportunity to see them for a few months, complete both a morning and evening workout, meal prep for the week, and catch up on household chores. Most people find adhering to such a strict schedule to be dull and daunting, but I actually find that it helps to keep me calm when things get chaotic. While I am never opposed to adjusting my plan, overall I tend to have significantly better days when my time is well structured.
What has been the highlight of your reign so far? During Earth Week I had the opportunity to attend the Party for the Planet at the Roger Williams Park Zoo (Providence, Rhode Island) and at Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, Connecticut). Party for the Planet is an annual Earth Day celebration held by more than 130 American Zoo and Aquarium Association-accredited zoos and aquariums across North America. Both Rhode Island and Connecticut public schools were on vacation that week so the facilities were packed with families! Throughout the events, I had the opportunity to speak with guests about endangered species, marine pollution, and recycling. There is something really special about seeing a child’s eyes light up as you talk to them about their favorite animal or something they learned in school about the environment. Helping to cultivate a child’s a love and respect for nature is the most worthwhile thing I have done with my title.
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
Good skin care is the foundation to every beauty look. The best way to keep your skin looking happy and health is to stay hydrated; beauty starts from within! I also firmly believe that everyone should use a moisturizer. My skincare routine consists of a vitamin c serum, lightweight gel moisturizer, eye cream with spf during the day, gentle charcoal cleanser, night cream, and hydrating eye cream before bed. Skincare products are something I never skimp on when in the beauty aisle. Having worked as a cosmetics associate for a major department store, I can honestly tell you that not all products are created equally. When looking for skincare products, I pay close attention to the ingredients and actively avoid products that contain synthetic colors and fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? As someone who has been a victim of bullying, I can tell you first hard that as hard as it may be right now, you will get through this. You are so much stronger than you think. While everyone’s situation is different, it is important for each of you to remember not to isolate yourself. Seek out the people in your life that you can confide in and surround yourself with their optimism and positivity. Never go through this in silence. Your emotions are valid, your thoughts are valid, and there are people who are not only willing to listen but who want to listen. You are not alone.
Tell us about your platform: As any pageant girl will tell you, developing our personal platform is an essential part of this journey for us. Our platform is what drives us; at its core, it is the reason we are competing. I chose to compete in for the title of Miss Earth United States because I believe in the mission of the organization. Their mission to protect and preserve our planet directly aligns with my personal goals and my platform which is “Educate to Advocate”.
One of the things I hear when I talk to people about environmental concerns like climate change and marine pollution is that they don’t know enough about the topic or that they had no idea that these were such big issues. It is impossible for someone to care about something if they are uninformed. This is where education comes into play. Every conversation that you have with someone is an opportunity to teach and to learn. By opening a dialogue, we are enabling ourselves to both share and receive valuable information. Through my volunteer work, I try to talk to as many people as possible about the challenges and threats that our environment is facing. The best way to advocate for our environment is by helping others to develop an understanding of what is happening and why these issues matter. By educating others on the impact that humans have on earth’s delicate ecosystems and the organism that call our planet home, my hope is that I can help to create a greener future for the generations that follow.
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? The biggest thing you can do to support my platform and the health of our planet is to start taking an interest in the environment! Take the initiative to learn more about the environmental concerns that your community is facing and how you help to combat these problems on a local level. There are wonderful environmental organizations in every state who have representatives that want to help you learn about challenges your area are facing. Becoming a well-informed citizen is the first step to being able to aid in the protection and preservation our planet!
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? Since we are so close to competition season, I don’t have a lot of free time right now between volunteer work, practicing for the pageant, and training at the gym. When I do get some down time I usually spend it watching Survivor with my family; we are currently in the process of watching every season from start to finish. I also thoroughly enjoy making colored coded charts and spreadsheets. I have the Google Sheets application on my phone and am constantly creating and updating documents to keep myself organized. I find to be very relaxing.
What is the best advice you have ever received? A dear friend and mentor of mine Mr. Robert Shaffer use to recite a famous quote by Dan Montano. It is something that has always stuck with me. “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
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