Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Courageous Beauties Interview: Mrs. North Carolina International-LaDaria Richardson

Angie: This lovely lady is a joy! I loved getting to know her at the Mrs. International pageant this last July. We stood together back stage a lot in rehearsal. She simply exudes joy, beauty, and grace. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her too.

How did you learn about pageants? 

LaDaria: I first learned of pageants through my mother. I was 16 years old and she wanted me to enter a scholarship pageant that showcased talent. I have been hooked ever since. 

Angie: What is your platform? 

LaDaria: Equipped and Suited for Success

Angie: How do you build your platform and promote your work?

LaDaria: My work started during my first job after college. I was an employment specialist and noticed the disparity between those who wanted to enter the workforce with limited resources that included clothing, etc. I pushed forth my efforts to help educate and clothe women and men for their job interviews. Years later I found out about an organization that does the same, so I saw the need that I collaborate with the organization to further my efforts with their ideals and that is where Equipped and Suited for Success was created. 

This excited me more and I connected with local and national organizations that had the same vision. Most importantly, it allowed me to become more versatile in my efforts because I could pool my ideas and conceptualize those things that I wanted to see come to pass to better serve the community.

Angie: Why did you decide to compete? 

LaDaria: I chose to compete in the International system because I believed in the system and their ideals. This system is very serious about promoting your platform and serves as a springboard to be able to do so. It gave me the opportunity to increase awareness and promote the positive aspects of my platform that I probably would not have been able to do otherwise.

Angie: Was this your first pageant? 

LaDaria: Miss Black North Carolina USA Pageant

Angie: Was/is competition scary?

LaDaria: It was scary at first because I was a truly a novice when it came to being “prim and proper”. I was a true “tomboy”. I was in competitive sports so pageants were something that I didn’t see myself doing.

Angie: What personal fear did you have to overcome? 

LaDaria: I had to overcome being shy and overly reserved.

Angie: What about your first competition, were you super confident? 

LaDaria: In showcasing my talent. I was always good at singing and playing the piano, so I knew that this was something that I always did well at. 

Angie: What did you have to learn to compete? 

LaDaria: Interestingly enough, I had to learn to be a graceful winner and a graceful loser all at the same time. 

Angie: Tell us about what you have been able to do as Mrs. North Carolina International 2009: 

LaDaria: I have been able to reach the masses regarding my platform, participate in corporate fundraisers, become a national spokesperson for a great international organization, affect change by initiating a scholarship for low income women to further their education, and also inspire others who aspire to do great things in and around their communities. 

Angie: Please tell us about a goal, why it's been a goal, and what it means to you?

LaDaria: I am finishing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and I plan to continue to serve the mental health population by going into private practice.

Angie: There's an idea in society that pageants are just skin deep. How would you answer that? 

LaDaria: Pageantry has evolved in such a way that requires women to be so multi-faceted that women in pageantry are strong, educated, service oriented who give of themselves unselfishly.

Angie: The media has given Americans the idea that pageant girls/women are not intelligent and accomplished. What kind of an education do you have? 

LaDaria: I have a Bachelors Degree in Sociology/Human Services and currently finishing my Masters in Clinical Psychology.

Angie: What is your "day job?" 

LaDaria: I am a Mental Health Professional

Angie: Do you have other creative talents you pursue?

LaDaria: I am a recording artist. I have completed 2 CD’s and one should be released hopefully in the spring.

Angie: Do you think it is important for a person to look their best?

LaDaria: Absolutely! I think we should always be at our best and looking great is apart of that dynamic.

Angie: What do you hope to achieve with your title long term? 

LaDaria: I hope to be able to award several scholarships to low income women to help further their education.

Angie: Would you share about your fashion favorites, flair, or a tip that makes you feel beautiful? 

LaDaria: I consider myself an evolving “fashionistia”. I love creating my own looks and style no matter what the current trends are.

Angie: What are your plans after your title ends?

LaDaria: I take it one day at a time. Once that time comes to an end, I will decide at that point. 

Angie: What compliment do you receive most often?

LaDaria: That I have a nice smile. 

Angie: What are you most confident about?

LaDaria: My ability to connect to others.

Angie: How did you earn that sense of confidence?

LaDaria: I have been working with diverse groups of people for quite some time and that has given me that confidence. I can relate to people and make a genuine connection.

Angie: What would you like to share?

LaDaria: Thank you so much for your time and for choosing me to be a part of this process. My state website is: 

Angie: My pleasure! Thank you for being with us today :-) 
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