No mistake. This is a different pageant system. I just happened to connect with the amazing women of Maryland!
Adrienne and I had the joy of competing together this summer. I tell you, wow! She's an incredible model. I had a lot of fun meeting her and am happy to share my new friend with you.
Angie: How did you learn about pageants?
Adrienne: I was in a pageant when I was in the 10th grade (around1984). It was called Hal Jackson's Talented Teens International. I competed in the Maryland State pageant. I did not win but was a semi-finalist. My cousin competed and won two years before and encouraged me to compete.
Angie: What is your platform?
Adrienne: Empowering women and youth to lead and succeed in every area of their lives. It is also to develop a whole new generation of young female leaders who are prepared to compete with the world’s best and brightest!
Angie: How do you build your platform and promote your work?
Adrienne: I offer personal and professional development training to young women and girls through my etiquette and dance school: Studio "A" Modeling Etiquette and Dance Academy. I also volunteer with The YWCA, On the Heals of Greatness, and I am a volunteer speaker/workshop facilitator for several Baltimore area schools. I am Founder of the Studio "A" Foundation which holds an annual six month Scholarship Cotillion/Beautillion Program for high school juniors and seniors (male and female). My foundation has awarded nearly $65,000 in scholarships in 5 years. I promote my work through the school systems, local newspapers/magazines and by way of my websites.
Angie: Why did you decide to compete?
Adrienne: That same cousin that encouraged me to compete when I was in the 10th grade, called me in 2005 and shared with me that there were pageants for married women. Not only did I think it would be fun to compete, but I also knew that a title could help me to expand the number of women and girls I could reach!
Angie: Was this your first pageant?
Adrienne: No. Though I did compete in one pageant in high school and one pageant in college, my true connection to pageantry was through coaching. I have been coaching since I was 18 years old. When I entered into my first Mrs. Pageant in 2005, I had not competed in a pageant in 20 years.
Angie: Tell us about the various pageant systems please:
Adrienne: My first Mrs. pageant in 2005 was the Mrs. Maryland America Pageant. I placed 1st runner-up. I then went on to compete in three more Mrs. pageants and was blessed, through the grace of God, to capture three consecutive titles. I was Mrs. Maryland United States 2006, Mrs. Maryland America 2007 (Top 10 at Mrs. America), and I am now Mrs. Maryland International 2009 (Top 10 at Mrs. International).
Angie: Was/is competition scary?
Adrienne: My faith sustains me when I compete. I really lean on the Lord and allow Him to lead me. Its ok if I make a mistake or if don’t win! I do not put a lot emphasis on the competition, but rather I just try to exemplify excellence in all that I do and make God proud. In addition to that, I love being around talented, substantive women and pageants are full of them!!!!!!! The contestants are awesome and they make competing easier! It is so refreshing!
Angie: What personal fear did you have to overcome?
Adrienne: Competing again after I won the first pageant was a bit scary. Choosing to compete again after winning two in a row was even scarier. People have expectations and tried to put pressure on me. I have never had a fear of losing because I have learned over the years that you usually lose way more than you win. For a minute there, I was about to call it quits because of the expectations placed on me by others. But then I realized that one of the reasons I compete is because I love pageantry and all of the wonderful experiences and relationships that come with it.
Angie: What about your first competition, were you super confident?
Adrienne: I have a level of confidence about myself that my wonderful parents instilled in me at a very young age. However, I never underestimate anyone. God can bless in anyway that He sees fit! In my opinion, there are no shoe-ins in pageantry. It is any man's game…or should I say any woman’s game!
Angie: What did you have to learn to compete?
Adrienne: My very first pageant director, who went on to become my mentor for 25 years, taught me to believe in myself at all times, in everything I do. She also taught me to claim victory before the pageant even happens because there was an invisible crown on my head that God placed there. That taught me that the outcome didn’t really matter that much after all. It was all about giving my best and feeling good about what I presented!
Angie: Oh, I love that! Wearing the crown God placed on us! Tell us about what you have been able to do as Mrs. Maryland International 2009:
Adrienne: God has been very good to me and has allowed me to do so many things. I have served as the key note speaker at high school and college graduations, and volunteered for Go Red for Women, the YWCA, local non-profit organizations, several churches, and several school systems throughout the state of Maryland. I have served as a pageant judge, coach, and consultant. I have also appeared in several news publications and on local television programs… all of this to bring an empowering message of help, hope, and healing to youth and young adults, especially girls and women.
Angie: Please tell us about a goal, why it's been a goal, and what it means to you?
Adrienne: One of my goals is to raise a whole new generation of young female leaders that are prepared to compete with the world best and brightest in everything! Women raise our children and are the primary nurtures, care givers, and teachers. I believe that if we heal our women, we heal our nation.
Angie: What do you still want to achieve?
Adrienne: I would love to expand my academy and my foundation, reaching more youth and young women. I would also love to have my own television show focusing on the accomplishments of women!
Angie: Ooh, love all those ideas. I wish I could attend your academy! There's an idea in society that pageants are just skin deep. How would you answer that?
Adrienne: That could not be further from the truth! Through pageantry I have met some of the most intelligent, substantive, loving, courageous, and hard working people. In fact, pageantry has, for me, reinforced the importance of striving for excellence in all that I do and the importance of serving others. It has also reminded me of how important it is that I serve as an example and a role model at all times.
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?
Adrienne: I am a graduate of Hampton University. I have also done graduate work in the Masters of Divinity Program at Howard University.
Angie: Do you have other creative talents you pursue?
Adrienne: I am a dancer and the owner of a dance school. I dance with my company, The Studio A Dancers and also the Sisterly Grace Dance Company of Richmond. VA. I am also a national motivational speaker and I model professionally for Nova Models Inc.
Angie: Why is it important for a person to look their best?
Adrienne: I believe that a first impression is a lasting impression. I also believe that in most instances, you feel good when you look good. Though people probably shouldn’t, many people do judge a book by its cover. Its important that we are prepared for opportunity when it comes around. We never know when opportunity may come knocking so it doesn’t hurt to already look the part!!
Angie: What do you hope to achieve with your title long term?
Adrienne: I hope to increase the number of women and youth that I am able to work with. I hope it will take me places that I have not been and open doors that I have only prayed to walk through.
Angie: Would you share about your fashion favorites, flair, or a tip that makes you feel beautiful?
Adrienne: I love mascara and lashes! I also love rhinestones and sparkly jewelry!
Angie: What are your plans after your title ends?
Adrienne: I will continue to work with young women and youth empowering them to lead and succeed in every area of their lives. I will also continue to pageant coach and use the performing arts to build the self esteem of young girls.
Angie: What compliment do you receive most often?
Adrienne: People often compliment me on my smile or my warm encouraging spirit.
Angie: What are you most confident about?
Adrienne: I am most confident about my ability to reach people where they are and empower them to become their very best self! Helping others to find their worth and to find success blesses my soul! It is my gift!
Angie: How did you earn that sense of confidence?
Adrienne: I think it developed over time through coaching, speaking engagements and personal/professional development training sessions with so many individuals who shared with me how much I helped them.
Angie: I think that's a very important observation. Your confidence was built through consistent feedback on step-by-step endeavors. What would you like to share?
Adrienne: I would like to let people know that all that I am, and I ever hope to be, I owe to God. I pray that when others see me, and the work that I do, that they would praise God for the work that He has done in me and through me. I give Him all the credit. Finally, I bless God for my wonderful, loving parents, my supportive siblings, my faithful friends, my beautiful children and last but certainly not least, my truly amazing husband who is everything that God says a husband and father is supposed to be! Without God and my supportive network, none of my accomplishments would be possible and they would mean nothing to me if I did not have these wonderful people to share them with.
Angie: Thank you so much for being with me today, Adrienne. I know you had some seriously busy weeks during this season and appreciate the time you took.
Adrienne's links and a little more info: