DO NOT mess with Miss Alliance.
Studies biochemistry. Likens pageants to football. Emotionally tougher than nails.
Let’s compare; I can’t follow a recipe most of the time. My nickname on the softball field is 1-3 (as in, I hit it back to the pitcher). I get choked up watching Carter’s commercials.
Yeeeaaaaaa… I’m out.
Miss Alliance, Staci Craighead
Staci’s been to North Platte before; the last time winning the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen in 2010. (She’s one of three former Miss Nebraska Outstanding Teens, including Rachel Foehlinger and Lianna Prill).
“I earned the title [at 17] and fell in love with the four points of the Miss America crown: scholarship, success, style and service,” said Staci in a recent interview. “My family’s values are very similar to these four points which allowed me to grow as a person with my family and the Miss America Organization.”
Staci sees strong leadership at home; her mom Joni is running for the Nebraska legislature, and has actively been involved in the state’s Republican party for 20 years.
“Watching my mother progress and succeed as a businesswoman, politician, and volunteer has solidified my tenacity,” said Staci. “Once I set a goal for myself nothing can get in my way, no matter the course.”
Staci has also experienced setbacks, including a tragic loss several years ago.
“I lost my father to cancer at 14 years old and hold on to his many words of wisdom as I grow into a young woman,” said Staci. “Being earnest comes from my father’s value of honesty and sincerity. His kindness and encouragement were the foundation for my love of service and appreciation for life’s gifts.”
“Happy Father’s Day to the turtle dove that greats me at my car every morning, and on my porch every evening. Love you Daddy.”
Staci has also faced disappointment; dismissal from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shortly after beginning her college career.
“I found myself lost in the transition between ‘assigned’ learning and ‘selected’ learning. I had no idea where I wanted to start my education to further a career and ended up losing interest in my classes,” said Staci. She took a year off to work and ‘grow up’, and was granted another chance at her scholarship at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
“Most will tell you that you’ll never go back to school if you stop after the first year or two, but I was determined to prove that staple wrong, and I did,” said Staci. “[I am a] Chemistry major with an emphasis on biochemistry and [hold a] 3.75 GPA. I want to do Bio-defense research for the military after earning a PhD in Analytical Chemistry. I am a firm role model for those who have lost the spark for education as my college experience is proof that you can succeed in every aspect of life.”
TENACIOUS, GREGARIOUS, EARNEST
As Miss Alliance, Staci is taking her personal story to schools and students planning, or not planning, for college.
“As a young woman and student, I have observed and experienced a rising problem among other young Americans. Desensitization to debt and lack of appreciation for the opportunity to pursue an education are variables that are causing a decline in graduation rates across the United States,” said Staci. “I am passionate about educating young Americans about the process of earning scholarships, the fundamentals of fiscal responsibility as newly independent individuals, and understanding what an incredible privilege it is to achieve a higher education.”
Staci calls her platform of service ‘Financial Education: The Dollars Make Sense’.
“I witnessed many of my classmates struggle to pay for school and keep up with the cost of living as a college student, which led me to realize that students are not adequately prepared for the financial difficulties that come with an education,” said Staci. “I plan to work with high school juniors and seniors, teaching them how to set up a monthly budget, establish an understanding of student loans, and succeed in applying for scholarships.”
Staci also volunteers at Crossroads Mission Center in Kearney, in addition to her studies and preparing for the Miss Nebraska pageant.
She also sings at local events, like here for an Omaha Beef arena football game, but Interview is her favorite part of competition.
“Sharing experiences, values, and honesty with the judges brings the process of competing in pageants full circle as it reminds me of why I am there, services and action,” said Staci.
She doesn’t need a reminder about WHO she is.
“I am a woman with a thirst for knowledge, a passion for service, and a hope for the future of education,” said Staci.
One more thing.. this beauty queen plans to become a soldier. Staci says she will join the Army Reserve in her junior year of college.
The Army. Competing for Miss Nebraska.
Staci: “I think camouflage and crowns go quite well together!”
We’ll find out soon–Miss Nebraska begins ONE MONTH FROM TODAY.
Connect with Miss Alliance, Staci Craighead
via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Miss Nebraska pageant takes place June 5-7 in North Platte, Nebraska. For more information, visit the Miss Nebraska website.