Every young woman competing to become Miss Nebraska takes on a personal platform a service; a cause she feels strongly about and spends her year as a local titleholder, and potentially as Miss Nebraska (or Miss America!), advocating for. Quite often, these platforms come from a very personal place and are something these young women would passionately support with or without a crown.
For today’s featured contestant, her cause is quite simply a message of survival.
MISS PANHANDLE 2015 JESSICA LITTLEJOHN
As Miss Panhandle, Jessica shares a story of an abduction attempt when she was a little girl, and how she got away thanks to lessons her mother taught her at that young age.
“This is why I have partnered with ‘Kidpower’,” Jessica told me recently. “‘Kidpower’ works to create a culture of caring, respect and safety for all by teaching people, especially children, to use their power to stay safe, act wisely and believe in themselves.”
It’s a message Jessica has been spreading for several years now, last year as Miss Kool-Aids Days 2014, (click here to read last year’s feature!), and one she hopes to continue on a much larger scale.
“I have presented ‘Kidpower’ skills to many school children in the school and daycare settings,” said Jessica. “As Miss America, I would also be able to continue my work with parents, law enforcement and other community organizations concerned with children’s safety. ‘Kidpower’ teaches the skills that can help prevent exploitation, harassment, molestation and abduction.”
Did you catch that? Jessica talks about being Miss America. She’s aiming big this year, graduating from Eastern Wyoming College this May with a degree in business administration and a license in cosmetology. The Scottsbluff native is also competing in the Miss America Organization for one final time.
“Once I set my mind to something, I do everything I can to make it reality,” said Jessica. “I was always told if your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough, and let me tell you.. I have massive dreams and I plan on achieving each and every one. My first big dream is being Miss Nebraska 2015.”
Jessica is excited to display that determination during Interview, which she says is her favorite part of the competition.
“The judges only have ten minutes to get to know you as a well-rounded young woman,” said Jessica. “Being quick on your feet, intelligent and creative are all important while trying to show them your personality. You’re interviewing for the job of Miss Nebraska and you want to show them you’re fully capable and versatile enough to communicate to a crowd of business people or a small group of children.”
An example: Jessica says her past interview questions have included spoon versus fork.. and her position on American foreign policy regarding ISIS.
All those interviews and past pageants have given Jessica more than just food for thought.
Miss Panhandle 2015 Jessica Littlejohn with Miss Omaha 2015 Megan Gould and Miss Western Nebraska 2015 Chrissy Townsend.
“As I prepare for Miss Nebraska for my final year I can’t help but think how much this program has changed my life,” said Jessica. “Oddly enough, I turned to the Miss Nebraska program to help me through what seemed to be a defining time in my life. I would either dwell on misfortune or empower myself to strive for better. Now I am graduating and entering into an industry I love with several career paths available.”
Jessica hopes young girls across the state who have looked up to her will consider following the same path.
“The Miss America program is one of the largest scholarship providers for young women in the world. With scholarships I have received from this program I will be graduating debt free!” said Jessica. “The Miss America Foundation strives to change lives and influence young women across the country, joining education leaders in advocating for more young women to choose science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of education.
And she wants to remind EVERYONE.. she hopes the path she’s on helps her keep those little girls safe.
“‘Kidpower’ would move the Miss America Organization forward as it already focuses on children and the importance of believe in ‘self’,” said Jessica. “Nebraska is known for its hard working, humble ‘Get ‘R Done!’ state of mind and I believe I encompass all this and more, and would represent this wonderful state not only at a state level but nationally as well. As they say, there’s no sky like a Nebraska sky; well, there’s no girl like a Nebraska girl!”
Follow Miss Panhandle 2015 Jessica Littlejohn
To contact Jessica for appearances and events, and for information on becoming a future contestant, contact Director Shardel Nelson at 308-760-7266 or by email at email@example.com.
The Miss Nebraska Pageant will take place June 3-6, 2015 in North Platte. Click here to visit the organization’s website, to visit the pageant on Facebook, to follow the pageant on Twitter, and to follow the pageant on Instagram.
To read more about the Miss Nebraska Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.