Tag Archive | modeling

Choosing The Right Path

Think back to when you were a little boy or girl.. who did you look up to?  Who was the coolest person in your world you were DETERMINED to become?

Children need guidance.  They need a hand to lead them in the right direction.  In the absence of that positive influence, they’ll look to whomever is the leader or the dominant adult in their life.  Unfortunately, that’s not always a GOOD person.

Last night, KETV’s Davonte McKenith shared a powerful story about the cycle of crime taking place in part of Omaha.  A major message in his piece: organizations like 100 Black Men are desperately seeking new mentors to stand up and show children adults who are successful and hard working.  Many experts note if you break down the science of crime, the teens and young men responsible are following the same path their fathers took.. that’s all they see, and it’s all they know.

CLICK HERE to watch DaVonte’s eye-opening story on KETV

On the flip side, I’ve heard countless stories of the positive influences Miss Nebraska titleholders have had on young people.. many who have grown up to volunteer and compete themselves.  Just one year ago, Ravenna High School student Kara Kriha saw confidence, smiles and kindnes.. and knew this was a world she wanted to be part of.


Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“I first decided that I wanted to become involved in pageants when I was at Crowns & Gowns 2015 in North Platte,” Kara told me recently. The annual event brings together Miss Nebraska miss and teen titleholders among others for workshops, photo shoots, a local pageant and the always-anticipated Hirschfeld’s Prom Shoppe fashion show.

Kara entered an online Prom Girl contest, allowing voters to select who would model in the fashion show alongside the contestants.  Kara received more than 500 votes, and modeled several dresses before a crowd of hundreds.

“Everyone there was so nice to me and I had so much fun!” said Kara.  “Miss Nebraska is so much more than just a girl with a crown on her head.”

Kara competed in several local pageants last fall and that persistence was rewarded; she was crowned Miss Harvest Moon Festival 2016.


“This year I have grown so much,” said Kara.  “I am better at holding longer, intelligent conversations with people, especially adults.”

The 17-year old has also pursued a number of different interests before determining what she would showcase for her on-stage talent.  She’s a member of her high school band, she’s a trap-shooter, she spins rifles, she’s involved with 4-H in Buffalo County and she loves to ice skate.

Ultimately, Kara’s love for flag performance inspired both her competition talent and her platform of service, ‘Save the Arts’.

harlie marie photography

Photo courtesy Harlie Marie Photography

“I have been involved in art and music for as long as I can remember,” said Kara.  “It is extremely important that all kids have art and music available in their schools.”

And just like the titleholders who inspired her to compete for Miss Nebraska, Kara is also making community service a priority.  She now wants to be the role model she looked up to one short year ago.. to inspire young people to follow a path of hard work, kindness and ultimately, success.

“The reason I want to be Miss Nebraska is so that I can show people how much work that not only Miss Nebraska does, but all of the contestants for their communities,” said Kara.  “Not very many people know that the Miss America Organization’s national platform is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or that they even have a national platform.  A lot of people see Miss Nebraska as just a pretty girl, but I want to change that so she is also seen as someone who loves and gives back to her community.”



CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Harvest Moon Festival 2016 Kara Kriha

on FACEBOOK and on INSTAGRAM.  To contact Kara for appearances or events email jkriha@yahoo.com.

For more information about the Miss Alliance/Miss Harvest Moon Festival Pageant, visit their FACEBOOK PAGE.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Riki Cornish Hunter by email at riki.hunter@farmcoop.com or by phone at 308-430-4355.


The 2016 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant takes place June 8-11 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.


PREVIOUS.. Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Hannah Miller!

NEXT.. Miss Sugar Valley’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Courtney Pelland!

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

Cover Girl

Maybe you’ve seen her on TV.  Maybe you’ve seen her face while checking out at the grocery store.  Maybe you saw her story here on KETV.


Photo courtesy People Magazine

Lincoln native Ashley Graham made history earlier this month, named as Sports Illustrated’s first size 16 model on the cover of the annual swimsuit edition.

CLICK HERE to see the cover, and read KETV’s story about Graham!

I LOVE this story.  Ashley is simply jaw dropping STUNNING, and this cover is absolutely beautiful.  I believe God made us in all shapes and sizes, and as long as you are healthy and happy, rock on!!  In addition, Ashley is NEBRASKA; she grew up here, went to high school here, still has family here.  She was ‘discovered’ by an Omaha photographer while shopping at Omaha’s Oakview Mall.  She’s also appeared in Vogue, Elle, on The Ellen Show, and has modeled for Jennifer Lopez.  It always excites me to see OUR people make it REALLY big in their chosen fields.. it proves to anyone else dreaming big that YES, it can happen to you, too!

I’m not sure if runways in New York or photo shoots in Belize are on THIS young woman’s radar..


Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

..but if they are, Savannah Rave is on the right path.  The 19-year old is the current Miss Douglas County 2016, and she’s been modeling for years, appearing everywhere from the cover of Omaha magazine to national TV.


Photo courtesy Bill Sitzmann for Omaha Magazine; CLICK HERE to read the article!

You may notice Savannah’s props in this cover shoot.. the Miss Nebraska Teen USA sash and crown she won in 2014.

“I fell in love with everything the pageant world has to offer during my reign,” Savannah told me recently.  “I got involved with Miss Nebraska because I value that it is  a scholarship pageant that shines a light on education of women and their ability to do so much good with their title.  I am excited to be involved with Miss Nebraska because I enjoy the opportunity of being able to have my voice heard at not only a state level, but also a national level.”

It’s not uncommon for young women to compete in both the Miss America and Miss USA organizations (CLICK HERE to read more about the differences between both, from the current Miss Nebraska USA Sarah Hollins)..especially for young women like Savannah who also love to perform.

“I sing,” said Savannah, who held starring roles while attending Elkhorn South High School.  “For the Miss Nebraska Pageant I will be performing a musical theatre vocal.”

Want a preview?  Click here to watch and listen to Savannah singing, a link she provided on the Miss Douglas County 2016 Facebook page!

Still, Savannah’s favorite part of the competition is the phase that spans both systems, Interview.

“I enjoy getting the chance to be face to face with the judges and informing them on my beliefs and ambitions,” said Savannah.  One of those priorities is her personal platform as Miss Douglas County, ‘Spread The Word To End The Word.’


“My platform focuses on stopping the derogatory use of the R-word and creating a more respectful environment for people of all abilities,” said Savannah.  “I chose my platform because of a connection I made with a young boy with down syndrome during my high school years.  I believe it is important for people to be politically correct in the terms that they use each day.  I believe in inclusion and in all abilities and want to spread the word in order to create a chain reaction in which people all over begin to monitor what they say, pledge to end the word, and become allies for those with intellectual and physical disabilities.”


Savannah on Facebook: ‘I spent my evening at Night to Shine which is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and was hosted at Harvest Church in Norfolk, Nebraska! I had a blast with my prom buddy, Debbi, and we danced the night away. I admire the goal of this foundation and event and its ability to bring people together in such an uplifting way.’

  Savannah is also a passionate advocate for kids, volunteering with the Children’s Miracle Network (partner of the Miss America Organization), Nebraska Students for Young Children, the UNL Children’s Center and the Friendship Home.  She’s majoring in Inclusive Early-Childhood Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she’s VP Recruitment Chair of Alpha Chi Omega.

Savannah on Facebook: ‘I am feeling so blessed to be a part of two amazing organizations. This morning I visited the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha which is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and delivered handmade valentines that I put together with some of my compassionate Alpha Chi Omega Xi Chapter sisters! ‘

But above all of these connections and friends is Savannah’s commitment to her family and faith.  She’s the youngest of seven children and says her mom, Brenda Rave, is her role model.


“I admire my mother’s selflessness and willingness to do anything and everything for her children,” said Savannah.  “My mother is a breast cancer survivor and a true definition of a fighter and a woman of faith.  I look up to my mother for so many reasons: her strength, her independence, loving heart, wild side, and her incredible cooking.”

THIS is what keeps Savannah grounded through magazine covers and photo shoots and crowning moments, and the message she wants to relay to you as to why she’d be a great Miss Nebraska.

“I know I don’t need this title to make a difference or to be content with my life, because I already do, and I already am,” said Savannah.  “To me, the title of Miss Nebraska is more than a crown and sash, it is a job.  I should be Miss Nebraska because I am ready for the responsibility, ready to make a difference, and I am prepared for a busy year filled with appearances, community service and lots of amazing memories.”


Design courtesy Ellie Illustrations

Countless local girls may now be looking at model Ashley Graham, hoping and dreaming because if a Nebraska native can hit it big, maybe they can, too! HECK YES, THEY CAN!  And Miss Douglas County Savannah Rave hopes she and the other models, ROLE models she competes with, will inspire just as many future cover girls.

“The women in the Miss America system are educated, goal-oriented and ambitious,” said Savannah.  “Each woman stands for something she believes in and is not afraid to have her voice heard, which is something that should be respected.  The women in these pageants are role models I would want my daughter to look up to someday.”


Photo courtesy Katie Meeks


CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Douglas County 2016 Savannah Rave



CLICK HERE * Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2014

For more information about the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County Pageant, visit THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Executive Director Marianne Grubaugh at ggrubaugh@cox.net or by phone at 402-330-8033.


The 2016 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant takes place June 8-11 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.


PREVIOUS.. Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Grace Heggem!

NEXT.. Miss Alliance 2016 Kate Lynne Duncan!

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!