Tag Archive | Overcoming Adversity

Can’t Stop The Feeling

It was one of those days where, from the moment I opened my eyes, I just thought ‘nope, not gonna do today.’ I should’ve just called a mulligan on this one, turned off my alarm, and gone back to sleep.

In our house, we’re big fans of the movie Trolls. I’d like to think I’m more Poppy than Branch.. and anyone who’s heard my car concerts on my daily commute will echo that this girl loves to sing (and scrapbook!) But sometimes, my inner Branch takes over and negativity, criticism, and pessimism cloud over everything and take hold of my attitude and psyche. The singing stops, the smile fades, and I a) eat my feelings and/or b) pout, feel sorry for myself, and waste away what might have been a great day.

It’s a life lesson that, at 36 years old, I still haven’t mastered. How do you take life’s hits, rise above and prove to the world you are a BOSS? At just 18 years old, a high school student in small town Nebraska has made it her mission to do just that.

Miss Chadron 2017 Shaniah Freeseman

“I’ve learned over the years that it’s okay to not sweat the small stuff, and to just enjoy life,” Shaniah told me recently. “It’s too short to waste time away with worries and regrets.”

Shaniah has faced some tough choices over the years, namely her decision several years ago to move from one parent’s home hundreds of miles away to another. As Shaniah described to me last year (click here to read more!), this move didn’t just include changes at home; everything in her life was new and different.

“Leaving wasn’t easy; I moved to a new school, with all new people, and was the ‘new girl’ in a small town,” said Shaniah. “It took a lot out of me emotionally and multiple problems arose. I didn’t truly find myself until I was a sophomore in high school when I was tired of being the one who no one really knew.”

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It was around that same time Shaniah discovered something called the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Organization.

“The minute I heard about it, something sparked my interest,” said Shaniah. “It wasn’t the dresses or the makeup, it was more of what the organization offered. I have always loved to help people and I’ve always had a drive to share my statement with others. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to help build my own character and find my true self, along with helping others throughout it all.”

Shaniah served as Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen 2015Miss Panhandle’s Outstanding Teen 2016, and in this, the first year she was eligible, was crowned Miss Chadron 2017 and an official contestant in the Miss Nebraska Pageant.

“At state, I’m going to have the best time ever, make amazing friends and endless memories,” said Shaniah. “No matter what the outcome, it’s the experience that’s important to me and gaining experience will help me and my future as I continue this journey.”

A journey Shaniah is taking full advantage of, and appreciating, every step of the way.

Shaniah has volunteered from one end of city limits to the other in her adopted hometown of Gordon, Nebraska. She visits classrooms and civic groups, hoping to connect with everyone she meets with, especially children. She shares her platform, ‘Overcoming Adversity in Order to Be Your Best’, and uses her own story to ensure her message resonates with everyone.

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“In addition to emotional and social adversity, I’ve also faced physical adversity,” said Shaniah. “I was a three sport athlete and I’ve overcome two significant injuries in basketball that set me back, one almost ending my athletic career for good. It was a hard decision for me, but I chose not to play basketball my senior year. As tough as [that decision] was, through hard work, exercise and nutrition, I have gained everything back from my injury. I am at full strength and have received a full ride volleyball scholarship.”

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And for Shaniah, there’s no coulda woulda shoulda. The time she might have been on the basketball court, Shaniah spent focusing on her new title and preparing for Miss Nebraska.

“I am a firm believer that pageants give young women the opportunity to gain many lifelong skills and attributes,” said Shaniah. “From personal experience, I can honestly say that I have become a more well rounded person, enhancing my poise, confidence and leadership skills from my years of competing.”

At the end of Trolls, after countless displays of love, perseverance and bravery, Poppy is named Queen. Shaniah, who describes herself as confident, driven and compassionate, already has her crown… and her journey is just beginning. Sometimes, all any of us needs is a reminder we all have happiness inside, a light brighter than any dark. Poppy, and Shaniah, remind me to crank up my radio and put Can’t Stop The Feeling on repeat.

“My mission is to share my story of struggle and strife with those who have some sort of adversity they’re facing,” said Shaniah. “There is always a person there to listen and there is always a way to get through something even if it seems like it’s impossible. I understand firsthand how hard it can be to have the confidence to overcome something that seems impossible. But with my continued faith and my determination to become better, I have achieved the goals that I set for my life and continue to reach every opportunity I can.”

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Click here to follow Miss Chadron 2017 Shaniah Freeseman on Facebook!

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHANIAH?

CLICK HERE * 2016 * Divergent

CLICK HERE * 2015 * Nebraska’s Top Model

For more information about the Miss Chadron/Miss Northwest/Miss Fur Trade Days Pageant or for information about becoming a contestant, CLICK HERE to follow the organization on Facebook.  You can also email Director Sara Smith at misscnwdirectors@gmail.com or by calling (308) 430-2613.

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The Miss Nebraska Pageant takes place June 7-10 in North Platte, Nebraska.

CLICK HERE for more detailsHERE to follow on TwitterHERE to follow on Facebook.

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PREVIOUS.. The Perfect 10: Recap of the 2017 Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant

NEXT.. Miss Queen City of the Plains 2017 Jaicelyn Shakespare

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2014-2016 click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

Nebraska’s Top Model

Anyone watch America’s Next Top Model?

Anyone?

C’mon..I know SOMEONE out there used to DVR it every week like me. Legendary Supermodel Tyra Banks chooses several dozen potential models from casting calls across the country.  These young women must then take part in photo shoots, commercials and experiences to best prepare them (and test them) for the high-pressure world of professional modelling.  Aside from the cat fights, gossip and inevitable tears during makeovers (‘Tyra cut my hair!!!! My life is OVER!!!’), there was a time I. LOVED. THIS. SHOW!!  ANTM was my binge TV–I’d watch marathons while doing laundry all Saturday or on a rainy day off from work.

Over the seasons, Tyra revealed details about a tough adolescence.  She told ABCNews: “I was thin, I was 98 pounds, I was 5 foot 9, I was an inch shorter than I am now.  So that is not just supermodel thin, that’s just, like, what’s-wrong-with-her thin, and I had very low self-esteem because nothing I could do would make me gain weight.”

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Hard to believe now, looking one of the world’s most beautiful, successful women..

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..but Tyra Banks will NEVER forget those years.  Now worth an estimated $90 million as a model, host, producer, author, etc.. Banks donates time and money to numerous causes devoted to young women, including her own TZONE program, aimed at leadership and life skills development, and the Tyra Banks Scholarship, a scholarship fund for African American girls.

They say life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.

Cue Nebraska’s Top Model.

Just Shoot Me Photographics

MISS ALLIANCE’S OUTSTANDING TEEN 2015 SHANIAH FREESEMAN

(Photo courtesy Just Shoot Me Photographics)

“I can describe myself in three words: I’M A FIGHTER,” Shaniah told me recently.  “I was insecure about myself when I was younger and I didn’t feel like I fit in.  I was the girl with the glasses, I looked like a string bean with long legs (given the nickname daddy long legs), and I had crooked teeth.  What I didn’t realize until later is that God created me unique.”

Shaniah, a high school student from Gordon, Nebraska moved from Nebraska, to Colorado, back to Nebraska when she was younger.  Making new friends compounded the feelings she already had about not fitting in, but Shaniah says she was determined to keep her chin up.

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“My faith and my family are what really helped me through this change,” said Shaniah.  “Family means so much to me, and I love being able to say that God has blessed me with these amazing people.”

Shaniah is determined to share her story, both her challenges and what empowered her, to others who need a boost.

“I know what it’s like to be in their shoes,” said Shaniah.  “I use what I’ve had to go through to make me a stronger person that helps motivate others to overcome their challenges as well.”

That message is now part of Shaniah’s personal platform as Miss Alliance’s OT, ‘Overcoming Adversity’.  Shaniah recently visited Gordon Elementary to read to students and just to talk to them about never giving up when there’s a bump in the road.

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“I have always loved kids and making kids smile always brightens my day!” said Shaniah.  “Not only is it amazing for me to tell my stories, but I am all ears to people who have things they’d like to share with me.  I am striving to be a leader in my community and a role model to others.  Everyone has their own difficulties, but I am here to show people that it is possible to get through them.”

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  Shaniah is also busy with her own activities, including her church’s worship team, multiple youth group/bible studies groups, and singing opportunities through church as well as through Miss Alliance’s OT events.

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“I have [performed] the National Anthem at multiple events such as basketball games, a wrestling tournament, and the NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) banquet.  I have also shared my love for Christ through music, by singing solos at church, talent shows, at the Sandhills Alive music festival, as well as just kicking back and singing with my family and friends,” said Shaniah.  “When I think of pageants, I think of an opportunity to share my love for Jesus through music and show people that beauty is what’s on the inside.”

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Shaniah adds that the Miss America Organization reinforces her belief that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and has helped her build poise, public speaking skills, determination and confidence.  That girl who was once self-conscious, embarking on a scary, new adventure just days before school began in a new town, now holds her crowned head high.

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“Even though I have long legs, now I’m a starting varsity volleyball player,” said Shaniah, who also plays basketball, competes in track and is a member of her school’s color guard.  “My teeth have straightened out and I have learned to accept myself for who I am.  No matter what people might tell me, I’m beautiful in my own way and I keep telling myself that.  I don’t let the difficulties tear me down, I let them build me up.  I can’t wait to continue sharing my platform, and inspiring others, all while being associated with the Miss Nebraska Organization!”

Tyra, if you’re reading this.. feel free to contact Shaniah but just hold off for a few weeks; this Top Role Model’s already booked through June, ready to compete for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

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(Photo courtesy Just Shoot Me Photographics)

Follow Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen 2015 Shaniah Freeseman

 on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter.

Click here for a special feature on Shaniah on the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Facebook page!

To contact Shaniah for appearances and events, click here to visit the Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen pageant on Facebook.

For more information about the Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen pageant, including how to become a contestant, contact Director Melinda Cullan at 308-710-5593 or by email at maot.alliance@gmail.com.

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The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will take place June 5, 2015 in North Platte.  Click here to visit the organization’s website or the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant on Facebook and on Twitter.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Gering 2015 Kaylee Carlberg

NEXT.. Miss Western Nebraska 2015 Chrissy Townsend

To read more about the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.