Tag Archive | seat belts

Your Best Yes

Choose your best yes.

I was blessed this week to be part of a Gallup summit thanks to my great employer, Westside Community Schools. In this day long learning event, we discussed our own personal strengths, and how we can say yes to everything… but in doing that, there’s no way we can be GREAT at anything. Choose your best YES – what are the things you should say yes to, to bring out your best traits and therefore, have the best impact upon others and the world around us?

This is the year Kodi Baumann said her best yes was to work to become Miss Nebraska.

Kodi Baumann - Miss Alliance

Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

Kodi is 23, a Chadron, Nebraska native currently serving as Miss Alliance 2018. She started competing in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program at just 13 years old, and has already competed twice at the Miss Nebraska Pageant. As Miss Chadron 2014, she thought she was done.

“That year, I experienced so much and made so many friends,” said Kodi. “Unfortunately, I realized that I was not at a place in my life that I could give attention to the title it deserved. Fast forward three years later and I know my heart and determination are in the right place to do the title of Miss Nebraska justice.”

 

 

Flashback to November 2017. I, along with many others, had been hoping to convince Kodi to once again, compete for a Miss Nebraska local title. Her voice is breathtaking, her smile is unforgettable, her spirit is infectious. Still, Kodi herself had her doubts, memories she now uses as fuel for her fire.

Kodi Rugby

“I have always struggled with body image, but this year, I am not looking at it as an obstacle,” said Kodi, pictured above after playing competitive rugby with her teammates. “I am taking this on as a challenge to better myself. I am not allowing the scale to define my success. I am focused on becoming stronger.”

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HELL YES, KODI, HELL YES.

Between November and February, Kodi lost an astonishing 25 pounds by taking part in boot camp classes. ‘Strong is the new skinny’, she posted. And PS – that mentality and drive will serve Kodi, and ALL of us, very well. She’s a recent Criminal Justice graduate at Chadron State College, planning on a career in law enforcement. AKA – all that muscle will come in VERY handy taking down bad guys.

Tell me again ‘what type’ of girls compete in pageants.

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“Service lines up with my interest in Law Enforcement,” said Kodi. “Just look at the side of any police car. Protect and Serve. I have always enjoyed giving of myself; it doesn’t matter if it is collecting warm winter clothing, supplies for Doves recipients, raising awareness of our servicemen and women, or sharing my passion for seatbelt use to keep my community safe.”

That final mission is Kodi’s platform of service as Miss Alliance, one that she’s advocated for for several years now, is ‘Fasten Your Seat Belt! Cross Your Heart, Not Your Fingers.’

Kodi platform

“I founded my platform nine years ago after my brother’s accident where he almost lost his life,” said Kodi. “I wanted to share the importance of buckling up and stress that your choice to wear a seatbelt not only affects you, but your loved ones. I wanted to make sure my platform was something I would continue to advocate for once I was done competing in pageants. By choosing a platform so closely related to law enforcement, I know I will continue to spread awareness throughout my lifetime.”

Kodi’s best yes was to amplify her message for an important cause. That yes also opened doors to connect with others, personally confronting one of the biggest issues Kodi feels is facing her generation and more; a lack of face to face interaction, networking and productive communication.

“I’m gaining confidence; I’ll walk into an interview with five judges and am gaining the qualities employers are looking for,” said Kodi. “Successful people are goal oriented. This organizations helps set goals and work to achieve them. I’m also a team player. The sisterhood that this organization creates can be so strong. Many of support one another at events, building our ability of networking and creating lifelong friendships.”

THAT is what ultimately convinced Kodi to say yes one more time: friendships, a very special one in particular.

Kodi & Kaelia

“I decided to compete because the Miss Alliance Pageant was being held in honor of my friend, Kaelia Shae Nelson, the reigning Miss Alliance 2017 and current Miss Chadron 2018,” said Kodi. “Kaelia was struggling with depression and took her own life. The loss of such a talented and passionate individual made me realize how fleeting life really is and I decided I would embrace her motto, Stomping the Stigma, and enter despite all my own internal battles with not being what society holds as pageant material. I wanted to honor our friendship and her memory.”

Kaelia crowned

Choose your best yes. Kodi said ‘yes’ in 2014, and will be the first to tell you it wasn’t her BEST yes. Now, her yes honors a friend. Her yes is highlighting, strengthening her talents and gifts.  Her yes brings her closer to achieving her goals in both her community and for her future career.

Kodi Baumann knows THIS is her best yes, and she’s ready to compete for  the title of Miss Nebraska.

Kodi Final

‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.’ Audrey Hepburn,” said Kodi. “My ultimate goal is to walk away with the title and serve my state for a year, sharing my platform and advocating for Children’s Miracle Network. I know that I am prepared to the best of my ability and will put my best foot forward. I feel blessed to represent the Panhandle of Nebraska, where I call home, and will do everything I can to make them proud.”

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To follow Miss Alliance Kodi Lee Baumann, click here

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KODI?

CLICK HERE * 2014* If Nebraska Had An Ocean

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The Miss Nebraska Scholarship Competition takes place June 7-9 in North Platte, Nebraska.

CLICK HERE to follow the Miss Nebraska Organization on Facebook

CLICK HERE to follow the Miss Nebraska Organization on Twitter

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Old West Balloon Fest Makinzie Gregory

NEXT.. Miss Scotts Bluff County Brianna Little

If Nebraska Had An Ocean..

 I’m going to date myself again, but any readers love the Little Mermaid as a kid?  Anyone? <crickets>

Hey, Brandi.. 1989 called for you…

Let’s recap.  The Little Mermaid is a Disney CLASSIC about a gorgeous mermaid with an even more gorgeous voice who wins the heart of everyone in the ocean and in the end, a handsome prince.

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If Disney ever makes a real-life version, today’s featured Miss Nebraska contestant would be PERFECT for the part.

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Miss Chadron, Kodi Baumann

(Thank you Judy’s Photo for use of Kodi’s pictures!)

The red hair, the passion for singing–she’s perfect!

When Kodi recently replied to my interview request, she included not only pictures of herself, but images showing what music means to her.

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“I love being able to put together a song and perform for an audience,” said Kodi.  “The experience is so exhilarating!  I love being able to share my passion of music with a crowd.  Hopefully it touches someone and they enjoy the music I create.”

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Kodi first started competing in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program at the age of 13, looking for another place to sing.

“This pageant system has become so much more than another stage for me,” said Kodi.  “I have been able to discover who I am and it’s helped me grow into an accomplished woman.  I have had so many doors open up to me because of this system!  It’s singing that is paying my way through college and without the confidence I gained from the Miss America Organization I’m not sure I would be here.”

Now as a student at Western Nebraska Community College, Kodi is part of Varsity Vocalize, along with two of her fellow Miss Nebraska contestants, Miss Western Nebraska Morgan Yost and Miss Scotts Bluff County Brittli Sell.

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“I have also created so many ‘pageant sisters’ that have become fantastic friends of mine,” said Kodi.  “I’m so lucky to call them friends!”

Kodi has also connected with a different kind of sister.  Her favorite part of the Miss Nebraska pageant is the Little Sisters program.

“This is a mentoring program that pairs young girls with a young woman competing for a title in the Miss America Organization,” described Kodi.  “It deals with sharing the importance of the four components of the Miss America crown: style, success, scholarship and service.  I know they have made an impact on my life and I will always think of each of them as my little sisters I never had!”

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Check out Kodi’s online photo album featuring her Little Sisters!

Kodi’s real-life brother inspired her personal platform of service, ‘Fasten Your Seat Belt! Cross Your Heart Not Your Fingers.’

“When I was a freshman in high school my older brother was involved in a roll-over accident,” said Kodi.  “He had a traumatic brain injury, broken eye socket, four broken vertebrae, broken shoulder blades, and a broken femur.  He lost a kidney, suffered a lacerate spleen and liver and had to relearn how to walk.  I want to spread awareness about wearing seat belts because not only did it affect my brother, it affected my entire family.”

Kodi maintains a Facebook page, devoted to her platform.  Check it out here!

FOCUSED, HONEST, ADVENTUROUS

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Kodi is honest about her feelings regarding the Lifestyle and Fitness portion of the Miss Nebraska pageant, also known as the swimsuit competition.

“I am someone who will always tell the truth,” said Kodi.  “I can’t help but feeling like [swimsuit] is a large hurdle for me to overcome for me and many others I’m sure.  I’m sure many can relate!”

(Blog author contribution… PREACH, KODI!! PREACH!!)

“But once you overcome that obstacle you realize that you can do anything!” Kodi added.  “Swimsuit is a very important part of competition.  It shows the physical fitness of all the competitors and plays a huge role in reflecting the woman’s confidence and pride in themselves.”

Kodi says she is focused to achieve that goal and others.

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And adventurous, the kind of girl who loves to travel and experience new things (like here, kissing the Blarney Stone!)

Kodi sent me one final quote, not necessarily about music but everything to do with her..

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Pretty sure Ariel had a t-shirt with this quote on it.

Nebraska may not have an ocean or any Little Mermaids, and Kodi doesn’t have time to search for the handsome prince.

She’s getting ready for Miss Nebraska.

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Connect with Miss Chadron Kodi Baumann

on Facebook and by email at crossyourheartnotyourfingers@gmail.com

Click here to get more information about Cross Your Heart, Not Your Fingers

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The Miss Nebraska pageant takes place June 5-7 in North Platte, Nebraska.  For more information, visit the Miss Nebraska website.

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PREVIOUS POST..  Miss Panhandle, Mindy Schreiber

NEXT POST.. Miss Western Nebraska, Morgan Yost!