So here we were - a queen and her mom - with no clue as to how to navigate these royal waters. But one thing I did know for certain - she had an opportunity before her to spread some good stuff out there with her new title.
The first thing I did was try to contact the state directors who put this thing on in the first place. Unfortunately, this was not working out well, as they were traveling all the time for work and difficult to reach. I felt like there was something I should do, but I didn't know what. We needed to get the food that was collected at the pageant to a food bank and it had been two months without that being done. I discussed it with my husband and he arranged for the four Colorado queens to deliver the canned food to Hope Ministries. He also suggested that she should get some exposure in the community by presenting what Miss Amazing is about to service groups such as Kiwanis, Rotary, etc. My husband is an ambassador in the West Chamber of Commerce, so he spoke with some people and soon, he had people from various business groups and service groups inviting her to speak to them. The only problem now was how to get her up to speed in making a speech in the first place. Her speech was not her best talent at the time.
I've home schooled Phoebe all her life, aside from a short period of time (two years) that she went to an enrichment program for home schoolers up until they said they couldn't do much for her, as they were not equipped to handle someone with 'special needs.' I had not spent a lot of time teaching her speech and she hadn't been working with a speech therapist for about 7 years. I had stopped that therapy when it didn't seem it was helping her much. I could understand her, after all. I really wasn't doing her any favors. I see that now.
So we started writing a speech together, using larger and more difficult words than she is used to. We took each of those words and dissected them into syllables and worked on enunciating each one until they were perfect. Then we put the word back together and said the whole thing. And we practiced and practiced and practiced. Then we looked the word up in the dictionary to be sure she understood what she was saying in the first place, so she could really take ownership of her speech. Her very fist speech was for a group of businesswomen. It was good. But as she started doing more each week (some weeks, 3 speeches a week!), she got better and better and she began putting a lot more emotion into them. She was always applauded and almost every time, she was given a donation to help her get to the National Miss Amazing Pageant in Chicago in the coming summer.
Phoebe giving one of her speeches amidst background noises and distractions.
She started getting invited more and more to speak at various meetings and make appearances at various events. She was even asked to be a celebrity judge at the Taste of the West, a large food and beverage vendor event. She was invited to grand openings and ribbon-cutting events. She met the governor, various mayors and politicians, actors and actresses, models, musicians and artists. She was grabbing a little bit of local 'fame.'
But the real excitement I was experiencing was seeing her grow in such a short time into a confident young woman who could work a room of 1,000 or more people with not a bit of awkwardness or fear. I saw her speech improve by leaps and bounds and people actually wanted to listen to her! I saw her morph into the woman I wish I was!!!! Talk about amazing....