A double Q& A with Miss Central California and my father, David Behring, who is president of The Wheelchair Foundation! Please watch to find out a bit more about me, my platform, my family's non-profit, and upcoming wheelchair distributions!
By: Stephanie Behring – Miss Central California 2017
“Apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this is the definition of cold feet.
I am Briana Dababneh your Miss Covina 2017! Now earning my title was not an easy thing and it all started out with some frozen feet.
I grew up a girly girl and had always dreamed of participating in a pageant but I had never had the opportunity to do so until a follow on Instagram. Late December I awoke to my phone being lit up with excitement and Instagram cheering “The Miss Covina Pageant has followed you”! At first I was confused as to who this account was, so I quickly clicked on the account and found out that this was a pageant that was apart of the amazing Miss America Organization. Immediately a recent post jumped out at me! The post told me that I could join the journey as I had always dreamt of, that I, Briana Dababneh could be the new Miss Covina. Soon enough I was on my way to meet with Katrina Moramaco the fairy godmother of the Miss Covina Pageant.
The night before meeting with Katrina my feet began to feel cold, in fact so cold that one may consider them to be frozen. I felt the cold breeze whisper to me that the freezing pain would stop if I did not go through with this whole pageant thing.
I wanted to fall asleep without the cold irritating pain of icicle toes, immediately I texted Katrina saying that the meeting was off and I could no longer take part in the Miss Covina Pageant. When I awoke the next morning my feet turned from frozen to just cold.. I looked at my phone and noticed Katrina had texted me to call her so I could tell her how I was feeling. I was nervous to call her because I didn’t quite understand why I didn’t want to compete.. Was it because of lack of confidence? Not feeling prepared? I wasn’t sure but that was enough to motivate me to face my fears and compete. Katrina gave me the reassurance that everything was going to be okay and to just have fun throughout the process! So I did just that, I had fun the entire time!
From walking workshops, to shopping for hours on end, to meeting some of the most amazing girls that I would be competing with, the Miss Covina experience equipped me with the fun of a lifetime. I have already have grown so much as a young lady and I would have never thought that the Miss America Organization would have helped me grow so much.
Just like that at the turn of a corner my frozen feet turned into a burning heart that could not stop running. I figured since I got this far I could keep going, keep running! It made me think of the iconic Forrest Gump, and straight from his lips is how I felt.
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.”
I am so ecstatic to continue running this amazing race to Miss California! I cannot wait to see where not only my feet take me but also my heart.
Lets run this race together!
Signing off your miss Covina 2017, Briana Dababneh!
Hello everyone, I’m Hannah Forbes, the current Miss Mendocino County. This is my first title so I’m really nervous about this New Year, however I am also super excited. I’ve met a few of you so far and everyone has been so welcoming and sweet! I also look forward meeting everyone else who will be going to Fresno. I decided to run for the Miss Mendocino tittle, when I saw the scholarship program opportunities flyer hanging around my high school campus.
This program has taught me so much, from interview skills to time management. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to learn even more. Winning the title was a complete shock to me, but was one of the best days of my life. So far it has been a great way to promote my platform which works with the Special Olympics of Northern California. I have volunteered for the Special Olympics of Inland Mendocino for two years, and I hope to bring them awareness as well as, make them proud with this tittle.
I’m super excited to meets everyone and have the new experiences that this amazing opportunity will provide. I also hope the rest of you are having fun too! Thank you all for welcoming me in, and truly making this a memorable experience.
Good luck to all of you!
Miss Mendocino County 2017
I’m Amy Montes-Espinoza and Miss San Joaquin County 2017.
I am a first-time title holder and have never competed in a pageant before. To be honest, I never thought I would do anything like this at all. I am blessed to say that my family and friends have always been my greatest and most wonderful support system. They have always stood by me and encouraged me to pursue any dream I wished to make a reality. I have always had people who believed in me but the one thing I struggled with is believing in myself.
A few years ago, if you were to tell me that I would step up on stage and compete for a title within the Miss California Organization I would have laughed and said “yeah right, not me”. Growing up I have always been a happy girl but not a very confident one. Before competing in the Miss San Joaquin County pageant, I never told anyone that I wanted to compete or what that would mean to me. As a young girl, I had many dreams and aspirations to try new things and put myself out there but I never even shared that with anyone. Why? I did not believe that I could achieve the goals that I had for myself. My lack of self-confidence kept me from not only doing things I always wanted to do but it also kept me from sharing my dreams and ideas with others.
Now I have always been a happy girl who strives to have a positive outlook on things. One of my daily goals has always been to greet each day with a smile. Something my mom has always told me is that with God and hard work, anything is possible. Even with my positive attitude and hearing encouraging words my entire life, I believed those words of wisdom to be true for others but not myself. I shared my mom’s words of wisdom with others and have shared a few words of encouragement of my own to friends and family. My turning point occurred years ago, when I realized how ironic it was that I could encourage others in their pursuit towards their dreams but I wasn’t able to encourage myself. I then asked, why was I not practicing what I preached? Why did I continuously doubt myself when everyone around me did nothing but cheer me on? After questioning myself, I decided to make a change and so it happened.
Today I am still the same happy girl I have always been. I still strive to see the glass half full no matter what and I still make it a goal to greet each day with a smile. The one thing that has changed is that each morning I wake up convinced that with enough hard work, dedication, positivity, and prayer I can reach any goal I set for myself. Also, I am confident in the person that I have become and the person I am continuing to grow into. I am not afraid to show people that I am a total dork who spends most her day laughing, is obsessed with dresses and pearls, and drinks an excessive amount of coffee each day. I am a person who tries to continuously bettering herself and wishes to better the world around her. I am not afraid to be transparent in who I am and present my dreams and ideas to others. I am happy to say, I am confidently me.
This change didn’t happen overnight and it also hasn’t been easy. There are days where I feel truly confident and other days where I struggle with that. On the days where I struggle I take a step back and look at how far I have come and how far I wish to continue to go. As I said before, I have been blessed with a great support system and have always heard positive words of encouragement. But I would have never been able to start reaching my full potential or have the courage to take on the adventures life has given me without first believing in myself. Years ago, a less self-confident me would have never even considered taking the chance to compete for the title of Miss San Joaquin County even if I wanted to. I would have closed that door on myself without even checking to see if it would open and I had a tendency of doing that in many areas of my life. But hey, everything happens for a reason! Without my experiences of lacking self-confidence, I wouldn’t be able to share this story with you all. I have also had experiences with bullying and have seen people close to me be bullied as well. But those experiences have led me to become an anti-bullying advocate and create my anti-bullying platform as Miss San Joaquin County. I have learned that every experience is a lesson that helps us grow into the person we were meant to become. My experiences pushed me to find my voice and self-confidence and to start living the life I always wanted to live.
To anyone struggling with finding their own self-confidence or if you are simply having a rough day, I would like to leave you with a quote by A.A. Mines, author of Winnie the Pooh. “You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”. You are loved and you are more than capable to live the life you wish to live no matter what anyone else has told you. So here’s to living with confidence in ourselves! Let us look at the glass half full. Let us not be arrogant but let us be humble and spread this positivity to others. Let us take the risk and believe in ourselves. Let us believe we have the ability to make our dreams come true. And let us believe we are capable of taking on the adventures life brings us because we never know which experience may change our lives forever.
Thanks for reading beautiful people!
-Amy Montes-Espinoza, Miss San Joaquin County 2017
Caio from Italia!
Three days of SIGEP are in the books and we have two more to go. The American Pistachio Growers and I have been hard at work for three days spreading awareness of California grown pistachios to the trade show attendees of all nationalities! We have had hundreds of people stop by our booth wanting to sample our pistachios. After they enjoy a taste they are shocked that they came from California. There has been a huge interest of placing an order for our American grown pistachios. It has been a very successful three days if you ask me!
When you walk in to SIGEP you are exposed to gelato heaven. I cannot believe how many gelato businesses are in the industry! Every business is sampling and giving out free gelato, which of course means I have been tasting more gelato than I ever thought I would. Good thing I am a fan of exercise and fitness
From the sections of the convention center that I have walked around, I have not noticed another American company other than
American Pistachio Growers. I am very proud to be a brand ambassador for an association that has the drive and
wants to spread their brand and product world wide. Even though it may be challenging at times to communicate because of the language barrier, every person who has tasted our pistachios has said. “Yum! Yes, very very good!” My days have been full of explaining “Pistacci California,” taking photos with very friendly people, speaking small phrases of Italian and spending time with the amazing APG staff. Now it is time to get some rest and get ready for two more days in Rimini!
Oh…..it is getting exciting…….As more and more of our titleholders are crowned, the Class of 2017 begins to take shape. We have two new resources for our new titleholders and Executive Directors. Checkout the Miss California Contestant or Volunteer portal for videos on Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Fundraising and successful Ad Page sales.
Become a Miracle Maker and be recognized on the Miss America stage in September or become a Miracle Maker right here in California. Both Miss and Teen Miracle Makers receive a $2500 scholarship and will be recognized on the Saturday night telecast.
Want to have a private lunch (meaning just you and her) with Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields?? Be our top Ad Page sales winner (Miss or Teen) and we will take you offsite for that once in a lifetime experience.
The Princess Camp is open so if you want your princess to join you during pageant week. Be sure to point her here to sign up for our amazing Princess Camp.
Jessa is eating her way through Italy and it sounds like Judy and the American Pistachio Growers are treating her like the queen that she is. Apparently there is more Gelato at the conference than a girl can imagine. Look for a new blog from Jessa soon!!
Stay dry and dream big!