Miss Ventura County: Sisters At Last

IMG_9933Growing up, all I wanted was a sister. When I was four years old, I got a little brother named Jack. I did my best in the most important job I had ever had: being a big sister. I hugged him and kissed him constantly, just to make sure he knew how much I loved him. Three years later, my mom was pregnant again. I hoped and prayed that it would be my sister. I dreamed of playing dress up with our dolls, braiding her hair, and playing fairy princesses in the backyard. I couldn’t wait to teach her everything I knew and share my excitement for life with her. When my mom came home with another boy, I refused to lose hope. I loved Matthew just as much as Jack, and I quickly moved on from the fact that he wasn’t a girl. Three more years, and it was my last chance. I remember gathering up all of my favorite girlie toys and books and blankets, and waiting eagerly for the arrival of what I was sure to be my perfect little sister. You can probably guess where this is heading- my brother Cooper was born in 2004. With three little brothers under my belt, I pushed aside my dream for a sister and focused on being the best role model I could for them. I played soccer with them (until they were too big and way better than me), I encouraged them to pursue theater and music, and I strived to set the most positive example I could in all aspects of my life. My dream of a sister was pushed aside in favor of loving and appreciating the gifts of my amazing brothers.

house2When I headed off to the University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall of 2013, my lost dream of having a sister was quickly fulfilled when I joined the Delta Gamma sorority. Instead of just one sister to dress up with, I had 140. It was pretty evident that God had planned this all along, by giving me beautiful brothers growing up and inspiring sisters when I left home. Delta Gamma has given me opportunities to pursue service, engage with alumnae, and grow as a college student. Being surrounded by women who support and care about one another has transformed my college experience. Now, living in a house with 43 of these ladies, I can appreciate the family that we have created. I cherish each one of them, and I know that our friendships will last many years after we throw our caps at graduation.

IMG_7326On January 17, I was welcomed into another sisterhood: the Miss California Class of 2015. From the moment I was crowned Miss Ventura County, I have been surrounded and supported by amazing women, all of whom exemplify what the Miss America Organization has to offer: service, style, scholarship, and success. If we could add another point to the crown, I have no doubt that it would be sisterhood. Each of us has a story, and we each have a passion. Every woman who carries a title has a dream and we are willing to work towards it- together.

10420777_814473555256170_3956833175279335967_nWhat is most incredible is the fact that I have met women who bring my two sisterhoods together- my Delta Gamma sisters in the Miss California family! I am so lucky to be a part of two sisterhoods that promote service, determination, scholarship, and leadership. My sisters are motivating me to live with passion and work tirelessly towards excellence. Years ago, I never could have imagined the unbelievable impact sisters have made on my life. I wish I could go back and tell that little girl how one day she would be blessed with more than 200 sisters.

Or maybe not, because I learned a valuable lesson: sometimes life works out in unexpected and incredible ways.

Thanks for reading!

Jane Kennedy

Miss Ventura County 2015