The Balancing Act Of A Titleholder

Being a titleholder is similar to walking on your hands...It's all about balance!

Being a titleholder is similar to walking on your hands…It’s all about balance!

As a previous titleholder in the Miss America Organization I have had some experience juggling the busy schedule it entails.  It can become quite the balancing act! This time around, as Miss Santa Clara, I knew exactly what I was in for 😉 For those of you former or current titleholders, I know you can relate!

As Miss Santa Clara I stay active in my community volunteering, supporting local organizations and events, promoting my platform Building A Healthy Future, and preparing for the Miss California 2015 competition taking place this June in Fresno, California. The demanding schedule of a Miss America local representative can seem like a lot to handle at times, however a busy lifestyle and a full schedule is what I am accustomed to.

When I was eight years old my busy schedule kicked off. I began gymnastics. Before I knew it I was at gymnastics practice training five days and about 20-25 hours a week. At a young age, I learned how to balance extracurricular activities and academics. To this day, I believe it was because of gymnastics that I am able to handle a demanding schedule. I knew that in order to go to gymnastics practice, I had to fulfill all of my homework and school duties first.

I do not know life any other way and I love it. There are 24 hours in a day for a reason!

Today my schedule consists of my higher education as a full-time college senior at San Jose State University, Miss Santa Clara 2015, a professional cheerleader, working full-time on the Google Shopping Express team and of course maintaining a social life. I am so fortunate to be a part of so many amazing groups and organizations. I have always worn many “hats.” Each “hat” I wear, I am the same me – staying true to myself, but I have the chance to express my different passions.

One of the key components of handling a busy schedule is allotting time for yourself and your social life. Family and friends have always been a  priority of mine and I continue to make time for them. Without the support of my family and friends, I would not be where I am today. blog 1 Another tip I give that works the BEST for me – make lists! I always have to-do lists, sometimes even three to four weeks out. I have separate to-do lists for school, work and other tasks I need to complete. Keeping my calendar updated is essential. I keep my calendar updated on my phone and on paper to be 100% sure I have dates reserved.

I maintain my healthy eating habits with meals from my sponsor, Fresh Fit Foods Direct!

I maintain my healthy eating habits with meals from my sponsor, Fresh Fit Foods Direct!

Lastly, an important component to remember when taking on a busy life is to keep active and put your health on the top of your priority list. Stress can creep to the surface from time to time, but with healthy eating and regular physical activity you can ease that uneeded stress. Along with healthy eating and fitness, it is important you find activities that you enjoy to just relax.

Lunch time barre classes are one of my favorite "me" times!

Lunch time barre classes are one of my favorite “me” times!

Whether it is listening to music, reading a book or catching up on your favorite shows, finding relaxation time is a necessity. I challenge you to remember my tips when you find yourself taking on your busy schedule. Create those lists, update and maintain your calendar and find social and you time! xo Jessa

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Why A Crown?

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Photo Credit: Syracuse Image Photography

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of a crown is power. The kind of power that makes people interested in you. The kind of power that can inspire. The Miss America Organization is full of incredible women who all have an amazing story. Each young woman who wears a crown in the Miss America Organization embodies the “four points,” of the crown.

The four points of the crown may be a new term to you. Every crown in the Miss America Organization has four points. These points symbolize the various characteristics of the women who wear the crown. The points represent scholarship, service, style and success.

The first point I mentioned, scholarship, is something that sets the Miss America Organization apart from any other pageant or organization. The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and one of the world’s largest providers of scholarship assistance for young women. Through my involvement in the program, I have earned over $10,000 in college scholarship. These scholarship dollars have played a significant part in my higher education.

Service. This would have to be my favorite point of the crown and one of the reasons why I believe the crown is so important. IMG_8141 Each titleholder spends their year as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, along with promoting their own personal platform. My personal platform is Building A Healthy Future: Instilling A Healthy Lifestyle In Our Youth.” The crown gives titleholders the power to reach people in society that they may not have been able to reach without it. The crown has served as my microphone, a sparkly tool that attracts the attention of the youth and others.

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Photo Credit: Syracuse Image Photography

The best part of the Miss America Organization is that every contestant and every titleholder is different. There is not a certain “look,” that you need to be in order to become a titleholder. Every woman has their own style. This point on the crown not only represents the style of clothing, makeup or hair of the contestant, but it represents the way in which she carries and presents herself.

Lastly, success wraps up the points of the crown. The way I see it is- with scholarship, service and style you will achieve profound success. With the tools and experience every titleholder gains through the program, she creates a foundation for herself. This foundation will lead her on her journey to great success.

So, why a crown? Because this sparkly and shiny object that sits securely bobby-pinned to the top of each woman’s head, is a symbol of power. The power of scholarship, service, style and success.

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Photo Credit: Syracuse Image Photography

My Weekend As A Busy Bee

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This weekend was an action packed and fun few days! I kicked off the weekend performing at the city of Santa Clara’s annual Showtime Olios along with my counterpart Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen on Friday evening. I went on to begin my Saturday morning with my sister titleholder Miss Silicon Valley, Melissa Bowling, at the PAL softball league opening day. Later Saturday evening, Melissa and I had the chance to perform again at the city’s Showtime Olios. Finally, this morning I instructed my first “TRX for Kids” class at Morning Crane Healing Arts & Fitness Center. Friday night marked my fourth year performing for the city of Santa Clara in the 34th Annual Showtime Olios. Showtime is sponsored and organized by the Santa Clara Women’s League which proceeds benefit the Santa Clara Senior Center’s Health & Wellness Program. Over the last 33 years, Showtime has raised over $350,000. 

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This year I decided to share the dance that I performed for my talent at the Miss Santa Clara competition. My jazz dance to the song “A little Party,” took me back to the night I became Miss Santa Clara 2015. It is always a pleasure to share my love for performing with the audience at Showtime. Saturday morning was so much fun at the Police Activities Leagues’s “PAL GAL” Softball League opening day ceremony! The league has over 225 participants ages 5-16. I was never the young girl to play a sport with a ball, but I have to admit I did WANT to at one point.I grew up attending all of my younger brother, Johnny’s, sporting events. During his baseball season I did always wonder what I would be like as a softball player 😉 IMG_8520 Melissa sang the National Anthem just as beautifully as she always does and I was able to meet the players and speak about my platform. It was outstanding to be a part of kicking off the season for the young ladies. The PAL organization is a perfect way to keep youth active, while building them a healthy future.

Saturday evening Melissa and I were back at Showtime! Once again I performed my jazz dance to the song “A Little Party,” and Melissa sang a rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” It is so inspiring to watch the many talents that come across the stage. The community is always so supportive of the Miss Santa Clara program and its titleholders.DSC_0031 This morning I had an absolute BLAST instructing my first “TRX for Kids” class! A big thank you goes out to my sponsor Morning Crane Healing Arts & Fitness Center for allowing me to use their studio to host this class.DSC_0016 I was joined by a group of the spunkiest and cutest young girls that were eager to try the TRX. Overall, the class was a success! I cannot wait to host my next one.

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Stay tuned for more of my weekends as a busy bee!

Free Pancakes & Saving Lives All In One Stop

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Today was National Pancake Day at IHOP! In partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network, IHOP serves a free stack of pancakes to customers with the hope that the customer will donate to the Children’s Miracle Network in return. I had the opportunity to visit two IHOP locations in support of this cause. This morning I enjoyed the breakfast hour of 7-8:30am with my sister titleholder, Miss Silicon Valley Melissa Bowling, at the Great America location in Santa Clara.

I was able to chat with customers about the Children’s Miracle Network and collect many donations that all went to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. IMG_8435I also had fun making and flipping pancakes for the FIRST TIME. I have to admit, I am not much of a chef and you could tell from my pancakes. However, it was for a great cause and it was an awesome experience 🙂

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by the IHOP Steven’s Creek location in Santa Clara. Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Silicon Valley’s Outstanding Teen and I were able to raise more funds for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

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If you missed National Pancake Day but would still like to donate to CMN Hospitals you can donate here.

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A few facts about UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland:

  • They have 190 licensed beds
  • They see 200,000+ patients through Outpatient Services every year
  • They see 50,000+ patients in its Emergency Room per year; that’s I patient every 10 minutes
  • They provide 51 million in undercompensated care each year to families enrolled in government-sponsored healthcare
  • They have the Bay Area’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center (emergency room) exclusively for kids
  • No family is turned away

A few facts about the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:

  • 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute
  • 1 in 10 kids in North America is treated by a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital each year
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals serves over 10 million kids every year

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Read Across America

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This morning I had such a fun time at Arbuckle Elementary School in San Jose. I had the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with 20 enthusiastic kindergarteners! In support of Read Across America with United Way Silicon Valley, I shared the importance of reading and how fun it is!

IMG_8398I read two of my favorite children’s books with classroom B8. The first book was a story that is related to my platform of “Instilling a Healthy Lifestyle in our Youth – Building a Healthy Future.   ” The book titled My Amazing Body, explains the importance of taking care of your body for your future. I was able to share my favorite healthy foods and exercises with the students and they shared theirs in return. It was great to hear that five and six-year-olds actually like eating carrots, grapes, strawberries and other healthy foods. And of course, it was not a challenge to get them to want to play outside and keep active!

The second book I read was Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, which is a story that I believe is important for every individual at any age. The book was definitely a hit with the classroom! I was even able to get the entire classroom to share what they want to be when they “grow up”. LIMG_8397ittle did I know I was in a room with future doctors, police officers, teachers, readers, electricians and even Elsa’s 😉

With the two stories, I was able to get my overall message across to the students. My message being, “If you eat healthy and stay active you can achieve a healthy future where you can be whatever you want to be.”

Dr. Suess’ birthday was always one of my favorite days in elementary school, and today I was reminded why. Thank you to Arbuckle Elementary for having me!

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