September Doll of the Month: Kaity

Published on Sunday, September 12, 2010 in ,

If you are given a chance to travel past where would you go and specifically why?
There are two places I would probably go.  Because I am a Christian, I would love to travel back 2000 years and visit Jerusalem during the time of Jesus Christ.  It would be a real experience to walk and talk with God in the flesh.
If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
I would probably have to say Jean Grey from X-Men. Lol

How would you describe yourself in three words?
 Passionate. Determined. Adventurous.

Thinking back to the moment of winning Miss New Jersey, what was the first thought that was going through your mind?
There were a million thoughts running through my mind. The feeling was actually quite indescribable.  I remember hanging my head just thanking God for what he had done.  I was also very humbled because I knew that such a blessing could not come from my own doing.  Strangely enough, I remember feeling a bit shy when they first called my name.  If you watch the clip on youtube, I kept closing my eyes during the crowning.  Part of that was disbelief . . . the other was nerves!  Suddenly there was so much attention on me!

How did you develop your organization R.O.S.E.S. and what inspired you to create it?
R.O.S.E.S.  started as a small gathering of my friends.  After graduating college, I noticed that there were many issues I was facing that were not uncommon for women my age.  From careers, to relationships, to spirituality, I had so many questions.  I also had a great desire discuss my experiences with individuals with whom I could relate.  Contrastingly, I found myself learning a great deal about life from various resources (books, mentors, conferences, etc.).   The problem was that most of my friends from college and high school had moved to different parts of the country, making it very difficult to share resources and experiences on a regular basis. Through R.O.S.E.S, I created an environment where young women could learn from one another, build each other up, and support one another.

What inspired you to become a motivational speaker in your community? 
Prior to winning Miss New Jersey USA, one of my mentors, Dr. Miguel Pagan, invited me to speak with him at a school career day.  At the time, I wondered what I could say to really help the kids.  I decided to share with them some of my goals, like graduating college and winning a pageant.  I told them how I had recently competed for Miss New Jersey and lost, but planned to compete again the next year.  When I won the following year, Dr. Pagan and the principal of the school  invited me back as Miss New Jersey USA and created a whole day focused on reaching for your dreams.  I created a speech called “The 3 P’s to Success” and have been speaking ever since.

If could eliminate any one problem that Americans today face--what would it be and why?

As social worker, it’s very difficult for me to name just one problem.  Poverty, joblessness, and health challenges. . . so many issues play a part in our struggle.  However, if I had to choose one area of concern, I would focus on our country’s educational system.  The US has been losing ground in education, as many countries surpass us in ranking.  Providing equal access to not just education, but the BEST education, as well as job-training, is crucial to eliminating any problems our country faces. 

What have been your most memorable moments as Miss New Jersey?
Without a doubt, my most memorable moments were spent interacting with girls of color.  I remember how their faces lit up when I walked into the room.   Those moments stand out because I know that I helped change the way many of them viewed themselves.  Tt was great to be the catalyst sparking thoughts like, “Well if she can do it, I wonder what I can do?”

Participating in the Miss USA pageant was also a tremendous experience.  Being a part of a live broadcast that aired to millions of views was so exciting.  We were treated like celebrities for almost 3 weeks and I experienced life like I never had before.  Here’s a typical day for a contestant at the Miss USA pageant: Wake up at 5am, free food, photo shoot with celebrity photographer, more free food, taping on the steps of the Planet Hollywood, free food, pick up free gift bag, meet Donald Trump, Dinner at Ceasar’s Palace, rehearsal for live broadcast, security escort to hotel room, more free food, chat with roommate, and finally hit the sack at 12am.What a day!
What is one thing that you’d like our readers to learn from you?

This world can be a very dark and challenging place.  Loved ones pass away, jobs are lost, plans are deferred.  Remember in the midst of it all, that there was a light placed within you.  That light can shine from a small act of kindness like smiling at a stranger or being courteous to a rude sales person.  It shines bright when you follow your dreams and when you take a moment to be thankful for what you have (great or small).  Don’t let this world stifle that light.  That light is how you praise God!

What are your future career goals and aspirations? How are you progressing towards those goals?
One of my ultimate goals is to create a non-profit community organization similar to the Boys and Girls Club or YMCA.  R.O.S.E.S. was my first step in that direction.  I am also in the process of developing more programs for various populations.  I would have to say I’m pleased with my progress concerning that goal. 

What motto do you live by? 
Currently, my motto is “When they say no . . . I say NEXT!”  One of the “Three P’s to Success” is perseverance!

How do you stay motivated to accomplish your goals?

My faith assures me that just as He does for all of his children, God has called me to do great things.  Despite my challenges, I have to continue to push forward, otherwise I will not see the fullness of His blessings. 

I am also motivated by the young people who look up to me.  They show me that my accomplishments further the realm of possibility that they set for themselves. That pushes me to go further!

What can we look forward to from you in the future?
During my time as Miss New Jersey USA, I had the opportunity to explore the world of broadcasting and entertainment TV.  I absolutely loved it! Currently, I’m working to establish myself as a TV host and broadcast journalist.  
I’m also very excited about my latest project, ROLE MODEL.  The program is focused on enhancing self esteem, as well as providing character development for adolescent girls.  There is also a modeling and fashion component, as many of the girls are interested in pageantry and modeling.  I developed the program because for years, the media and pop culture has been telling our girls that looking a certain way was their number one priority.   I want to help young women learn how to value intelligence and responsibility, as well as how to love themselves from the inside out.

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