Miss Teen Texas International Savannah Wahrer Arrives in Jacksonville, FL, for the Miss Teen International Pageant!

How exciting it is to be here in Jacksonville, Florida! I can’t wait to compete! It is such an honor to be representing the great state of Texas!!!

My journey has been incredible since I was crowned Miss Teen Texas International. I have truly enjoyed promoting my platform-Saving Our Best Friends. I love bringing awareness to my community about the importance of adopting shelter animals, spaying and neutering your dogs and cats, and supporting canine groups that train shelter dogs to be service animals for Veterans. This has all been a dream come true!

I have also had the opportunity to promote my platform in other communities in Texas such as Abilene, Houston, Golden, Dallas, Hearne, and College Station. It is such a warm feeling inside to know that I have had a direct impact on saving one more shelter animal.

The International System has allowed me to use my title as a megaphone and really get out and promote what I strongly believe in. I’m so excited to be here and I can’t wait to see what this week holds in store for me!

Savannah Wahrer
Miss Teen Texas International

Savannah arrived in Jacksonville, FL, early to cheer her sister queen, Mrs. Texas International Farabe' Algor, on to her new title as Mrs. International 2015!

Savannah arrived in Jacksonville, FL, early to cheer her sister queen, Mrs. Texas International Farabe’ Algor, on to her new title as Mrs. International 2015!

Miss Teen Texas International Heads to the Teen International Pageant in Jacksonville, FL

Wow … I can’t believe it is already time to leave for Jacksonville early tomorrow morning!  I’M SO EXCITED!  I consider it a true blessing to have been crowned Miss Teen Texas International 2015.  I’ve had some awesome experiences and met some wonderful people.  As a Native Texan, I cherish this opportunity to represent my great state at the National Pageant!

I’d first like to thank God for breathing life into me and putting me on my path.  Thank You for all the blessings You have given to me and allowing me to live in the most awesome country in the world.

I’d like to thank my parents – especially my Momma.  Thank you both for making the commitment to me so I can be in the pageant.  Thank you for always keeping me on the top of your priority list – I know you have sacrificed a lot for me over the past few months.  Thank you for being my parent when I need one and a friend to me always.  You both have showered me in love and support and I thank you very much.

Also very high on my list is my Texas Pageant Director, Rachel.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect when this journey began a few months ago.  You have always been willing to be patient with me, and have given me the guidance I needed to hear at exactly the right time.  I am so impressed by your spirit and the zest you have for life.  Thank you for giving me the gift of your friendship.

A big “Thank You” goes to Queen Mum Pam, my predecessor Jahnavi, the other former Queens Whitney & Savannah, as well as the current Queens Farabe’ & Elise.  Your support, guidance, and sweet words of encouragement have truly meant the world to me.  I appreciate all of you!

I’d like to also say “THANK YOU” to the team of consultants and pageant sponsors that I am so very fortunate to have had help to prepare me for this week.  To my pageant coach Valerie – thank you for helping me to gain the confidence and skills needed for my interview – I hope I remember everything you have taught me and I make you proud!  To my walking coach Carlotta – you’ve taught me more about stage presence & grace in a few sessions than I’ve learned in all my 16 years.  To my style consultant Laine – thank you for helping me to develop a visual brand for myself that I truly adore.  To my cosmetic coach Sheila – thank you for taking the time to teach this 16 year old not only how to properly apply cosmetics, but also the importance of good nutrition and skin care.  Thank you to my awesome hair stylists Juan & Joe w/Satori Salon – Y’all are worth every minute of the drive from DFW to Houston because I love, love, love my hair style!  To my photographer Kerry – you have such an amazing ability to make me look my best in print – thank you for taking the time to get everything “just right” for me.  To my print consultant, Corrie w/Paper Patina – thank you for doing such an awesome job designing the print work because it couldn’t have turned out better!

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Richardson’s for sponsoring the International Pageant System.  When I was talking to my parents several months ago about submitting an application for a pageant, they said they were willing to make the commitment with me on the condition that I was able to find a pageant line that encouraged some type of volunteer work.  They wanted me to invest time in doing service work that I could commit to, learn from, and would be a benefit to our community.  People sometimes think a pageant is all about how pretty the girls are in their gorgeous outfits … and although those things are important, there’s more to it.  I’ve learned that beauty is not only measured on outward appearances but also what is in your heart.

Looking forward to a fabulous week!

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

Savannah gets a little help from some of her best friends as she leaves for the Teen International Pageant!

Savannah gets a little help from some of her best friends as she leaves for the Teen International Pageant!

Miss Texas International Elise Banks Readies for the Miss International Pageant with Heartfelt Gratitude

My heart could not be more filled and my eyes can not be filled with more tears as I reflect on all the love and support that I received at my send-off party last night. To think of everyone who has been there for me during this experience, that has been 12 years in the making, is overwhelming! This post may be lengthy, but I want to make sure I acknowledge all those who have been such an encouragement to me.

First off, I want to thank my Lord and Savior as He has trusted me with the job of being Miss Texas International. He knew before I was even born that I would have this opportunity, and I feel so incredibly blessed by the people He has put in my life for such a time as this!

To my parents, thank you, thank you, thank you! I couldn’t have asked for better role models as I walked on this earth for the last 27 years. You both have gone over and beyond to help me be successful and I am eternally grateful. My prayer is that I can inspire my future children as you have inspired me. I love you, Mom & Dad!

To my extended family: I love each and every one of you. You don’t get to pick your family, but I’m so glad God put me in this family. From my Edwards side to my Banks side, thank you for everything you all have done for me!

The International System: To the Richardsons- You have created such an amazing and top notch pageant system. I have never felt so welcomed and surrounded with such talented, passionate and intelligent women as I have with he girls of this system!

To my director, Rachel. Thank you for all that you do and all of your encouraging words. You have guided me and continue to help me put things in perspective. I am so glad that you are my director as I couldn’t have a better person to prep me for nationals!

Savannah, Rachael, Whitney, Jahnavi & Alyssa- Y’all left huge shoes to fill! Thank you for the encouraging words you have sent me. I am proud to be in this sisterhood!

To Farabe’ & Savannah: I’m so excited to be sharing this year with you two! You are both such positive and beautiful spirits and I am blessed by your lives and what you have done for our communities.

To my pageant sponsors: Valerie Hayes- you have seen me grown from a shy 16 year old girl to the woman I am today! The foundation of my interview skills came from you and have given me the confidence to walk into any room and know how to handle challenging situations. You always keep me on my toes, and I am better because of it!

Laine Berry- thank you for helping me create the “Sasha Fierce” brand! You challenged me to step out of the box for nationals, and I am so glad that I did! I can’t wait to be on stage with the wardrobe that you helped me put together!

Ms. Rupa- You are truly a gift from God. Your talent is impeccable. You will always have a fan in me! Thank you for making sure all of my wardrobe fits me beautifully!

Sheila- I can’t put into words who amazing you are! Your talent allows me to feel confident on the outside, but you have also given me the tools to feel confident on the inside too! Thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me to go for the Miss Texas title! Love you!

Kerry Beyer- Thank you for the beautiful pictures. You are an awesome photographer! I still look at my pictures and squeal “That’s me!”

Carlotta Lennox- You are gorgeous and striking! I can’t wait to strut my stuff on the runway next week! Thank you for giving me the space to be me while demonstrating the importance of stage presence!

Juan Cao, Joe Farina & the entire staff at Satori: I always love my the days I get to come to the salon. You each make me feel so welcome, and I always know my hair is going to look fabulous!

Suzy Bootz: I really enjoyed reading your book and all of your inspirational messages! May God continue to give you the words to write to encourage others in their preparation for pageants and for life!

To NAMI, H.U.G.S. for Autism, Crisis Intervention, Family Service Center of Greater of Houston and all of the other organizations I’ve worked with, I am honored to be affiliated with such amazing organizations. My platform Healthy Mind-Successful Life is extremely important to me and I’m so glad we all get to collaborate to advocate for mental health.

To my boss, Evan Weinberger: Thank you for everything you do and accommodating my crazy schedule! The work that we do with students is a gift that I am so glad I get to give to others!

To my church family at Lakewood: Your prayers and support have given me peace and the strength to move forward when I didn’t know if I would make it.

To my Friends: You’ve seen my ups and downs but always stand by my side. Thank you for the laughs, the memories, and for everything that’s ahead!

I really hope I didn’t leave anyone out! I couldn’t leave for Florida tomorrow without saying THANK YOU!

Ok Team Texas… It’s time to bring home the crown! Let’s go!

God Bless,

Elise Banks
Miss Texas International 2015

With my #1 supporter, my mom!

With my #1 supporter, my mom!

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Mrs. Texas International Farabe’ Algor Arrives at Mrs. International Pageant in Jacksonville, FL

Since being crowned in March, I have hit the ground running making meaningful appearances for my platform, Beyond Glory- Supporting our Veterans. I have been blessed to not only travel around Texas, but I have also had the opportunity to meet thousands of veterans in other states, as well, including: Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

Yesterday, I arrived in Florida for the Mrs. International competition week and couldn’t be more grateful than I am right now to have a system that truly strives to make a positive difference in our world. Since arriving, I have met so many amazing women from across the world that I have enjoyed having fellowship with and learning about the causes that are near to their own hearts. The International Pageant System celebrates women and the amazing change we can make in this world.  I already feel that I am surrounded by so much positive energy.

My husband — my favorite veteran and the reason behind my platform — arrives on Wednesday night. I will probably jump into his arms because I am so excited for him to get here and experience this whole thing with me! I am forever grateful for his hard work and determination to provide for our family. I am so lucky that I have a supportive husband who stands beside me, not in front of or behind me, in life.

Tonight is the official kick-off to the week and I’m so ready! Thank you to all who have supported me and gotten me to where I am right now!
Until the mission is complete,

Farabe’ Algor

Mrs. Texas International 2015

Here I am at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville for the Mrs. International Pageant!

Here I am at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville for the Mrs. International Pageant!

Miss Texas International visits Family Service Center

As a part of my Healthy Mind-Successful Life platform, my goal is to provide insight on resources that are available to those who may be struggling. On Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet the staff and take a tour of the Family Service Center of Greater Houston. The experience was very informative to me, as I have always referred my patients there for counseling. However, I found out that they offer many other services that are beneficial for individuals and families. Here are a few that really stood out to me (although all of their programs are amazing!):
1. Caregiver Support Group: As I work with patients, and in the appearances I have been making as Miss Texas International, I recognize the amount of stress that caregivers are under. They are typically overlooked as the majority of the attention is turned to the identified patient. This group is a great resource for caregivers to learn coping strategies and support one another in the difficult work that they do every day.
2. Financial Stability Program: Wouldn’t it be great if money grew on trees? Well, it does not! Which is why it is so important to know what to do with the money you make. This program is for individuals and families of any income. Coaching is provided to learn how to budget, set financial goals and manage debt and stress. An increasing percentage of stress in families and couples is due to financial issues, so this is a great way to help eliminate the problem!
3. Co-Parenting & Family Life Classes: I think it is interesting that people are expected to know how to be a parent and yet instruction manuals are not given to parents when they have their baby at the hospital! These classes provide parents with the tools they need to know how to better communicate with their children, set boundaries and build strong relationships.
There are so many great programs that are offered at Family Services of Greater Houston including veteran services, substance abuse prevention, employment services and support groups. Many of these services are at no cost or are covered by insurance. For additional information, check out the organization’s website at www.familyhouston.org.
I personally want to thank all the staff the work at the different locations. To be able to provide people with their basic needs is truly a special, and Houston is blessed to be able to have such an amazing resource.
Stay healthy!
Elise Banks
Miss Texas International 2015
Thank you for all you do to help people achieve healthy minds and successful lives, Family Services!

Thank you for all you do to help people achieve healthy minds and successful lives, Family Services!

Miss Teen Texas International Joins with the American Heart Association at Taste of Dallas

Your Miss Teen Texas International Savannah Wahrer was a part of the American Heart Association fun zone at the Taste of Dallas. Read on to find out more about her day promoting Go Red for Women!

On Sunday, June 14, 2015, I had the honor of attending the “Taste of Dallas” at Fair Park.  This event is a gathering of over 70 restaurants and allows guests to sample food from many different cultures & ethnic backgrounds.  Also represented at the event were groups specializing in fitness, nutrition, and healthy choice options.  The American Heart Association (AHA) was at the event and I had the honor of working with them.

At this event, the AHA focused on heart healthy education and raising awareness of heart disease.  Representatives of the AHA were on hand to discuss how to prevent heart attacks and what a person should do if they think they are having one.  Something I learned is that if a person thinks they are having an issue with their heart, they should not drive themselves to the hospital and they should immediately call 911.

The AHA also has a “Go Red for Women” campaign (goredforwomen.org).  This campaign was developed to help raise awareness that the number one killer of women is heart disease.  Currently, one out of every five women will have heart disease, and over 90% will have one or more risk factors that may lead to heart disease.  It is in this area that I hope to help raise awareness among my fellow teens so they can learn to make healthier lifestyle choices now instead of waiting to become one of the statistics.
Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

Miss Teen Texas has heart!  Savannah shows how fun heart health can be at the Taste of Dallas.

Miss Teen Texas has heart! Savannah shows how fun heart health can be at the Taste of Dallas.