Miss Teen Texas International Gracie Hunt Focuses on Her Blessings

This morning, I woke up counting my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for each and every day, but today I am especially grateful for the love and support of my family. As I pack and prepare to leave for the Miss Teen International competition in Jacksonville, Florida, I am continually reminded of the blessing of a strong support system. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a light and have a voice as Miss Teen Texas International this year. I pray each day that I might run the race that Christ has set before me to the best of my ability [Hebrews 12:1]. Each and every person has a platform. A chance to love, serve, and reach out to others. It doesn’t take a title or a special degree to have a voice and make a difference. I think God places people, moments and possibilities in our lives every single day. It is our job to recognize and make the most of those moments.

I am a better person in every way for the road, preparation, and process that pageantry has led me through. I’ve discovered much about myself and caring for others, and the world around me. One of my favorite things about the International system is the focus on service. Breaking Barriers Through Sports is my cause, and I’ve discovered that there is no better exercise for the heart then bending down and lifting others up. I want to thank my amazing state director, Rachel Hedstrom, my sister queens, Kory Zwaagstra and Taylor Ashworth, and Valerie Hayes for all the ways she has poured into me. I also want to thank Mary Richardson for the opportunity that she’s given me and everyone blessed to participate in this system, to better myself and impact the world around me.

I am especially excited to have the chance to meet the wonderful young women who will grace the stage to bring light and awareness to their causes  to be the change we want to see in the world. It’s these new friends who give me inspiration and hope for the future. I know that we will make wonderful memories together and will all go on to impact the world in special ways. Of course, we all hope to win the title of Miss Teen International, but only one will walk away with the crown. The only way for everyone to leave satisfied is to make the most of the experience, treasure the week, and rest in God’s sovereignty and plan.

One woman can make a difference, but together we can rock the world!

Blessings,
Gracie Hunt
Miss Teen Texas International 2016
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Miss Teen Texas International Celebrates Independence Day

Gracie July 4th

Happy 4th of July! July brings back memories of parades, watermelon eating contests, water balloon wars, taking in fireworks with my family, and remembering those who gave and continue to give their lives for something more than themselves. The safety and freedom of this incredible nation are owed completely to the brave men and women who sacrifice so much in order that we might enjoy a free country. The founding fathers established an institution where the people hold the power-but with great power comes great responsibility. As Peter Marshall said, “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” As stewards of the power entrusted to us, it is important to remember to use the voice you have to leave the world a better place than you found it.

As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the birth of America, I hope that everyone remembers the sacrifice, courage, and hope that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and others clung to. They believed that “all men are created equal” and “endowed with certain unalienable rights,” including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Envisioning a country which placed the voice in the voter’s hands was unprecedented at that time in history. And the freedom that our troops fight for is a gift to be cherished each and every day. Enjoy watching fireworks with your families this Independence Day and remember how blessed you are!

Miss Teen Texas International Gracie Hunt Gives a Shout-out to Her Dad

Gracie June blogSummer is here! I cannot believe that school is out. Summer is my favorite time of year. I love the warm days, the endless adventures, and the many opportunities to love and serve others. I had an incredible time at the Texas Special Olympics a few weeks ago. The athletes have such amazing heart, dedication, and passion. They never cease to amaze me with what they achieve, and always make me want to push myself one step further than I thought I could take. It is by taking those steps of uncertainty that we grow. It is in reaching beyond the confines of your comfort zone that you achieve success. As I wake up each day, I realize more and more the truth in that life is not about achieving an end dream, but about relishing in each and every chance to love fully–to fully embrace the beautiful moment between two eternities that we have been given to make an impact on this earth.

Among the many blessings that I am so thankful for is my father. He instilled the values of integrity, hard work, and compassion in me from the time I was a child. Additionally, he kindled my love for the game of soccer. Both in coaching and caring for me, he has shown me what it means to believe in yourself and pursue your dreams, no matter what others tell you. In this month of celebrating dads, don’t forget to thank your father, or someone who has been like a father to you, for believing in you. I know that without my dad, I would certainly not be the person that I am today. My dad now is adapting to an additional role of “the pageant father,” and I think that he rather enjoys seeing me in my crown, sash, and heels just as much as he loves my turquoise soccer cleats and braided pony tail.

I hope that this summer brings much love and joy, as well as many opportunities to go out into your own community and make a difference! If you would like to contact me, please email me at missteentxintl2016@gmail or follow my journey on social media: Facebook: Miss Teen Texas International and Instagram: missteentxintl

Gracie Hunt

Miss Teen Texas International 2016

Meet Gracie Hunt, Your Miss Teen Texas International 2016

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Gracie Hunt was crowned Miss Teen Texas International on April 10th at the Granville Arts Center in Garland, Texas.  She is a high school student at Ursuline Academy in Dallas.

Hello! My name is Gracie Hunt. I am seventeen years old and attend The Ursuline Academy of Dallas. I enjoy taking my golden retriever puppy running, hiking high mountains, and spending time with my friends and family. In addition, soccer is one of my greatest joys and passions. My dad taught me to play as soon as I could stand on my own two feet. 

Pageantry has been a dream of mine for many years. My Mom has a legacy in pageantry, and I believe that her experience and love for what it taught her kindled my desire to follow in her footsteps. My official training began nine weeks ago, when I decided to compete in Miss Teen Texas International. Through dedication, hard work, and the constant reminder that with God all things are possible, I worked each and every day, preparing myself to be the best that I possibly could. I am so honored, thankful, and blessed to hold the title of Miss Teen Texas International 2016, and hope to use this opportunity to bring awareness to my platform: Breaking Barriers Thru Sports. 

Gracie Hunt

Miss Teen Texas International 2016

Miss Teen Texas International Urges You to Keep Your Pets Safe

LostDog

There are so many ways to prevent a missing pet. Here are some good prevention tips!

1. Be sure to collar, tag, and chip your pet.  Even if your pet is never out of your care, it’s always a good idea to make sure they can find a way home if they get lost.
2. This may be something you’ve never thought about but, safe transportation of your pet is important too.  Some animals can become lost during traffic accidents and you’ll never see them again. It has also been known for some cats to claw their way out of cages and other things.
3. Keep current photos of your pet on hand and ready just in case they get lost. Be sure to also prepare a lost pet kit to have ready (including flyers).
4. While you’re outside with your pet, be sure to show your neighbors. If your pet gets lost and they find them, they can return them to you.
5. Train your pet to stay inside or to stay in your front yard. You can do this yourself or for more stubborn pets you can hire a dog trainer.

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

Keep Your Furbabies Safe This Holiday Season, Says Miss Teen Texas International Savannah Wahrer

Savannah Dec

I’m proud that my family includes many furry friends. Make sure to keep yours safe this holiday season!

Over the holidays it is important to “pet proof” your house. Keeping your decorations away from your animals reach can make the holidays safe and fun for your pets. Here are a few tips to follow.

Keep children’s toys out of your dog’s mouth.  Puppies like to be puppies and might unintentionally destroy the things that they can get to.  It’s a good idea to have a few “pet” toys for them to play with so they won’t get bored.  My dogs love to play fetch in the backyard with tennis balls.  This also helps them to “burn off” the never ending energy that they have!

Decorations can be a hazard for animals. Any kind of string, ribbon, tinsel, or bows could be potential problem. If they swallow these things, it could lead to a visit to the vet to deal with vomiting or digestive issues. If any of these items got stuck in their digestive tract, surgery might be needed.

Some holiday plants can be toxic to your pets. Mistletoe, Poinsettias and Holly are naturally toxic and dangerous for dogs and cats. During the holiday season these plants are treated with chemicals to preserve them, and these chemicals are also dangerous for your pet.

Another potential problem can be ornaments on the Christmas tree. Ornaments are sparkly & shiny, which pets are drawn to, especially cats! The ornaments could potentially be something your dog or cat may want to play with, or knock off with their snout/paws. Keep watch of your pet when they are around the Christmas tree.

Human food can be dangerous for your pets too. There are several types of food that are not good for your dogs and cats like chocolate, so it’s best for them to eat their pet food. Our pets love treats! We always keep a bag of treats available for them to enjoy. Pets stores have some really tasty  treats.

I hope you find these few safety tips helpful in keeping your pets safe.  I hope you and your fur-babies have a wonderful Christmas season!

Saving our best friends,

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

 

Miss Teen Texas International Savannah Wahrer encourages everyone to honor veterans all year long

Savannah veterans

In honor of this past Veterans Day, I attended a fundraiser for Honor Flight DFW at the Texas Region Sports Car Club of America.  After taking honorary drives, we were all presented with “trophies.” I had so much fun meeting Mr. Perdue and Mr. Gentry, two great American heroes.

While Veterans Day is a time to honor those among us who were willing to make the ultimate commitment to serve our country, I believe it should not be limited to one day.

There are many easy ways for you to show appreciation for our Veterans year-round:

1) Just say something simple like, “Thank you for your service to our country.” Many Veterans have never actually been told that before and it’s such an easy thing to do.
2) Pay it forward with a random act of kindness and pay for a veteran’s meal the next time you are out to eat or visiting your favorite coffee house.
3) Make a new friend with a Veteran.  Talk to them and ask them about themselves and their families.  Unfortunately, 22 Veterans a day commit suicide due to PTSD and depression from their experiences during wartime.  You’ll never really know if those few kind words you might speak to a Veteran that you meet may just give them a reason to stay alive for another day.
4) Donate some money and volunteer your time to the USO, Wounded Warrior Foundation, 22Kill, Honor Flight, or any of the other many worthy Veteran organizations.
5) Visit your area’s National Cemetery and place flowers and flags on the graves of some of our Veterans who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives during war.
6) Go to a retirement home and spend a few minutes getting to know some Veterans who would love to share their stories with you.
7) Prepare some care packages and send them to some active duty soldiers who are far from home in a foreign land and would appreciate a small gift from home.
8) If you know a Veteran, make it a special occasion to take them out to eat and tell them thank you for what they did for you and your family. Make sure you get the story of their service written down.
9) If you are at the age where you can babysit, offer to volunteer and babysit for free for a Veteran, or for an active-duty military spouse who would appreciate some time to themselves since their loved one is away on duty and they are home alone.
10) Make a promise to yourself to do one nice thing for a Veteran this holiday seasons that you wouldn’t have normally done.  Make that season special for a Veteran.
I would like to take a moment to say a special “Thank You” to my Great Grandfather Pop Wahrer for his service during WWII, and my Grandpa Nick for his service during Vietnam.  I wish I could also say “Thank You” to my family member Veterans who have already passed away like my Grandpa Richard and Great Grandfather Pop Manser – I will meet them someday.  There are so many reasons to be thankful for what we have in this great country and for the protection that our Veterans have provided for us over the years.  Please be sure to show a Veteran your appreciation not only on Veterans Day, but also throughout the year.
Happy holidays, everyone!

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

Miss Teen Texas International Advises Safety for our Furry Friends this Halloween

Saving Our Best Friends, Savannah's platform, encourages a safe - not scary! - Halloween for our best friends.

Saving Our Best Friends, Savannah’s platform, encourages a safe – not scary! – Halloween for our best friends.

Halloween is an exciting holiday for more than just children.  It can also be a fun night for your furry friends by dressing them up and having them be a part of your Trick or Treating escapades.  When coming home from a fun night of filling your candy bag, please be sure to not feed your pets any candy, especially chocolate. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs and cats.  Halloween treats containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also harm them.

Be sure to put your animals up and don’t leave them outside in the front yard. Younger children have been known to pull  pranks and tease any animals that are outside.  You should also be extra careful to keep your black cats in the house during Halloween festivities as they have been known to be taken on occasion.

Dogs can be territorial so it would be good to put them in a safe room to protect them while when opening and closing your door to give candy to trick or treaters.  Kids like to dress up in unusual and sometimes scary costumes and your dog may feel threatened by a child that doesn’t mean any harm.

Another good tip is to not keep lit pumpkins around  your pets — they may not realize what it is and could possibly knock it over and start a fire or get hurt.  Lastly, please be sure to verify that your pet has an ID tag on its collar. If they happen to squeeze out the door at some point during the evening and run off to celebrate their newfound freedom, your chances of getting them returned to you are a lot higher than if they don’t have a way to locate their owner.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

$70,000 Scholarship for Miss Teen Texas International 2016

Just a friendly note from your director…..

College is not cheap. Right, ladies?? Well, if you are interested in competing for the title of Miss Teen Texas International, one of your many prizes will be something very special: a $70,000 college scholarship to Hollins University, with a minimum 3.25 high school GPA and a minimum 24 ACT composite score or 1100 SAT total score (critical reading and math only).

$70,000?  Yes: SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

And it gets even better.  Could there be anything better than $70,000 in scholarship?  Well, yes.  Our next Miss Teen Texas International has the opportunity to represent her cause, travel the state, become the best version of herself while making a difference AND she gets to represent Texas at the Miss Teen International Pageant in Florida in July 2016. That is an incredible opportunity — an honor that will stay with you throughout your life. Whether you place or not, you get a scholarship simply by winning Miss Teen Texas International 2016. Now, if you place at Miss Teen International, you get even MORE scholarship.  And if you win the title of Miss Teen International 2016?  You get a FULL scholarship to Hollins.  As in, all of your tuition is paid. Paid!!!

Talk about being the best, most educated version of yourself!

If you know the International Pageant System, you know it’s about uplifting women and helping them to become even better versions of themselves. What better way for the crown to help you than to give you a life-changing education?

Read this post on the International Pageants blog for all the details: http://theinternationalpageants.blogspot.com/2015/05/miss-teen-international-pageant-hollins.html

Sign up today for your chance to become Miss Teen Texas International 2016!

This beauty can help get you a college education.

This beauty can help get you a college education.

Sparkle and shine, ladies!

Rachel

Executive Director, Texas International Pageants

texasinternationalpageant@gmail.com

Miss Teen Texas International Visits with Girl Scouts

Savannah Sept 1a

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains for the grand opening of their new facility in Southlake recently. It is such a warm and welcoming place!  During our time together we learned how to tie different knots, participated in arts and crafts (we made some REALLY cool spin tops!), enjoyed some fun experiments, and the girls were able to use their “Cookie Bucks” at the Girl Scout store.

From Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes, to Seniors and Ambassadors, these young girls are doing some awesome things! They have so many wonderful events and camps where these girls can develop their leadership skills, character, and help build their confidence.

Just as service to God and our community is a very important part of the International Pageant System, the Girl Scouts also have this same principle.

The Girl Scout Promise
“On my honor, I will try:
To serve God,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

I really enjoyed meeting all of the volunteers, former Girl Scouts, and all the young ladies who are going to shape our future by making a difference in our world!

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015

Savannah Sept 1b Savannah Sept 2 Savannah Sept 4