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Date Posted: 03/ 9/19 5:52am
This was posted on the Guru board. Very brave, Annie.
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Date Posted: 18:55:05 03/08/19 Fri
Post from the reigning Miss Georgia, Annie Jorgensen. She also shared a video on her profile.
ďAt Miss Georgia Forum last weekend (orientation for Miss Georgia candidates), I was able to share a little about what my experience as Miss Georgia has really been like. I had originally planned not to share this statement on social media because I felt that those who needed to hear it would hear it in person. But, after talking to other state titleholders, I believe this message could benefit contestants around the country and should be heard by anyone interested in holding a similar position. Since giving this speech, the Miss Georgia board and I are taking small steps in the right direction. I've attached the video from last weekend and a transcript of the statement below.
I am not usually one to read directly from a piece of paper while I speak, but I thought it would be appropriate and necessary in this circumstance.
I stand before you today with the goal of preparing 29 women for the job of Miss Georgia. But, I canít do that.
I should be able to offer advice on how you will prepare for Miss America. I donít know how the new board will help you prepare or how the expenses to compete will be handled.
I should be able to have insight on what competing at Miss America is like. But, right now, no one knows where the competition will be, when it will be, or how it will look compared to previous years. My experience was incredible and incredibly frustrating at the same time. My class of women is what made my experience great. The frustration came from the fact that we were learning how we were being judged as the competition progressed. It took the MAO leadership until after preliminaries were over to explain how the new interview award score was broken down Ė after all three awards were already given. What I can tell you about preparing and competing at Miss America is this: In these next three and half months, you are preparing for the job of Miss America Ė not just to compete at Miss Georgia. Spend your time rehearsing, interviewing, and soul searching so you can be the most confident and strongest version of yourself. That way, no matter what changes, what gets you excited or what makes you feel disappointed, you cannot be shaken.
I should be able to offer insight on what the day-to-day job of Miss Georgia is really like. I can share that this year is very much of what you make it. Use your months as Miss Georgia to promote your platform and help best set yourself up to springboard into your career and future. If Miss Georgia continues to be a full-time job, I can tell you that there is a lot of time to fill. Have plans and ideas of what you want to accomplish and what you want to be involved with. My #IGotThis Program, my involvement with the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, and my Sweet Georgia Finds project is how Iíve best figured out to serve my community and prepare me for my future. The title of Miss Georgia is yours to mold into whatever you want it to look like.
I wish I could tell you how the board will help facilitate your appearances, but I have no idea. Honestly, I just met most of these people for the first time yesterday, and I still donít even know who the business manager is. If itís anything like this year, I will tell you that you will set up just as many appearances, if not more, than the board. So, like I said, have a plan of where and how you want to spend your time.
I believe I had a better understanding than most of what it really means to be a state titleholder. Iíve been heavily involved in this organization for over 10 years. Iíve had experience as an Outstanding Teen. I watched my Miss that year become Miss America. Iíve since watched and supported many friends become state titleholders, and even one becoming Miss America. Going into this year, I knew it would be tough, exhausting, lonely, exhilarating, moving, and Ė if I was doing it right Ė busy. This is true, sure. But nothing could have prepared me for this current MAO mess.
From an appearance stand point, I have had the absolute time of my life.
From an administrative stand point, I wouldnít wish this experience on anyone.
Since MAO sent Georgia a termination letter on September 28th, I have been lied to, manipulated, ignored, and used as a pawn, which has left me disregarded and very much caught in the middle.
After we received the termination, the old board had to stop the process of becoming a 501(c)3, and in turn, I lost a $10,000 donation that I acquired that was supposed to cover my school visits throughout this year.
I was never informed that a cease-and-desist was sent in December, prohibiting the new board from communicating with me.
Once that cease-and-desist was lifted and legal notice was sent, I was an after-thought. What very little communication I have had with the new 2.0 board and none from MAO has caused me major concern.
I was not informed that the competition was moving back to Columbus, nor was I invited to the press conference that took place. The only contact I had was being asked for a statement about the competition moving back, and that was late the day before the press conference.
It is my understanding that the $750 monthly stipend and car insurance payment that I have received up until this point will not continue under the new leadership. Now instead of this being a paid position, I will need to use the appearance fees to cover the cost of my insurance and to cover the expenses of required CMNH and Century Club visits.
Speaking of the car, I am very grateful to KIA autosport of Columbus for allowing me to keep the car for the remainder of the year. In my contract release, it was stated that the car must be returned in 7 days Ė a car that is necessary for me to be able to do my job.
I am finishing out this year because I love teaching the I Got This program and working with CMNH patients. I am continuing because of the incredible people who have supported me to get me to where I am today Ė Including the former Miss Georgia board, my Aunt Stacie and especially my mother. And, I am seeing this year through because I have worked too hard to let other people keep me from living my dream.
I say all this not to be seen as a victim or be looked at with pity. I tell you this because I want you to be completely prepared for the job you are applying for. These issues stem from a lack of transparency and communication from Miss America Organization and Miss Georgia 2.0 Board, and I refuse to be a part of the problem.
This weekend, I encourage you all Ė candidates and parents Ė to ask questions. Ask about scholarship and sponsorship. Ask about how expenses throughout the year will be handled. If you have a concern, a question, or a thought Ė I want you to write it down and ask.
I am stronger because of this year, and I wouldnít trade what Iíve experienced for the world Ė not the good, bad, or the ugly. Thank you for listening and thank you to those that have been supportive the whole way through.
This is not the Miss America Organization I recognize, and that breaks my heart.
But, I am not broken.
Miss Georgia 2018
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