About two years ago, I received a message from my childhood swimming instructor, over social media. She wanted to reconnect and asked me if I have ever considered doing a pageant. She encouraged me to consider the idea because she thought I would be a good fit for the International Pageant System. I had people make the suggestion before, but pageants were never anything that I had seriously considered before. I admired and trusted Meg Pulkabek, who was one of North Dakota’s International Pageant Directors, after all, she never let me drowned! Meg was about my age the summer she taught me to swim, but even then had all the qualities of an International Queen. She went on to become Miss North Dakota International 2014.
Over the next few months, I researched the International Pageant System and tried to determine if this was something I wanted to pursue. Meg came to hear me sing at a school event, a few weeks later. When I finished, we had the opportunity to visit more seriously about my decision to participate. I really wanted to make sure this was something I wanted to do with my whole heart. I remember signing the paperwork and feeling both nervous and excited about this new adventure. I honestly have never wavered in my belief that the International Pageant System is where I belong. This feeling has grown with each new experience.
Over the past two years, I have learned that The International System truly does promote and celebrate the accomplishments of women. I have been encouraged and inspired to make a difference in my community and state. I think one of the things that sets the International System apart from other systems is the fact that it is platform based. This gives women from across the world an opportunity to promote their passion. I have had people ask me why I did not choose to participate in a system that has a talent category, so I would have the opportunity to sing. My response to that is that I still have the opportunity to sing, but I get to do so much more as I promote my platform.
Meg was my first International Pageant role model, but since then I have had the opportunity to get to know so many other amazing women from this system. The thing that all these women have in common is a selfless giving heart and a sincere desire to make a difference in the world around them. I appreciate the values of faith, family and integrity that the International System exemplifies. The friendships that have developed from this sisterhood are something I will always treasure. I have always been encouraged to be the best version of myself.
Yours in Harmony, Payton Hausauer Miss Teen North Dakota 2017