And the winner is…

This weekend I had the privilege and honor of judging the Miss Colorado Job’s Daughter pageant.

For those that don’t know me well, let me back up for a minute. From when I was 11 to when I was 20 I was very active in an organization called Job’s Daughters. It is a masonic youth group for girls — kind of like a sorority for the jr. high and high school age group. Job’s is a wonderful organization that teaches leadership skils, public speaking ability, and a wealth of other valuable skills. The meetings are filled with traditions that emphasize and teach important life virtues. The basis of the organization and its teachings is the Book of Job in the Bible. I can’t even begin to tell you what a positive impact my membership in Job’s has had in my life. Through this organization I have met some of the most incredible people and gained so much confidence and grace. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if I had missed out on all the amazing experiences and friendships I acquired during my time in Job’s.

MCJD 2000-2001 When I was 17 I was crowned Miss Colorado Job’s Daughter 2000-2001. (That’s me in that blurry picture at my outgoing pageant – my last night at MCJD.) It was one of the best nights of my life. I know it sounds like a beauty pageant, but it’s very much not a beauty pageant at all. The MCJD pageant is a competition of the best Jobies representing cities all over the state. They are tested on their knowledge of the organization (bylaws, teachings, etc.) and public speaking ability and how well they will represent our organization. There are various parts of the competition during Pre-Pageant, the morning of the pageant. Then at the actual Pageant, each contestant must answer an impromptu question which is judged, and this score is added to their scores from Pre-Pageant to determine the top 5 finalists. The top 5 must then answer a more in-depth impromptu question, usually about a major aspect of the organization or how they would promote Job’s if they were chosen as Miss Colorado Job’s Daughter. It’s really a competition to find the best of the best, as the winner will represent the entire state of Jobies for the next year, including going on to compete for Miss International Job’s Daughter (there are Job’s Daughters in 5 countries) the following summer.

Earlier this year I was asked to be a judge in this year’s pageant. This is such an honor, I can’t even begin to tell you. To have a part in selecting the next MCJD … it was awesome. I had such a great time spending the day at a competition I know inside and out (I competed 3 or 4 times before the year I won), but being there on the other side of the operation. It was all the thrill of the competition with way less stress.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there was still stress. A very important decision rested partially on my shoulders, and I really, really didn’t want to mess it up. Of course, I wasn’t the only judge, and my scores were averaged with the other judges’ scores, so I couldn’t mess anything up too much. But still, I doubted myself in my ability to judge these girls (some of whom I knew, some of whom I’d never met) objectively without letting my own personal bias get in the way. Luckily even the girls that I knew, I didn’t know all that well, so it wasn’t too difficult to judge fairly and objectively.

Cassandra, who was crowned MCJD 2006-2007, really, really deserved to win. She did an outstanding job in every part of the competition, and she will truly represent the Jobies of Colorado well over the next year.

From a non-objective standpoint, I did get to know Cassie and her dad during my last years as a member, and the two of them are incredibly dedicated to the organization. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Cassie mature and grow as a Jobie, and I can say from personal experience (which I honestly did not let affect the way I scored her) that she is a great asset to the organization. I am so happy for her.

Being a Pageant judge was such a great experience for me, and I really hope I’ll be asked to come back and judge in future years. There’s something really incredible about being a part of giving someone something that will completely change her life just as it changed mine so many years ago.

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