John, Jason, and Jennifer,
Wow! Where do I begin when reflecting on my amazing experience with the Vannatta family? To simply have the honor to represent not only the state of Missouri, but also to have the added bonus of finding and becoming part of the Vannatta family all in one year’s time is still mind-boggling to me! My heart is filled with such respect and complete gratitude to the Vanbros family for not only becoming my rock of strength and wisdom during my reign as their state titleholder, but also being my #1 fans in preparing me mentally, physically, and emotionally for the national competition. But, the biggest aspect of this opportunity is that they loved ME as a person, not as a delegate, not as a titleholder, not as their second national winner, but simply as a young woman who took a chance at a new challenge!
I remember sitting in John’s office, which can be a bit overwhelming in itself, and seeing Keylee’s national crown and thinking to myself… if only I could make it to top 10, top 5, and then to be the last woman standing on that stage!! You see, for me, to make it that far based on nothing more than who I am and what I have shown these people over the last couple of weeks… it is still such an incredible concept and an even more incredible journey!
To me, the Vannatta’s will and have always been more than state producers and even more than friends. They are a part of who I am, who I have become, and the kind of person I strive to be! It extends far beyond the faces you see on their website. Their success is evident by the number of past titleholders that continue to support their pageants each and every year, along with the parents that give their energy and funds merely for their daughters to return simply for the experience. All of these people are part of my memories when I think of my pageant experience. I am just one out of thousands of girls that have been positively influenced by the Vannatta’s dedication to touching lives.
They have such a wonderful gift of supporting young woman and giving them a vehicle to pursue their personal goals and interests through this competition. Their everlasting friendship, open door, and giving hearts have been the biggest unexpected blessing in my life. I could have never imagined that from this one event in my life, I would be given so much guidance, support, and love! I am a better person for knowing and having been a part of the Vanbros family and thank them for showing me such an astonishing amount of respect, friendship, love and commitment through the years that has extended far beyond my reign as Miss Teen USA and Miss Missouri Teen USA 2001. I will always be grateful for the intangible feelings and memories they have given me, not to mention the photos! But also for enabling the greatest opportunities of my life to unfold and shape my life! I will always love you guys and do what I can to make sure that other women have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to better themselves, meet lifelong friends, and find their full potential through Vanbros!
Miss Missouri Teen USA 2001
MISS TEEN USA 2001