How does it feel being Miss Alaska USA 2014?
I feel blessed to be Miss Alaska USA 2014. I have the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the largest, most beautiful state in the union at Miss USA. I am thrilled to be living my dream to walk on the Miss USA stage, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. The 3rd time WAS the charm for me! I am excited to put Alaska back on the map this year! Who knows, next stop could be Miss Universe!
Name three things that you value most in life and why.
Three things I value most in life are faith, love of family and friends, and compassion because my faith feeds my soul, my family and friends give me support, and my compassion keeps me inspired.
Describe your idea of bliss.
My “bliss” is spending an afternoon playing dress up and having a tea party with some young girls at the hospital. I’m the director of the first chapter of the “Queen for a Day” nonprofit in Alaska and spending time with these young girls really gives me feelings of joy and a greater purpose. Watching the young girls smile and laugh as they take on their royal roles and forget all their worries for the day truly makes me happy.
How would you promote Alaska to a visitor?
There’s really something for everyone in our great state, and it doesn’t need to be a bucket list destination! It really is a “Big Wild Life” here in Alaska year round! In the summer, I would take visitors on the Alaska Railroad for a scenic trip filled with breathtaking views through mountain passages, past the tallest peaks in North America, and among some fascinating wildlife. For the more adventurous tourists, we could go salmon fishing, zip lining, river rafting down glacier fed rivers, or hiking on one of our many of the beautiful trails! However, folks should NOT avoid Alaska in the winter, especially since we have about 6 months of it! During the winter, I’d take visitors snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, lake ice fishing, snow machining, and even dog mushing. I would want to experience our Midnight Sun and Northern Lights, too. There is so much to see and do in this great state, so they need to come ready for more than a few days to trek across Alaska!
One of my mom’s mantras is “pretty is as pretty does.” I grew up knowing that regardless of what I was wearing or how I looked, my actions and attitude determined the only beauty that counted. I was taught to measure beauty in kindness because the exterior beauty would not get me nearly as far in life as a compassionate, caring heart. So despite the awkward stages, embarrassing haircuts and horrible makeup habits I have always felt “beautiful” on the inside when I treated others with kindness and respect.
Would you ever appear on a reality show? Why or why not?
Hmmm. “Being Bautista?” Nah, I wouldn’t want to be on a reality show filled with drama. However, I wouldn’t mind appearing on one that focused on me learning “how to” do something meaningful, or maybe a reality show one highlighting the people and organizations I have been able to support as Miss Alaska or Miss USA. For example, showing how I am a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I look forward to my weekly visits with my “little sister” at her elementary school, and I would welcome a reality show depicting how rewarding and easy it is to be a significant person in the life of a young person. Just think of the potential impact we could have if a reality show was used to encourage others to get involved and give back in their area. That is a reality show worth its airtime!
If you were to have dinner with three political leaders, who would they be and why?
I have to admit it would be entertaining, albeit dangerous, to have some of our world leaders together for dinner, I think I’d have a better chance building alliances and address issues facing my home state of Alaska. So, I think I’ll dine with Governor Sean Parnell, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich to brainstorm ways to bolster our state’s economy.
What one thing you will never tolerate and why?
I really cannot tolerate mean-spirited behavior. Assertion is one thing, but relational aggression and bullying is quite different. I prefer to associate with positive people who bring out the best in one another.
I am an incurable romantic, so I believe if you are truly in love with someone your whole heart belongs to them and only them.
Do you believe pornography, which is currently protected as "free speech" by Supreme Court rulings, is actually "free speech"?
Although pornography is currently protected as “free speech” under our Constitution, I personally think the industry needs to exercise better responsibility in safeguarding our youth and young children from exposure before they are emotionally mature enough to handle it. I don’t think it’s the “free speech” the framers of our Constitution quite had in mind. I think they would probably prefer we left a lot more to the imagination!
What is your definition of an ethical person?
I believe an ethical person is someone who acts and speaks with honesty and integrity.
Critics say that the Wal-Mart chain is killing our nation's mom-and-pop-shops. Would you like to see restraints on large chains to protect family-owned businesses?
I am not really in favor of government regulations restraining big box stores from creating jobs. Wal-Mart was actually the fulfillment of Sam Walton’s American dream. Living in Alaska, I have always welcomed the opening of big named franchises to our state, knowing it would bring more variety of products and lower costs, as well as more jobs. One thing Alaskans hate to hear when ordering online is the “free shipping rates ONLY apply to the United States!” Hello! Alaska is part of the USA, and our star on the flag should count, too!!
I think one of my wildest dreams for an ideal career would have me as part of the writing team at Saturday Night Live!! It would enjoy the opportunity to write witty skits and see them performed by their talented cast of comedians! Talk about a fun work place – I can only imagine how entertaining it must be to work on set with the cast members like Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Keenan Thompson, and the list goes on and on.
What is America’s greatest quality?
I think the diversity of the people who have come together to make this country is one of our greatest and most beautiful qualities of our nation. No other country in the free world has so many people of different cultures and backgrounds united under one constitution that offers so much hope and opportunity for individual citizens!
Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?
Growing up I was incredibly shy. I was that girl that looked at her feet when she walked down the hallways at school, and went straight to my next class! In high school I watched the Miss Universe pageant on TV for the first time and I admired the poise and confidence of the beautiful women from around the world on stage, and made it my goal right then and there to get to on that stage! Participating in pageants helped me develop my own self-confidence and I want to be that inspiration to other young girls watching on TV. As Miss USA I will challenge women across the country to be the best possible versions of themselves - shining from the inside out! I want to be the Miss USA who inspires others to be more compassionate and caring individuals who use our abilities and talents to make our country even better. The title is temporary, but the impact I can make while I wear it has incredible potential to bring attention to many worthy causes of the organization, nation, and world.
FLAG OF ALASKA