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Imagine Prep alumni crowned Miss Arizona

Holler+even+brought+her+crown+in+for+the+students+to+see.
Holler even brought her crown in for the students to see.

Holler even brought her crown in for the students to see.

Hallie Parke

Hallie Parke

Holler even brought her crown in for the students to see.

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The lights are blinding, the crowd falls silent, and the MC speaks into the mic. He announces that MaddieRose Holler, Miss North Phoenix, is now Miss Arizona 2017. And just like that your whole life changes, at least it did for Maddie Holler.

The Imagine prep alumni sat down for an interview to discuss her role as Miss Arizona and her time competing for Miss America.

Q: How long have you been participating in pageants for the state of Arizona?

A: So I got started in pageantry when I was thirteen years old. It wasn’t through the Miss America organization but that was kind of a stepping stone to what led me to Miss America. And when I was fifteen years old I got involved with the Miss America organization. Through the Miss America organization, was the preliminary competition then to the national stage and I found out about their teen program so that was Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen. I, at the time, was really looking for scholarship money and that happened to be a really great avenue to do that. So I competed and by a struck of luck, I won my very first time so I was Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen in 2013 and, because of all the wonderful experiences I gained that year and the amazing connections and people I met, I decided that at the end of the year, when I gave up my title, that I had to come back and to compete for Miss Arizona so I did that as soon as I was eligible and I was first Miss North Phoenix, I’ve competed for two years in the Miss Arizona organization and it wasn’t until this year as Miss Peoria that I won the title as Miss Arizona and got to have the opportunity to go to Miss America.

 

Q: What process did you go through the nights leading up to and the night you won Miss Arizona?

A: We have something called preliminary competitions and at Miss Arizona that’s essentially the base of your scores to led you up to finals night because we have to do cuts and we usually do a top 15 so in order to get that top 15 scoring, you have to go through all the phases of competitions so we start with what everybody calls the basis of the job, which is the interview process. They can ask us anything that they want, anything that’s on our platform statement, which is about our service and what we would like to advocate for as Miss Arizona and then our resume which talks about our accomplishments, our education, what we would like to do with the title, things of that nature and anything else that is within current events or politics or they’re just really curious to ask us. And then after that, we do the phases of competition which includes swimsuit, evening gown, and on stage questions. And talent, of course, because talent is what sets Miss America apart from others.

Miss Arizona, and former Imagine Prep student, MaddieRose Holler visited the Prep to have a sit down interview with student journalists.

Q: What was going through your head or how did you feel when they announced you were Miss Arizona 2017?

A: Well it’s always crazy when they do the cuts because, what happens on finals night when you are in the top five, is you pick a question from the fishbowl and you have no clue what this question is; it’s always going to be a current event question so it’s kind of one of those times where you’re like, ‘okay what can they possibly ask me?’ but then you are just kind of running through emotions and adrenaline and you just do it. And then you kind of black out after that, you’re like, ‘did I answer the question? I think I did,’ But then after that point they’re announcing the runners up and I was the last two standing with one other girl, who was Miss Phoenix this year. And it’s just crazy because you don’t know necessarily what’s going to happen. We had the lovely Kira Kazantsev, who was Miss America 2015 MCing this year’s Arizona competition. And everyone does that really long pause that feels like forever to announce the winner so we just didn’t know what was going to happen but when they did announce the fact that she was first runner up and that I had won, it was just kind of a moment where all of my hard work came to fruition. I again blacked out because of the fact that I was just super excited. I have a video, from my directors and also from the videographer from Miss Arizona and I just remember, I was like flailing my arms and making weird faces and I was just so so happy in that moment because it was kind of one of those things that you dream about for a long time and then it actually happens and it’s the craziest thing but it’s the most amazing thing that could have ever happened and I’m really fortunate that in my second year of competing, I was able to accomplish that.

 

Q: What types of things do you do or types of things you attend as Miss Arizona? Do you get invited or is it your choice to pick what you attend?

A: So Miss Arizona is applicable for bookings, and that’s the beauty of being Miss Arizona is you get the opportunity to travel and work with so many different organizations and foundations and businesses. It kinda just depends. We also work with a number of our sponsors that Miss Arizona has but as Miss Arizona on a philanthropic standpoint, we each have our own service platform; so mine is supporting our military and their families. So I do a lot of work with military organizations as well as the organization that I led, which is Military support groups, and as Miss Arizona you also serve as a state Goodwill ambassador to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, our local hospitals are Phoenix Childrens hospitals and the Tucson Medical Center so I do a lot of work with them.

 

Q: How does this title affect your college life? Does it provide benefits or challenges? How do you plan to use this experience in and after college?

A: For me, it’s been super beneficial because of the fact that I get to earn scholarship money to be able to fund my college education. As someone who comes from a low income family and just knew from the time that I was a freshman in highschool that I really needed to reel in the resources to be able to do that. It’s been very important and impactful in doing that so far. I’m debt free at ASU, which is really wonderful. I do have financial aid and different Merit scholarships but Miss Arizona is paying that dreadful gap that people have to pay out of pocket usually, but Miss Arizona takes care of that. It can be a challenge as far as if you want to do it concurrently with being Miss Arizona. Usually state title holders will take time off to be a full time advocate for their platforms, work with the sponsors and other organizations because Miss Arizona truly is a full time job and your pay is the scholarship money you are being rewarded. Out of the years that I have been involved with the Miss Arizona organization, I have earned nearly $18,000 in scholarships.

Holler competed in the Miss America competition back in September.

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