Harriet Tubman once said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. You have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” To understand the true power of a dream I must introduce you to a little girl, from a small town in upstate New York, who is currently living her Dream as Miss Rodeo New York 2015.
While all the other boys and girls were dressing up as scary monsters and Disney princesses she was putting on her cowgirl hat and wrangler jeans to make her first appearance as Miss Rodeo America. Although not many of the kids knew who or what she was at first, she made sure to show them.
Her passion for animals was one that never faded. Growing up she was an active member of 4H and spent countless hours outdoors with her animals. From turkey vultures to her favorite horse, Jaguar, there were very few animals she found that did not spark her interest.
Even though she constantly surrounded herself with a variety of animals, nothing quite compared to her love for horses and the professional sport of rodeo. Growing up with parents that were involved in professional rodeo, it felt as though it was instilled in her heart long before she could remember.
I am proud to say that I was that little girl and although I may have grown up, she is still in my heart. She is my motivation to achieve my goals. Every time I enter an arena I am not only riding for myself but also for the little girl who never gave up on her dreams. Not only do I strive to be the cowgirl that I dreamed of since such a young age but I also want to be the cowgirl every little girl can look up.
On November 8th, 2014 I was crowned Miss Rodeo New York, a day that changed my life forever. I never imaged that such a timid and reserved girl could have grown into the person I am today. Every time I give a public speech, I think back to the times I would get nervous giving a presentation to a small class in High School. There is nothing more empowering than knowing what this title has done for me. Not only do I represent the Empire State of New York through the professional sport of rodeo but also I stand for the little girls who are just like me. I truly believe, from the bottom of my heart, that everyone is capable of conquering their goals as long as you are willing to embrace the challenges that come with it.
Throughout my year I have traveled across to the country to places I had never imaged I would go including, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Of all of my experiences, some of my most cherished moments have been in the middle of the arena, on horseback, holding the American Flag. There was only a small oopsey at the beginning of my year when my horse decided to try out for the role of being Trigger during the National Anthem, this event gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “please rise for the singing of our national anthem”.
When push comes to shove, I would not be where I am today without the help of my community, family, friends, and sponsors. There has never been a day in my life that I was ever discouraged from chasing my dreams, no matter how big or ambitious they were. My Mother in particular has been the driving force behind my accomplishments, growing up she was my greatest role model and is now my biggest fan.