Some of Meeka's Published Interviews
A sample of published interviews.
Tiara Magazine 2019 Moscow 2017 Commercial Newspaper 2017
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Tiara Magazine Interview 2018 at age 7
Tiara Magazine: Please tell us about yourself.
(Who you are outside of the pageant world) Hello and thank you for this opportunity with Tiara Magazine. My name is Meeka. I am a humanitarian and community volunteer, making appearances, and attending events. With or without a crown, I am known for being a queen of people’s hearts, always ready to lend a helping hand. I am a fashion icon who likes going on exciting new adventures.
Tiara Magazine: What inspired you to do your first pageant? I was invited to attend Miss America’s Miss Local Pageant when I was four. I was mesmerized by every moment. In my head and heart I wanted each girl to win. I stayed for the full Pageant and insisted on waiting for Every. Single. Girl. - as my mommy says- afterward to tell them how much I enjoyed watching the Pageant.
Tiara Magazine: Did any specific coach or coaching site help you prepare for the competition or past competitions? I have not had any training. I do my best and lead with my heart. I hope others see that I am genuine and accept me as I am.
Tiara Magazine: Did you win this title the first time competing for it? Tell us the journey to the crown. Start to finish- how many months did you have to prepare? I feel that Pageant preparation comes from your soul. I believe in using the gifts you have been given to make other’s lives better. I have been preparing for this moment for eight years by being myself and doing kind things for others. None of it is easy, but it is worth the effort to help other people.
The story of my path to my current crown is an emotional roller coaster! I had been asked to compete in a different system. I hurried in-between dances at a dance competition to race back and forth for the pageant, changing clothes in the car, and changing from dancer hair and makeup to soft and pretty Pageantry hair and makeup. I was excited to win and ready to wear my new crown and begin more volunteering. After ten days, I learned part of the system had very un-Queen-like behavior. With a heavy heart, I stepped down from that system. From that point I sought a system that builds on honesty and integrity. I was very blessed to have found Ms. Brown of USA National Miss which started my current and amazing year of reign as Princess 2018. Thank you USA National Miss for believing in me. I will reach for Princess title again next year.
Tiara Magazine: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about? Why would you recommend it to others? USA National Miss is about being yourself and reaching your individual potential. Our platform as a sisterhood is Anti Bullying through a program called Crown Cares. A reason I recommend this system is because they believe in Positive Pageantry. This is a movement that USA National Miss developed. Positive Pageantry means supporting all pageant systems to bring the pageant community together as one to create a bigger and stronger sisterhood for all. I think that USA National Miss helps all people see the good in pageants. I learned to “Do good, be kind, and keep it positive!”
Tiara Magazine: What are you being judged on during the competition? What was your most nerve-wracking area of competition and what was your favorite? I feel that during a competition you are being judged on your heart, what makes you shine, and your stage presence. I love all parts of Pageantry so choosing just one is quite difficult. I think that talent is my favorite part of competition, but I really love runway and evening gown too. I like interview but find the time too short. Once I get warmed up to talking, I do not want to stop.
Tiara Magazine: Tell us about your experience during the competition. My experience at pageants is about enjoying meeting friends and having fun usually while supporting a cause. My mindset is to do my best and win, but I also feel that usually every girl competing would make great Royalty so I am happy for other’s accomplishments as well.
Tiara Magazine: Tell us about your platform and to what cause(s) you currently donate your time. Thank You for asking. My platform is to Be You. I teach Anti Bullying, suicide prevention, and Alopecia Awareness. I happily give my time to any cause that I can possibly fit in my day. I volunteer around 33 hours a month.
Tiara Magazine: What appearances have you done with your title?This question is going to take a long time to answer! I try my best to find opportunities and offer help to any official organization. Here are a few:
- Live Out Loud Charity Fashion Show for anti-bullying and suicide prevention
- Letters and gifts to others for Love with Skin supporting mental health
- Out of the Darkness walk for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- A Future United event at United Way
- Wig’dOut the movie Anti Bullying & Alopecia awareness red carpet film event
- Hairless by Olivia’s Cause including donating my hair and filming - I cancelled my own birthday for this
- Reading/teaching about bullying to 2 grades
- Crown Cares Anti Bullying teaching/meet and greet/ fundraiser
- Operation Gratitude for thanking all military
- Soldiers Angels
- Miss Amazing Pageant Buddy special needs
- Riley Cheer Guild
- Children’s Miracle Network fundraisers- race volunteer, toy collector, festival volunteer
- American Cancer Society Relay for Life
- Circle City Pageant as visiting royalty
- Miss America
- Make a Wish
- March of Dimes
- Rett Syndrome Org
- Earth Day community trash clean up
- Indy500 Parade and Mini Mini
- Stuffing Easter eggs for the county egg hunt
- Meet and greet Super Hero night, concessions volunteer, and promoting Crown Cares
- Humane Society food pantry and parade
- Lacrosse team snack shack and announcements
- JumpIn! For Healthy Kids
- Cemetery Memorial Day Volunteer flags/flowers/greeter
- Back the Blue
- Post School Tragedy support
- Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- Dancers Against Cancer
- Girl Scouts
- Library volunteer
Tiara Magazine: What personal struggles have you triumphed over in order to be where you are today? I have faced bullying by kids and adults as I try to fit in socially with others. I have a hard time believing in myself sometimes too. I usually can realize it is not only okay to be yourself, but being the unicorn in a field of horses is exactly who I want to remain.
Tiara Magazine: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? My strategy is to be myself, have fun, and do my best. I show my genuine self.
Tiara Magazine: What are some of your achievements (scholastic, pageant, community oriented, etc)?Some achievements include:
- When I was in the Beauty of Hope Benefit Pageant System, with my Royal team, we collected over $11,000 for the American Cancer Society.
- Helped local girl collect over 11,377 toys for the Children’s Hospital. This year our goal is 15,000.
- I started reading at age two.
- I tested into the America Mensa high in society at age 3 I think it was; you must be within the top 2 percent of the highly gifted.
- Straight A student in advanced classroom.
- Winner of many Photogenic contests including National photogenic
- Runner up for National Dancer of the Year at age six
- National Championship winner for all three years of competition dance.
- Won several titles at competition dance
- American Girl Fashion Show, LOLC fashion show
- Show opener entertainer
- Numerous magazines
- Well over one hundred (100) earned trophies
- Runway and print model,Photography Ambassador
- Nutcracker performances at the local University
- Won State Art contest age 5 and shook hands with Mike Pence when receiving award.
Tiara Magazine: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful contestants? I believe that beauty comes from how you treat others. I feel my dedication to volunteering and making my presence known in my community gives me a little bit of good luck. As my Mommy, and Cinderella's mom says- have courage and be kind.
Tiara Magazine: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.
At the time I won a crown, I felt like I was dreaming with my eyes open. I was happy and confused and overwhelmed all at once! I even cried.
Tiara Magazine: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?
Being a Queen to me means leading the way to good choices and trying my best to support my community. I will always be a volunteer, but wearing a fashionable dress and crown while doing so helps me feel more confident.
Tiara Magazine: How did competing in pageants help your life?
Through Pageantry I have learned so much about supporting others and expressing myself. I have learned more about responsibility by committing to honoring the pageant system and how to speak to people. I have also learned to try hard and believe in good things. After I did not win at a pageant, my Pageant Queen friend Heather gave me a necklace that says Fairy Tales Do Come True. She is right. It is like magic; at the next pageant, I wore the necklace for extra strength and courage and I won.
Tiara Magazine: What do you think about Miss America removing the evening gown phase of the competition?
“Oh my Goodness! Why!?!” That was my reaction to getting rid of evening gown in Miss America. I disagree with removing the evening gown. The perfect dress can give you the perfect confidence to express your style. To me, wearing an evening gown in a competition is a complete honor for both the designer and the Queen to Be. I feel celebrating the creativity of designers and supporting a girl’s dream gown should stay a part of the competition. I believe evening gown is the essence of Pageantry and it is a tradition that must remain.
Tiara Magazine: What do you think about Miss America 2017 speaking out about being bullied within the organization? Do you think she was strong to do so? I was taught to believe in Matthew 18 from the Bible. Matthew 18 says to bring your trouble to the person who you are having a problem with first. If that doesn’t work tell one or two others and so on. I think Cara Mund wanted to stand for what is right and if that took her having to tell the whole world, then I think she is a hero. If you do not stand up for what you believe then you cannot expect anyone to believe in you either.
Tiara Magazine: You are an inspiration and role model to all of the girls out there. How does it feel?
It feels amazing to be considered an inspiration and role model. Being a title holder is an honor and a privilege. It makes me happy when I make good choices that affect others in a happy way. I do hope people realize that even Queens have bad days sometimes. Reminding myself of my duty to be positive helps me get past my grumpiness on those bad days.
Tiara Magazine: What behavior is considered negative in the pageant world? Are there are strict rules to follow in order to win or keep the crown.Please share with the audience how one must obtain and maintain their status as a role model.
Our system requires Queens and their families to act positively and appropriately. We have to be kind, polite, and professional. We must have good character, dress appropriately, and remember to always act, and speak respectfully. Queens may not be negative, disrespectful, break the law, and should never have inappropriate social media, pictures or videos.
Tiara Magazine: What are your tips for choosing the perfect pageant evening gown dress for the onstage competition? In my opinion, truly loving what you wear makes all the difference in the world. If your design boosts your confidence, then you have chosen correctly. I believe in amazing designers and creative inspirations.
Tiara Magazine: What are your tips for winning interview? I feel that showing the judges your life experiences through your responses help them to relate to how you act outside of the competition. My tips are stay calm and think before you respond.
Tiara Magazine: How would you handle a political onstage question regarding our current President Trump or former President Obama? What technique would you use to answer the question yet stay politically correct? I would say “Thank You to all military and first responders who make living in a free country possible. I believe all Americans should always support their flag and country weather they like a certain person in charge or not.”
Tiara Magazine: What is one mistake that you’ve done during competition that you wish you could redo and fix?
One mistake I made was I didn’t know that there was a special walking pattern so I made my own. I was the first contestant to go on stage. I was only five years old, so I am sure the random twirls I did were entertaining to the audience, though I was upset with myself afterwards for not doing it correctly.
Tiara Magazine: What other mistakes are made by contestants during the pageant competition?
A mistake I experienced at a pageant was unsportsmanlike behavior. Most contestants are kind and deserve to be there, but sometimes you may encounter a bully. I had a bully try to make me go out of order at a pageant because she wanted to rush me onto the stage, then see what I messed up and make herself look better. Her mother told her to do that and I fell for it. I found out after the pageant ended as I very clearly heard her talking to her mom about it. Luckily, the judges saw through to her character.
Tiara Magazine: Any modeling or acting experience?
I have been modeling for boutiques for about a year now. I have been in many magazines too and also in the local newspaper. I have been in four stage productions and in two fashion shows. I did competition dance for three years as well. I hope to continue with modeling, acting, and dancing and I may add singing and becoming an author. I am interested in voice overs as well.
Tiara Magazine: What are your plans for the next year as a Queen?
Most of all, I want to listen, learn, and help people, communities, and causes.
Tiara Magazine: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
The Legacy of Queen Meeka shall be Effective, positive, contagious sparkle. Dare to be yourself...Be You.
The Newspaper Interview
June 2017 age 6
Queen Meeka waves to the crowd at the parade during princess camp week for the Miss Indiana scholarship pageant.
She worked hard to hold a smile the whole time, she said.
She is 6 years old and dreams of becoming Miss Indiana and Miss America someday and is taking steps now to make her dream a reality. This was her third year attending the camp.
“All of it,” she said when asked what her favorite part of camp was. Her mother said the younger girls spend the week shadowing the older girls to see what they do and learn from them.
“Miss America girls need to make good decisions, do a lot of volunteer work and are what all little girls are supposed to look up to,” she said.
During the camp, Meeka was paired with Miss Crossroads of America’s Kayla Wilhoite. Both the older girls and younger girls danced to a choreographed number on stage and took a group photo together. Meeka and Wilhoite had lunch together and Wilhoite gave Meeka an embroidered jacket and a crown.
Meeka also took advantage of the autograph session.
“One of the things the big princesses did was they had autograph stations and Meeka chose to get every single person’s autograph." Meeka and other pageant girls raised about $11,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Meeka is looking forward to the pre-teen portion of the princess camp when she gets older. Girls ages 9 to 12 get to stay longer. Then, when she’s 13, she can compete for Miss Teen Indiana.
Her interest in pageants came from when she was younger and attended the Miss Indiana contest.
“We had no idea how talented and amazing these hard working women are. I had just thought they are pretty girls that twirl in a dress. I was so wrong. They are the smartest, hardest working people you will ever find. They do so much for the community. They raise money and volunteer for everybody that needs anything. They are kind and sweet and are easy to talk to. I was just blown away by that,” said her mother. Before attending princess camp, Meeka participated in [a] pageant where she became Tiny Miss her first year. After that, the mother and daughter duo made an agreement.
“We would do one pageant a year as long as it’s to benefit others. Queen Meeka wants to be a princess to serve others, not just to take a crown and leave. Queen Meeka and her group are working princesses, we call it.”
Queen Meeka is the 2017 Beauty of Hope Little Miss. The money raised for this pageant goes toward the American Cancer Society. Meeka enjoys helping out children at Riley Children’s Hospital by writing them cards and letters and making crafts.
Although she’s not able to go into the hospital to visit the children, she has seen photos of those going through treatment.
“It made me really sad [to see them without hair],” Meeka said.
Meeka spends much of her time volunteering at various events, such as reading books to preschoolers, picking up trash, stocking food pantries and cleaning books at the library.
When she grows up, she wants to be a neonatologist.
“They saved my brother when he was a baby,” Queen Meeka said. Thank you Queen Meeka. This girl has a heart of gold!
Contestants raise over $6,000 for American Cancer Society [Some content edited for privacy. By the year end, this group of ladies raised over $11,000 for American Cancer Society]
Photo Provided Winners of the Beauty of Hope benefit pageant are, front from left, Little Miss Meeka and Young Miss and Humanitarian Haley. In back from left are Miss Storie, Cherished Queen Sheridan, and Junior Miss Prayse.
“It is not the crown or title that makes a queen; it is the person that wears it.”
With that motto, Beauty of Hope strives to make a difference in the surrounding communities. The non-profit organization, which was founded on the principle of giving back, raises money for the American Cancer Society. Its goals are to build awareness and raise donations for this cause. The 34 contestants competed in March.
The pageant is for girls and young women ages 5 to 21. During the pageant process, the contestants go through an interview with the judges, model clothing and evening wear, and answer an on-stage question.
One queen in each of the five divisions was crowned, and a special Humanitarian Award was presented to Haley, who raised around $1,300 for the American Cancer Society. Queen Meeka raised $1,200. Other top winners were: Little Miss Queen Meeka, and Miss Storie.
Once the queens were chosen to lead the year for Hope, their journey begins. Throughout their year of reign, they will attend many events for the cause with the hope of creating more awareness in the surrounding communities. The 2017 royalty will attend this year's Relay for Life.
Beauty of Hope Pageant was started in 2013 by Bell and Dickinson. The pageant was in honor of Judie and Greg, who were diagnosed with breast and lung cancer, within months of each other.
“Their faith during the struggles they endured made us want to reach out and help others that have been affected by this horrible disease,” Bell said. Bell’s daughter came up with the name Beauty of Hope. Keep up the hard work.