Thursday, July 28, 2016

" Recruitment" by Sabrina Astar

Having a crown and banner can really capture people’s attention.  Winning this title has given the very unique opportunity to meet with multiple organizations and learn about all of the extensive work they do for the community.  It’s an amazing feeling to be apart of such an influential group of people.  The organization that is closest to my heart is of course Big Brothers Big Sisters due to my connection with them.


Throughout my reign it is very important to me that I meet as many people as possible and learn as much as I can about everyone I meet. To me, life is all about the connections you make with people and enjoying everyday with people who have a passion for helping others. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters I have met so many people with similar points of view, we all have this desire to change children’s lives for the better. When a group of people comes together for a common goal, it is a powerful thing.


This next year will be full of big and small goals that I will reach there is one thing that I will specifically working towards the entire year, recruiting more males to volunteer and mentor.  There are 21,000 young boys looking to get matched with a “Big brother” this next year and it is my goal to make sure that I get more men involved.  I have been focusing on reaching out to college-aged students especially because of the fact that young men really lookup to that age of males.


Throughout my reign I will be going to colleges around the state and soon the country to stress the importance of mentoring while being a student. The more involved a student is during college increases their chances of being a volunteer for the rest of their lives and Big Brothers Big is the perfect organization to do just that.

Miss Minnesota 2016
Sabrina Astar

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Woman Up" by Morgan Bredde


One of my first appearances as Mrs. Minnesota was so empowering. Former Mrs. Minnesota, Kelly Jahner-Byrne, invited me to the Minnesota chapter of ‘E-Women Network’ to present about my platform and the Minnesota International Pageant. While I knew I would be providing information to over 50 business women and community leaders, I had no idea how much I would take back myself.


The speaker for this event was the inspirational Michelle Galarza. Michelle is an esteemed relationship expert. Not only dealing with romantic relationships, she provided so much insight on the relationship we have with ourselves and our decision making. She talked about how people make decisions out of scarcity and how those experiences set up our futures. Such an interesting discussion was heard in the comments from fellow attendees at my table, none of us truly realized how often our decisions had stemmed from a place of scarcity.


I enjoyed being able to speak about the values of the International Pageant system to women who shared those values. Many of them expressed further interest and even a couple women who contemplated competing themselves. When you surround yourself with people who share your vision and aspirations, it tends to motivate you to reach outside of your comfort zone because you have so much support along the way.


My favorite moment from the day was after sharing about my platform, nearly every single woman in attendance approached me and either took information, or extended their networks and support to me through business cards and offers of donations. Their donations and partnerships will directly benefit Crescent Cove, the Midwest’s first residential hospice for children. One lady in particular touched my heart. She had lost a child as an infant and for 30 years, she searched for joy in her career. While she continued to search, she knew there was something else God would bring to her, she just didn’t know when. She said she knew as I spoke that this was it. She had found a new way to utilize her talents to serve others and to honor her son’s memory.

That’s what life is truly all about: using your God-given talents to serve the world around you.


Thank you to Kelly for your continued support of the Mrs., Miss, and Teen Minnesota International Pageant. We are truly grateful for your dedication, and more personally, for your friendship.


Making the minutes count,


Monday, July 11, 2016

"Turning Dreams into Plans" by Morgan Bredde

When asked what my goals would be during my reign, what my “plan” was, I would always get so hesitant. I have been a big dreamer my entire life, and through the example of my mother, I was equipped with the tools to make those dreams a reality. My main goal as Mrs. Minnesota is to spark an international conversation that will fuel the fire in each of us that will result in pediatric hospice homes around the world, especially here in the US where we are 30 years behind the rest of the Western world. I started as a young woman with a passion for Crescent Cove and it has developed into a spokesperson for numerous homes across the country and now as an advocate and partner for Children’s Hospice International. See? I move quickly.


People often ask if winning Mrs. International was in my action plan. I will confidently say no, it wasn’t. I am a firm believer in being the same woman with the crown as you are without it. As a longtime competitor, I know pageants are a game of chance. You prepare and work for a common goal, but at the end of the day one woman had the right set of judges on the right day and that’s it. While grateful that it has sometimes been me, I am also grateful that sometimes is hasn’t been me. I have learned more about how to accomplish things while jumping through loopholes and using your God-given talents more so than perhaps a title could have. Yes, I have been working hard and getting ready for Mrs. International, but I have also been working the same plan as Morgan and Mrs. Minnesota that I would--should it be “my time”.



Apart from my platform, I have a few other goals I have put on a “Mrs. Minnesota Bucket List”. A few items include: making 100 appearances and events by April 29th, 2017, helping to plan three ‘Go Red for Women’ fundraisers through my chapter of the American Heart Association while serving on the event committee, registering three women who fit different parts of my demographic (woman of color, young wife/mom, curvy/athletic) for the 2017 Mrs. Minnesota pageant, and most importantly: teaching the value of dreams to my two children. When I was growing up, my mother was earning her PhD. She endured nine surgeries all while being a single parent who always made us feel special. Looking back on this, as children we obviously didn’t understand the gravity of her accomplishments. As a mom now myself, I can’t tell you how proud I am of her, especially when some days I consider it a great feat if I get all of the beds made. She taught me not only how to dream, but what it takes to accomplish them. When I signed up for Mrs. Minnesota, I was terrified. I was so worried I would be judged harshly because of my age, I was worried that my body type wouldn’t be acceptable, that my over the top personality would be “too much”—everything. For years, being “me” was good enough, but now I was living my life with someone and for two small “someones” and I needed to be more than enough. My mother was able to pull me back to that root belief that all one needs in order to accomplish their dreams is the will to accomplish them. That is most important to me as a mom, and as a representative of other moms: to instill the belief in children that you can do ANYTHING.


I am constantly dreaming, and with it—planning. I know my bucket list will continue to grow (I have thought of about 5 more just typing this out!) I challenge you to write out your own goals and then to take it a step further and make a plan to achieve them. I can’t wait to see what I accomplish this year and I hope to be as much of an inspiration to you on your journey as my mother was on mine.


Making the minutes count,




“She turned her ‘cant’s’ into ‘cans’ and her dreams into plans” – Kobi Yamada