Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Overcome Bullying One Kind Act A Time. " by Rebeka Mihalik

As Miss Pre-teen Minnesota International, I’ve adopted the platform of anti-bullying. Bulling has many forms, physical bullying includes pushing, and hitting.  Emotional bullying can include insulting someone’s faith, color of skin, clothing and nationality. Then there’s cyber bullying. This ranges from sending a mean message directly to someone to posting something rude about someone.  Often the bully is not just the person who makes the comments, if someone even agrees with a rude comment or post that is considered bullying. We should stand up for people not just go along with bullies because we want to fit in…

As you can probably tell, this is a very important to me. This is because I’ve been bullied, I have been in situations where I did not “fit in” where I was not “accepted” and even put down because I was not part of a click.  Without going to go into detail,  when I was bullied I felt horrible about myself. I had to quit gymnastics because I was told “I wasn’t good enough”, I now know, that’s not true!   I hope others will see the truth as well and that they do have value.  Furthermore, I have friends that were bullied because of their faith and nationality and my sister, who has a disability has been teased by her peers.


When kids are bullied, it affects not only them but also their friends and families as well. It takes a lot out of someone which makes them shut others out. Then they will slowly just stop becoming social. They won’t want to do things with their families or friends which also hurts them… it really does affect everyone.

Going back to what I said earlier, there are MANY ways kids are bullied, here’s a list of physical ways: hitting, fighting, yelling, rude gestures, breaking another persons things.  There also emotional ways like: name calling, laughing at someone, starting rumors, leaving someone out on purpose, making fun of someone for who they are.

I could go on but I think you have the idea…

Not everyone is bullied, but A LOT of people witness bullying. It’s easy to help put a stop to this. If you ever see someone being picked on the first thing you should do is call them out, tell them it’s not OK to say or do those things. If they don’t stop, GO TO AN ADULT! Don’t try to stop them anymore, if it didn’t work the first time it’s not going to the second!

Everyone can help prevent bullying. One way is just by showing kindness to those around you, telling them you like their outfit or just asking someone ,who is usually isn’t invited places, to go to the mall. Everything you say and do affects others, so remember, think positive!

My challenge to you is to say or do 1 kind  act every day for someone you do not know.  This will not only make someone else’s day, but make yours too.  I PROMISE.  I would love to hear your stories. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Well hello! by Serena Schreifels

My name is Serena and I’m your newly crowned Miss Minnesota International 2017!  I’ll be frank; I’m not a great writer- I’m more of a speaker and film artist. I like to work with visuals and sound.  That being said, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to explore a whole other way of communication! Therefore, I vow to you, my gracious readers, that I will do my best not only to be a good writer but to be a Miss Minnesota you can be proud of!  Now, without further adieu, allow me to re-introduce myself:


My name is Serena Schreifels.  I am a 20 year old who loves pageantry, theater, and literally everything with sugar. (Oh, and my cat)  I am a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College majoring in Film and Media.  My goal is to become a successful actress and director.  My favorite movie is by far, Lord of the Rings, and my favorite actor is Eddie Redmayne. (I mean, did you see him in Les Mis? Or HEAR him? Such talent!) 


A few other things: I love to read, send letters, and do anything creative.  I also like to sing and act. (Unfortunately, I can’t dance.)  I don’t like… sudokus, overripe bananas, or doing the dishes.  My biggest pet peeve is people who walk slow and I’m deathly afraid of big fish. (Alive or not.) Moreover, I enjoy spending time with my marvelous family, meeting new people, and traveling.  As cliché as it is my dream is to travel the world!  Most preferably in a hot air balloon and in 80 days. (Okay, just kidding about that part.)


Well, there you have it. Or, me I suppose.  I am so grateful (and tickled to death!) to be your new Miss Minnesota International. I’m excited for this spectacular journey and I can’t wait to share it with everybody!


Until next time, toodle-oo!


Serena Schreifels

Miss Minnesota International 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

"For Such a time as this…." By Stephanie Welter


Not me, not this and certainly not at this I thought. Hi! I’m Stephanie Welter, and I was just awarded the honor of Mrs. Minnesota International, 2017! It feels like a dream. I never thought in my mid forties I would be entering and winning a state pageant and moving on to an international event! I learned about the International Pageant system a few years ago, but it wasn’t until November, 2016 that I decided to go ahead and take the leap into this amazing adventure, and I’m SO glad I did...but not before praying first.


A good friend of mine who is a former title holder encouraged me take the leap, telling me she had a sense that it would be worth my while. As I prayed about this journey and spoke to my husband and kids about it, a scripture verse kept coming to my mind “....and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Es. 4:14.


My platform is Understanding the Puzzle of Autism, “for such a time as this.” A time in our history when 1 in 68 children are being diagnosed each year with this neurological and developmental disorder ( 1 in 54 in Minnesota), including my precious son Benjamin.


Autism is referred to as a “puzzle” because because we don’t know yet why so many kids are being diagnosed these days. Researchers are looking at biological, environmental and genetic factors but don’t yet have have all the answers. With this many individuals being diagnosed, one thing is for certain, we need to keep searching. We need answers. Our kids deserve them. Most importantly for now, kids that are being diagnosed need early intervention and therapies so they can lead full, happy lives.


As Mrs. Minnesota International I am partnering with The MAC Schools to be sure children are getting early diagnosis and early intervention. For older kids, we have already begun the process of launching a Life Development Program for young adults 18-21 so they can continue on with job skills assessment and training, living skills (personal care, self care, home care) and ongoing educational opportunities like college classes!


I am beyond grateful, beyond excited and ready for the job!

I can’t WAIT to tell you about my family….but that will have to wait until next week’s post! ;-)



Stephanie Kay Welter

Mrs. Minnesota International, 2017




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Mrs. Minnesota International 2017 - Me in a nutshell…."

Hi! I’m Stephanie, and I cannot believe I’m introducing myself as your 2017 Mrs. Minnesota International! I wear many hats in life and am proud to be a wife, mom of four, radio/TV host, certified life coach, lead minister and board chair at Ministry of Reconciliation, and a voice for our unique neuro-diverse Autism Community! 


Like most Minnesotans (when the weather permits) I love the outdoors, held the Minnesota state title for Tae Kwon Do in my age bracket from 1997 - 2001, and love taking bike rides and walks with my kids.


  For the past 17 years, it has been my honor to be actively involved in raising awareness for the autism community in our state. My goal is to help transition individuals with autism into our community so we can ALL benefit! Shorty after my son Benjamin was diagnosed at the age of 2 ½ years old, I co-founded and launched one of the first center based therapy centers for children with autism in the state of Minnesota. Me and many other brave parents advocated to legislate IEBT (Intensive Early Behavioral Intervention) in Minnesota to get kids the help, therapies and support they needed.
The path to my television and radio work began when I was in high school and became the first editor of my school newspaper. I thought that being a reporter would be a way to “inform” the world of what was happening. So, off to college I went to pursue a degree in Mass Communications Broadcasting, and also Political Science. After I earned my degrees, I began my work in television news.
My career took off and I thought I was on my way “up.” I originally got into television because I felt a calling to "be a voice" to those who had none. I thought TV news was the answer, but after being in the industry for a few years and having my first son, I realized that telling people all that was going on in the world was being a "voice”—but not a "force”—for change.
After much soul searching and prayer, I decided to leave my television career and openly trust God that that dream would find its way back around. And, it did! Shortly after making that decision and stepping out in faith, I was offered the opportunity to have my own drive time radio talk show where I wasn't just "reporting" but rather discussing and finding with others solutions to the issues that challenge people in life.

That brings me to this season in life now as Mrs. Minnesota International. Here I am, my family and I as a voice for the 1 in 68 families being affected by autism. I am beyond honored and grateful to represent my home state of Minnesota and carry forward excellence and grace in this new title role! Thank you for the opportunity!



Stephanie Kay Welter​

Friday, May 5, 2017

"Meet Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota 2017" Rebeka Mihalik

Hi everyone! First off, I want to say, I am SO excited for the upcoming year! This is going to be such a fantastic experience…

The pageant was so fun! I LOVED the interviews, they were definitely my favorite part. The judges were so kind and funny! I also really enjoyed my onstage interview, it was great to show my passion for my platform while everyone was watching.   Speaking of my platform…stay tuned for my next posting when I will tell you more about!


Now it is time to get to know me.  I’m an actress. Not one of those “drama queens”, but a stage actress.  I’ve also done a short film! Plus, I am a huge singer.  I love telling stories through music. My biggest singing performance was at the state fair! I sang on the grandstand in front of more than 10,000 people! Some of my favorite genres are Christian contemporary and some pop!


I really enjoy water sports.  I live on lake so I didn’t really have a choice! But I really do enjoy knee boarding, tubing, swimming, and wake boarding! I think one of the reasons I really enjoy the lake is because of friends. In the summer we have someone over almost every weekend!


I am looking forward to going to schools and school boards and talking about my platform! I think it’s amazing the difference one person can make and I’m looking forward to doing that… I think it’s very important to be a leader.  It’s important to set an example for others on how to act when someone is just a little bit different from the rest of us! I’m also really excited to represent Minnesota.


Thank you to everyone who supported me: my sponsors, my friends and my family.   I promise I will make you proud.

Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota 2017
Rebeka Mihalik

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Meet Miss Teen Minnesota 2017 "

Hello!! My name is Devika Narayan and I am a rising junior at Wayzata High School. I was recently crowned Miss Teen Minnesota International on April 29, 2017. I’m beyond excited about the opportunities and possibilities that are in front of me. My main interests are Indian classical dance, playing the harp, being a Girl Scout, debater, and avid public speaker!! I love volunteering wherever I can, especially in relation to my platform, Hope in Memories, and for that I love visiting the elderly with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to play the harp for them on a weekly basis!! I have been a harp player since I was 7 years old and I still love playing today. I am ecstatic for my reign Miss Teen Minnesota International and cannot wait to make unforgettable memories with all my sister queens and all the MN International pageant staff!!