‘International’ girl on campus
When senior Jordan Walker was 16, she never expected to be competing in beauty pageants. But when she saw the girls preparing for a local competition in the mall, she knew she had to try it.
“I was like, ‘Mom I can do this, I can do this,’” Walker said. “So I went and bought a dress. I went back out there and ended up winning the local pageant.”
Since then, she hasn’t stopped. She competed in Miss Maryland USA and Miss Maryland Eastern States, taking the title for the latter. After going on the national Miss Eastern States competition, she won the national title. Walker’s newest adventure, she said, is going international. Walker recently won Miss Maryland International and is preparing to compete for Miss United States International.
“It’s amazing,” Walker said. “I was always the one that was like ‘I don’t understand why they cry in the beauty pageants,’ but you understand because it completely changes your life.”
To compete, Walker was required to submit an application with her picture and community service. During the pageant, she performed in a gown competition, swimsuit competition and interviews. The biggest part of the competition, Walker said, was community service.
“I focused the majority on Relay for Life, Walk for Diabetes and the Ronald McDonald house, where I actually cooked dinners for the children and their parents,” Walker said. “It’s an enlightening experience.”
Next month, Walker will be welcoming home troops from Afghanistan. Currently, she is speaking at events, working with a personal trainer and travelling to New York for photoshoots and fittings. On March 22, she will be speaking to 5,000 people at the Walk for Epilepsy in Washington D.C.
“It’s preparing you for a crazy and amazing weekend,” she said.
In addition, the Annapolis resident is working and attending evening classes at Towson.
“It’s definitely time management, but it’s the opportunity,” she said. “You have to embrace it while you can. “
The biggest challenge, Walker said, is actually not balancing everything, but actually spreading the word.
“It’s getting the word out there and being able to reach a new community of people who maybe didn’t know about the pageant system, or didn’t know about how much we give back to our communities,” Walker said.
But despite any challenges, competing is worth it.
“You bring a new confidence in yourself,” she said. “And you find things about yourself every time you compete that you didn’t know before. It sets you up for amazing opportunities to travel, to meet new people, to set up for your career.”
Walker said her favorite thing about competing is meeting a diverse range of people.
“Meeting the girls is going to be the most fun just because you don’t get that opportunity very often,” she said.
If Walker wins the Miss United States International competition, Walker will advance to compete in Miss International in the Philippines. You can support her on Facebook at facebook.com/MissMarylandUSInternational and keep up with all of the events she is participating in.
“To bring it home for Maryland [would be] an absolutely amazing accomplishment… I’m representing our state, which is a big part of Towson,” Walker said. “I’m representing our school.”