‘Be confident in yourself’: Good Hope’s Jessalyn Nichols crowned as Fair Queen representative

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Good Hope’s Jessalyn Nichols. (Courtesy of Jessalyn Nichols)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — This was the first year that Good Hope junior Jessalyn Nichols got to compete in the school’s March pageant and she was crowned as Good Hope’s Fair Queen representative. Nichols talked about that experience and what she did to get ready for the pageant.

“It was really exciting getting to know all the girls and create relationships with all of them and memories that will last forever. It’s a great opportunity for me too,” Nichols said. “It’s a really long process. It took us a long time to find my dress, the perfect one, and my mom actually made my talent outfit. That was really exciting, getting her to create something special for me. It was super fun, getting to spend time with my mom, and getting my outfits ready. I had a lot of help from a lot of people, but my mom is a dress alternator. She really helped me out a lot, and I also got help from Rebecca Long and Emma Rice.”

The nerves were definitely there for Jessalyn, but she quickly settled down after that and had a great time doing her first fair pageant.

“The nerves were definitely there. I was super nervous. I was shaking the whole time, but after I did my first walk, I knew that I was just excited to do it and get to create memories with all the girls. It was fun. The first thing we did was we all walked out together, and then we did our individual walk. After we got done with the walk, we went back out and gave a speech in front of everybody. We answered our onstage question. After that, it was the talent competition, then it was the fitness routine. Then, we all walked back out together. My talent was an acrobatic dance to ‘We Got The Beat’ by the Go-Go Girls. I was really excited after my first walk. I was really jumpy to get out there and compete in front of everybody and show what I’ve been working so hard to achieve.”

Jessalyn made so many great friends during the pageant and created memories with them that will last a lifetime. She got some great advice from her mom before everything got underway.

“It was really exciting. Since I co-op and stuff, I haven’t really got to see the girls a lot this year. Competing with them really helped bring us closer, and it just helped me a lot with the pageant too, getting the nerves out, and knowing that I’m not the only one going through it,” she said. “She told me to take deep breaths and that I’m not the only one competing. If I mess up on my talent, keep going and just remember to do the best you can.”

She ended up getting announced as the talent winner, but that wasn’t the only thing she won that night. She talked about the reaction of the other girls and her mom and aunt.

“I was super nervous, because I got called out as the talent winner. I wasn’t expected to get called out as the winner of the fair pageant, because there was a lot of competition. Whenever my name was called out, I was super excited. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. It was super fun. I loved it,” she said. “The other girls were pretty happy. They all came up and congratulated me after, telling me that I was so deserving, and they knew that I worked really hard. They were super supportive of me. My mom and my aunt were crying for me. They gave me hugs and told me they were so proud of me.”

She gave some advice to those girls that will be competing in their first-ever fair pageant down the road. She talked about her service initiative, Addiction Unveiled.

“Just be confident in yourself, because without confidence, you won’t feel at your best. Go slow, take your time, and just be confident in yourself,” she said. “I want to bring awareness to my service initiative, Addiction Unveiled. The reason I chose it is because I want to give other kids a voice. I want to feel like they can come to me and talk to me or talk to an adult. I just want to really help kids with their mental health. As a child, you do struggle to talk to older people, and I just chose this platform, so I can bring a voice, hopefully, to those that are scared to speak up, and give them coping mechanisms.”

She added,

“I plan to create an ambassador program with other schools and talk to our counselors. We can train on how to talk to children and have secret ambassadors, where they come up to you without bringing attention to themselves and lead them in the right direction. It’s been a long process, especially if i want to get it in all the schools throughout our community and hopefully, even more. It’s a pretty drawn-out process. It’ll take a little bit of time, but I hope to get it in our schools within the next few months.”

Jessalyn will be representing Good Hope at the Fair Queen competition in October and is excited to get that opportunity to represent her school.

“I’m really excited to represent my school. I’ve been wanting to be fair queen ever since I was a little girl, and I’ve worked so hard for it. I just really hope to represent Good Hope at my best ability. It is a Miss Alabama Preliminary. The nerves are definitely there, so I’ll just keep pushing myself extra hard these next few months to represent Good Hope well. My aunt is very known in the pageant world, and she knows what she’s doing, so she’s been giving me a lot of advice. She helped me a lot with my pageant walk, my routine for acrobatic dance, and through my fair routine.”

She added,

“The advice that my mom and aunt gave me is to practice and make fair queen my number one priority, because fair queen is a job now, and that’s what I look at it as. It is my first priority, and I just really want to push myself to be the best representative for Good Hope that I can be. They just reminded me to stay calm and just be faithful in myself.”

She learned a lot during her first-ever fair pageant and talked about her most memorable moment during the pageant.

“I definitely learned to be confident in myself, because without confidence, you’re just going to be a nervous wreck. Have fun while you’re doing it, because you don’t want to take anything too seriously. You want to take it serious, but not too serious. I love having fun while I’m doing pageants and just remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity getting to represent Good Hope at our Fair Queen pageant, and hopefully move on to the next round. I’m very excited to compete and create friendships with all these girls.”

She added,

“We had fair queen practice a few days before the pageant, and my most memorable moment would definitely be backstage with the girls. Whenever we were doing walks, we would all do something silly on the stage. We were like, ‘Let’s be the first school to do something funny onstage’. It was just really fun to have all of us do some funny stuff. We just had fun in the back and just dance. It was super fun. I loved it. I loved practicing with everybody.”

She talked about being around a lot of talented young girls in the pageant and what she’ll remember the most about this experience.

“It was super exciting. It made me want to push myself, and just being around them made me realize how talented everybody was. It’s really unique seeing all the different talents: singing, and all of the dances. It was super fun and watching the piano players, it was super fun watching them. It was something that I’ll probably never get to witness up close again until I do get to fair queen,” she said. “What I’ll remember the most about this experience is just making all the friendships, learning confidence, learning how to be confident in myself, and push myself to be better.” I remembered before I went on the stage, I wasn’t confident in myself, and I got out there and did the best I could. It really helped me a lot with my mentality and how I looked at myself for the pageants.”

She added,

“I remembered before I went on the stage, I wasn’t confident in myself, and I got out there and did the best I could. It really helped me a lot with my mentality and how I looked at myself for pageants. I did have a lot of competition. I was unfaithful in myself, and I felt like I wasn’t good enough to fit the Good Hope fair queen representative title. I went out there and proved myself wrong, so that was probably the most important thing I learned.”

Jessalyn had a lot of younger girls watching her every move during the pageant, and she really wants to be a role model for them.

“I love being a role model for the younger girls, just knowing that they have somebody that they can look up to, and get help from in any type of situation, and being able to lead them through all these pageants and help them with their walk. Little stuff like that is super important to me and just letting them know that I do want them to do the best that they can. They always have a stable support system, no matter where they go. I just like making them feel better about themselves.”

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