Jessica Christenson crowned Miss Murray 2018
Dec 01, 2017 08:00PM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Miss Murray Jessica Christenson, with attendants Ashlyn McBride (left), Mary Horne (right) and Little Miss Murray Grace Hanson,\ help out at the Haunted Woods festival. (Photo/Miss Murray Pageant)
Jessica Christenson was named Miss Murray 2018 on Sept. 16 at Murray High School. The victory comes with a $3,000 scholarship. Christenson will apply that toward her education at Salt Lake Community College, and she is currently applying to nursing schools.
Christenson, a medical assistant at ABC Pediatrics in Cottonwood Heights, also does photography and nails and hair on the side as well. The Murray Journal spoke with Christenson about winning the pageant and what she plans to do in Murray this year.
Q: What inspired you to enter the pageant in the first place?
A: If you would have told me a year ago that I would be Miss Murray 2017–2018, I would have said “Yeah, right,” and probably laughed. For years I have been searching for ways that I could use my story to benefit others by giving them the hope that I once lost. I was always prejudice against pageants until I realized what they were all about. Many people think it’s just a beauty pageant, but it is so much more than that. It’s talent, peer leadership, service and passion for your platform, independence, and beauty—not only on the outside but in personality as well. After my friend dragged me into going to one of the workshops, I knew that this was my time to make a difference through my platform.
Q: What was it like to be named Miss Murray?
A: As I sat backstage, I was trying to reassure myself that taking 5th place would be just fine and life would move on. When I heard my name called as the “New Miss Murray 2017-2018” I was overwhelmed with emotion. This year was an extremely competitive year in the pageant; in fact, they would not have been surprised if it was a tie between the five of us. Every single one of those girls deserved to win, which makes me even more grateful to be here today.
Q: What have you learned about yourself during the pageant process?
A: I have always been more of a reserved person with an introvert personality. With this title it has taught me how to climb out of my shell and practice not only public speaking skills, but people skills as well. I have already grown so much as a person and know that it will only continue as the year goes on. Through this process I have realized that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be and all the experiences that I have had in life have led me to this moment, and I could not be more grateful.
Q: What is your platform as Miss Murray?
A: My platform as Miss Murray this upcoming year is through the acronym of HOPE: H.old O.n P.ain E.nds—depression awareness and suicide prevention. I’m excited to start working with the schools in our district to create more talk about this issue and get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health. My goal for this year is to implement a suicide prevention program within our school district. Since last year, we have had two suicides just within the junior high and high school. With a potential prevention program and more talk I believe that we can have no lives lost this upcoming year.
Q: What inspired your choice of platform?
A: My platform is something that I feel very strongly about as it was something I personally struggled with. Through junior high and high school I was consumed in depression, which then led to self-harm and constant thoughts of suicide. During this point in my life I thought that I was alone and nobody else knew how I felt. I didn’t know where to turn and didn’t know how to seek the help that I needed. Nobody wants to talk about mental health since it can be an uncomfortable topic, but it needs to be talked about, and I’m willing to start that conversation. I want these kids and teens to know that they aren’t alone and it is okay to seek help. Love, hope, and help are out there waiting for you to just hold on and grab it.
If you would like to contact Miss Murray to volunteer or speak at your event, you can email her at Missmurray2018@gmail.com.