Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Don't Quit

 Anything worth having is worth all of the hard work you put into it. Here's a little peak into my journey and hard work. I'm not just telling you not to give up because it sounds good, I can testify to it.


Friday, April 8, 2011

As of Late...

The past few week have been suuuuper busy, I feel like I have been going going going and have hardly had time to stop and take a water break! Alas...I love it! I love constantly being on the go, however, I do understand the importance of rest and relaxation. You can't go go go if your body is sick sick sick :o(

The weather is changing, yay! The sun is coming out, it's warming up, neighbors are washing their cars and mowing their lawns, kids are playing in the streets, you can ride with the windows down, and in general, everyone is in a great mood! It is such a beautiful time of the year! And I'm glad it's finally here!!!

Cherry Blossom Fever!

DC Central Kitchen

Recently, I was able to go on a trip to DC with some of my Miss America sisters and we had such a good time out there! I truly enjoyed myself, as I have been wanting to visit DC for some time I think I may want to live there! It's magical...kind of, haha :o) I really love the atmosphere and energy in DC, I've never felt anything like it. While I was out there,  I was able to meet with the founder of the DC Central Kitchen, Mr. Robert Egger, and many of the staff and students there. DCCK is an amazing organization that provides many homeless and previously incarcerated individuals the opportunity to acquire proper job training and culinary skills to further seek employment within the professional food service industry.The also provide outreach and counseling service. I was able to talk with many of the staff and students there, and this is such a wonderful organization providing good skills and opportunities to those it serves!
Leader McConnell
Senator Paul
While in DC, we did a number of fundraising events, a little touring, lots of picture-taking :o), and also had the opportunity to meet with some of our Senate and Congress members. I was able to meet with Leader McConnell and Senator Paul. I also made a few new friends while I was out there! It was an all around good time. Miss New Jersey, Ashleigh Udalovas, was my if I didn't love her already...she is my little love muffin for sure now :o)

The "Classic" Elevator Shot

The timing for this trip couldn't have been more perfect because the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and it was such a beautiful sight to see! However, as beautiful as they were to see, my allergies were not exactly excited about them, I lost my voice on our second day out! Some of the girl might have liked that though...less sarcasm and whitty banter??? No! More sarcasm and whitty banter in my scratchy man voice!

The trip to DC was a really great time for a lot of us "Miss America Sisters" to really get to let our hair down and get to know each other because although there was little to no drama while we were in Vegas, it was still a slightly different atmosphere being that we were all in "competition mode". So this time, we were all more relaxed and able to truly enjoy one another. I liked that a lot. I also made a few new friends out in there as well, who I will hopefully get to come back and see this summer!!! We shall see :o)

Emerging Young Leaders
As soon as I got back from DC, I had the honor of attending a VIP Reception and singing the national anthem at the 2011 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Regional Conference. Although I was still recovering from losing my voice while in DC, I was in just enough shape to sing and not sound like an American Idol know, the ones who DON'T make it to Hollywood, haha..anywho, with that being said, I did okay. I met some amazing women AND had some delicious shrimp and grits! I must also say I was very impressed and please to see their Emerging Young Leaders at the events as well. I got to speak with the young ladies, they were all very sweet and focused...kudos to you young ladies :o) 

I did some BIG BLUE remote broadcast promotion with Tabitha from Hot 102 at the Stanley J's "Salute Your Jorts" Big Blue Lunch Party! Congratualtions to UK for making it to the final four, they had a significantly large amount of people running around Lexington in jorts. For those of you who don't know what "jorts" are, they are jean (cut off) shorts = jorts. Ha! Stanely J's also had some yummy big blue cheesecake brownies...I delighted myself in them :o)

I have still been traveling all over the bluegrass visiting schools...I must say, this is the best job ever. Every school I go to, the kids ask "What's the best thing about being Miss Kentucky?!?" and I always respond,  "Getting to spend time with you." Every county, every city, every school, every child is a new experience. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to speak to these students and be a part of their lives, even if it is only for a short time, I know that there just HAS to be at least one young person in each group who has really taken what I have said to heart. That just means the world to me.

Picture Time!

Special Backstage Seating at a DC Event :o)

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Regional Director Dr. Giselé M. Casanova

DC Central Kitchen!

Okay...So...I really love ribs. And Keith Miller Sr. makes the best!

Me with two of my favorites! Ashleigh and Dom!

Judged the West Jessamine County Talent Show! Good talents :o)
 And of course...there are more pictures on facebook :o)

Always Love,
DjuanKeila Trent!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If you didn't get to see it, this was my send off video :o)

It's 15 minutes long, but it's bearable...
There is a surprise at the end :o)

I Dreamed A Dream

Yes, I know, I was quite the fashionista.

Getting a happy meal was always something I really looked forward to as a child, and even sometimes now as an adult :o) However, there were many times I was completely boggled by the drastic difference between the people at my drive-thru window, and the people in the drive-thru windows on the commercials. Needless to say, many of the times the people in my drive-thru window were not "bah-duh-bah-bah-baaah lovin' it". I would say to my mom, "Mommy, you know what my dream is? I want to be the first person to work at a real McDonalds and smile at all of my customers!" Perhaps it was a silly gesture from the mind of an innocent and naive child, but it was something I had seriously contemplated. Sure enough, when I turned 16, I was still holding on to my dream and I got my first job at McDonalds on North Veterans Parkway in Columbus, GA. I did just what I set out to do. I smiled at every customer. Even the grumpy old guy who came in every morning for a "senior coffee. black. 2 packs of the pink" and insisted on slinging his change on the counter...EVERY MORNING. I smiled at him, every morning. Working at McDonald's was a job I loved, sometimes hated, but loved. I loved the people I worked with...well, most of them. I loved the fast pace, hands-on environment. I loved that I knew how to work every position in the store. I loved my customers...well, most of them :o) I loved mostly everything about that job, except for working on the fry station. Anywho...I said all of that to say this:

I believe I was more serious about the "dream" of being a happy McDonald's employee than I was of the dream I had of being the first African-American female president, a famous country singer, or a cow. Yes, I had quite a few dreams as a child, some a little less realistic than others...okay, ONE less realistic than the others, but the point is this... I have always been one to see something that is a rarity or just hasn't been done and dreamed of ways to do it. I knew other kids dreamed of being president, a country singer, or a cow. What other kids were going to seriously dream of working at McDonalds??? It was something that I held onto for years. And I remember telling people about that dream as I was growing up, and people looking at me and saying "By the time you're able to work, trust me, you won't be thinking about McDonalds." Hmph, they were wrong. Not only was it my first job, but I chose to work there over those next 5 years of my life! I made some good friends, actually met my best friend there. Learned a lot of skills there that I still use to this day. And put a lot of smiles on a lot of people's faces...mission accomplished.

Apparently, I/Kentucky was notorious
for wearing flats to visitation. I was not feet hurt!
During an interview I had while at Miss America, I was asked, "How long have you wanted to be Miss  America? Did you dream of it as a child?" I responded "I can remember watching the Miss America Pageant as a child and admiring the young women I saw. I always thought it was pretty cool, but being Miss America was not something I desired to do as a child. I never dreamed of being Miss America until about two years ago when I was watching the pageant with my best friend and told her, "Hey, I really think I could do that." My best friend looked at me and said "Well, just do it." And thus, a dream was born, and here I am, "just doing it". While being Miss America has not been a lifelong dream of mine, I have always had the desire to put a smile on  person's face. I have always had the desire to inspire others. I have always had the desire to push myself to be extraordinary. These desires have manifested themselves through different dreams and adventures on which I have chosen to embark in my life. And throughout every dream, every adventure, every success, and every failure, I have learned that humility is the key to learning and advancing in every experience.
On the final night of the Miss America Pageant, I could not help but to find myself overwhelmed by the excitement and element of surprise that came with the announcement of each semi-finalist! It was such a rush because I had not even TRIED to make a semi-finalist list in my head or anything before the final night. When girls would ask me who I thought would be in the top, I would give them my honest answer "Honey, I don't know, because these judges are hard to read and I really haven't been paying attention to any of the other contestants as far as competition goes." One girl said, "Oh Kentucky, you're no fun!" I just laughed...I was trying to find all the time I could to rest and sleep, not worry about who would make "the cut" and who wouldn't.

When my name had not been called for the top 11, I found myself trying to feel disappointed. I was very confident that I had been strong and consistent throughout the week, was I really not in the judges top scores???  However, there was still a peace and calm that resided in me, something inside of me that said "Djuan Trent, don't sweat it." I told myself, "Okay, I won't sweat it." I already knew we would be voting for a contestants choice because I saw the pens piled up on a table backstage. I pointed out the pens to the other girls and said, "I hope y'all are thinking about who you want for contestants choice because I'm pretty sure we'll be voting for one." I already knew who I was voting for! So when Brooke told us her "special announcement" I was not at all surprised by it. However, what I was surprised  when I heard, "Semi-finalist 14 is...Miss Kentucky, Djuan Trent!" WHAT?!? Oh my Lord...I was speechless. I just didn't even know what to do with myself...I turned and hugged Adrianne...or North Carolina...I wanted to go around and hug all the girls, I turned to them and said, "Y'all!!! Wow...I love y'all Thank you!" and one of the girls said, "Go! Go down on the stage!" I suppose I had lost myself in the moment at that point because I wanted to give all of the girls a big hug and I probably would have had I not been reminded that we were on live television. We were hurried off to the back to get into our swimsuits. When we were dressed and backstage ready to go, I stood there thinking to myself, " least I get to show off my hot buns." Thinking that because I was a contestant's choice, I wouldn't advance to the next phase of competition. Before we went out, some of the non-finalist walked by, to include my forever friend Pauli, aka, Miss Iowa. I could see that she was trying so hard to hold the tears back. She's a strong young woman. She is. But, I knew that this was something she wanted so badly...she had worked so hard for it...half of the state of Iowa was there to see her. I pulled her to me, I said "Pauli. This is for you. I know I'll probably only get to do swimsuit, so these buns are for all of y'all, and I'm going to do my best swimsuit walk ever tonight." And she looked at me, I could see the tears, I said, "Pauli. You are strong. And I love you." She stuffed her doughnut in her mouth and said, "I know. Make us proud." So...I showed off my buns on national television and was excited to do it. But the night just kept getting better and better. I continued to advance in the competition! I guess the judges really did like me :o) After I advanced from swimsuit to evening gown, I gave myself a quick meaningful pep-talk in the midst of hairspraying my hair up into a bun, and it went a little something like this: "Djuan Trent, this is not about you. This is about 38 other young women who could be doing this right now. Let's do it." I felt like a power ranger (the yellow one), and it really was MORPHIN TIME!  When it got down to talent and I was sitting on that bench...a lot of people thought I was in some weird deep pageant concentration mode for my talent, but really I was just drinking my water (like it was going out of style) and praying, "Dear Lord, please let me do my talent. I just want TeTe and Sarge to see/hear me." Now, I suppose I should clarify at this point, my grandparents (TeTe and Sarge) did NOT write that song. As far as I know, that song was originally written and recorded by the late Sam Cooke. My grandfather loves Sam Cooke, and he used to sing "Change Gone Come" to me all the time when I was growing up. When it came time for me to pick a song for my talent for Miss America, I chose to sing that song because I knew my grandparents would not be able to make it to Vegas for the pageant, and I wanted to be able to somehow connect with them during the pageant. So, I chose that song. I dedicated that performance to my grandparents, and I sang it with all of my heart. I know my grandfather had to pull out his handkerchief  when he heard me sing, and I know my grandmother said to him, "Look at our little Scooter, seems like just yesterday...and now she's all grown up, but she's still the baby." That was all I wanted. And I got it. Thank you God for your guidance. Thank you to my fellow contestants for each being beautifully you. Thank you Miss America Organization for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you Miss Kentucky Board for believing in me and laughing with me. Thank you to my amazing family, friends, and supporters. Thank you everyone for every facebook message, friend request, poke, wall post, tweet, dm...all of the social networking love...THANK YOU! And thank you Djuan, for never ceasing to follow your heart. I am so happy and proud of myself!!! And I say that in the most non-narsacistic way, really. The most consistent word of advice I receieved from any Miss Kentucky or Miss America going into this was, "Take a moment to step back and take it all in, and really enjoy yourself." And that is just what I did. And I loved it! See 11 days spent out there in Vegas are not about a's about the experience and memories you will take away from it, whether you leave as Miss America or Miss essence, you are both. It's about the friendships you develop, the jokes you make, the pictures you crash (or maybe that's just me), the 87 times you have to go back and forth to your room at the end of the hallway because you forgot your crown or sash for's about the stories you bring back with you to share...the experience that you will always have. Now I get to resume my duties here in Kentucky, of being Miss America to every person that I have inspired and will inspire in some way.
If I have learned nothing else from this experience, I've learned that being Miss America/Kentucky is not about the crown you wear on your head, it's about the crown you wear in your heart. Miss America is not just something you win, it is who you are.

Congratulations to Ms. Teresa Scanlan, she is such a sweetie and I wish her all the best as she has already hit the ground running as our Miss America 2011 :o)

And now for your viewing pleasure...

I love my mommy!

Ms. Kim and me on the plane!!!

This was our icecream truck taxi when we got to Vegas, haha!

That's a super tall short stack!

Ready for whatever!
We are women on  a mission!

Hawaii!!! I got lei'd :o)

Won't you take me to funky town!!!

Headed to In-n-Out Burger with my
hairdresser, Rebecca and Miss Kentucky Contestant, Shaina!

As always, there are more pics on facebook! Hope you enjoyed my bout of somewhat witty banter...thanks for tuning in!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Do It

National Anthem at UK vs. Notre Dame Game :o)

*singing* I been everywhere man, I been everywhere!
I have! I will definitely say that October and November have been my busiest months yet!!! Shoot. I'm still trying to catch up with myself :o)

Of course, you can look on the Miss Kentucky Website and see all that was done last month, so I don't have to tell you all of that. As much as I have intended and promised to keep my little blog updated, I have clearly failed miserably to do so. But, there may still be hope. I have been trying to find a way to keep people updated on my whereabouts, because people have expressed that they would like to know beforehand so that they can come to events in their area. Well...I think that I will start using my blog for that purpose. Perhpas weekly? Like at the beginning of the week, I can post where I'll be and when. Your responses to this blog post are greatly appreciated because I want to know what is most effective.

Social Networking! Let's Do It!

Now of course, you can always follow me on my facebook and twitter which are updated way more frequently than the blog. I update my twitter almost daily, so following me on twitter could definitely be a solution! I know a lot of people are scared of twitter, or resent twitter for some reason or another, but hey, let me tell ya...I love twitter. It's great. If you don't know what twitter is, let me just break it down plain and simple: It's almost like a worldwide text messaging system. OR, it's like facebook updates, minus the facebook. You can follow your favorite people on twitter and see what they're doing or thinking, and people can also follow you to see your updates. Its fun! Gosh, I sound like a late night infomercial. Haha..

Anywho, I said all that to say this. If you want a better way to keep with me, twitter and facebook may be it. They get updated a lot more often than my blog. I'm surprised I haven't gotten a knock on my door from blog protective services...haha...

Miss Kentucky's a Peach?!?

EVERYWHERE I go...people ask me..."WHERE YA FROM???" It's a Kentucky thing...people like to know where you're from, helps them identify with ya. And they don't go by cities, they go by counties. I'm learning everyday. Everywhere I go people are so nice. However, I can't help but wonder what's really going through people's heads when they find out I was not born and raised here. The conversations usually go a little something like this:
Person: Well Miss Kentucky, where ya from???
Me: I live in Lexington.
Person: Fayette County huh...Oh yeah?  Is that where you're from???
Me: Originally from Columbus, Georgia...I've been living in Kentucky for about 5 years now.
Person: Oh.

I am Miss Kentucky, and I am very proud to be Miss Kentucky. Very proud. I hate to feel discounted because I was not born and raised in here. And I don't want to have to deny or hide my upbringing in Georgia. It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I came to Kentucky as an adolescent, with a lot of growing and learning to do in life. Throughout my years here in Kentucky, I have grown into a confident and driven young woman who still doesn't have all the answers, but has a lot more answers, wisdom and maturity than she did 5 years ago. I'm not just a part of Kentucky, Kentucky is a part of me.

I was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. I came to Kentucky for my college education. Decided I liked it so much, I would stay. Decided I liked it so much, I wanted to represent Kentucky at the Miss America Pageant.
Now, to set the record straight, I have never competed in Georgia. I did not decide I wanted to compete until two years ago. I sat in the basement of Seabury Residence Hall at Berea College with my best friend and watched the Miss America 2009 Pageant. I looked at her and said, "You know what? I really feel like I could do that." She looked at me and said, "Just do it." So I did just that...I just did it. No if, ands or buts about it. Well, the little "but" I did have...I lost it somewhere between the gym and lifestyle & fitness. has I mean...hello? Two years ago I decided to throw myself into something I had never done before. Honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into, and now...two years later...I am heading to Vegas in 39 days to "JUST DO IT." I am just beside myself...surreal is not even the word. And the journey to get there...I just cannot believe this. One year I'm sitting on the couch eating brownies with my best friend dreaming, the next year I am in Vegas watching my predecessor compete live and materializing what I sought to "JUST DO" the year before, and this year...I am heading to Vegas, making that dream my own reality...walking my toasted almond buns across the Miss America Stage at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

I have been watching my 2009 Miss America DVD like its the first time everytime. That year holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It was the year I made a decision that has forever changed my life. Thank you 2009. Hello  2011.

I recently celebrated a birthday. I'm 24 years old now. It's so interesting to me, the older I get, the more I realize how young I am. I'm only 24. I have done a lot more and a lot less then I thought I would have  at this age. I also look a lot different then I thought. Zack Morris, Kelly Kapouski and Lisa Turtle led me wrong! I look much younger than I thought I would. In fact, at one of the schools the kids asked me how old I was, and when I told them 23, they said "well you must wear a lot of make up Miss Kentucky because you look 16!!!" Haha...I love it. Anywho...I am just 24 years young...and I have a lot of living to do. I am happy with what I have accomplished thusfar in life and look forward whatever the years ahead hold in store. Also, thank you everyone for my facebook birthday wishes...I received over 300...I would reply to them all individually, but...I received over 300.

Sweet Potato Pie Anyone???

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was just swell! If your tummy is swole, I'll take that as a yes :o)
My Thanksgiving was great!  I actually made a couple of sweet potato pies and homemade whipped topping with the assistance of my special helper. They were THE BOMB! I went to see my Ky Grandma, Ms. Deloris, and took a pie to her. I ate dinner out in was yuuuummmmy!!! Yumma in my tumma!
I ended the day/night on East Short street at Central Christian Church, where the Catholic Action Center and volunteers served a delicious dinner to many who otherwise may not have had a "Thanksgiving Dinner." It was just like being home for me. So many smiling and thankful faces. That was my "Happy Thanksgiving." Now it is time for Christmahannakwanzikah!!!

If you haven't seen already, I am the covergirl of December's Kentucky Monthly Magazine! Yay!!! There is a  very nice 3 page spread and article on me, and I just love it. I have to say, I believe this article/interview has captured me completely. I love it, it is a wonderful portrayal of Djuan Keila Trent. Because..."I'm just Djuan Keila Trent."

I broke my camera last month so I had to take a lot of pictures with my phone. Enjoy!

Sleepless in Lexington
After getting a little less than 3 hrs of sleep
in her cardboard home for the night...
Miss Kentucky awakes!

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Kick-Off at the Capital
boy..that is a mouth full!

This is why I love visiting high schools!
Haha...just kidding.
But thanks for the birthday kisses boys!

Caught me red-handed!!!

hello my bluegrass princess mama!

Lexington Homeless Connection
Getting my blood sugar tested!

UK vs. Notre Dame Game!

The finishing touch to my Christmas Tree!