Hey Everyone,

I am so sorry that during the last days of the Miss GA week, I stopped posting on the blog. One reason is we started getting extremely busy and not coming to the dorms until very late, and waking up extremely early. But, I just want to recap everyone with my thoughts of the conclusion of my experience at the Miss Georgia Pageant. So I might not have won Miss Georgia, or even make it to the top twelve. But, that could never take the smile that I had off my face. I seriously put my heart and passion in everything that I competed in. Walking away from the pageant, I could not list to you anything that I wish I would have done differently. I was the "Best" Hayley Henderson that I could possibly be, and more important I was a LIGHT for the LORD. So I might not have a crown or a sash that says "Miss Georgia," but I still feel like I won the entire pageant. And, to the winner, Michaela Lackey, and could not ask for a better woman to be representing our state. From our many bus rides and dinner together, I truly got to know Michaela well and call her my friend. She is amazing and everyone will be so pleased to her PASSION in making a difference in our state.

Going into the pageant I wanted to spread God's love and help other girls see when you have a relationship with the Lord "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE." But, little did I know that my relationship would become so much deeper. I love the Lord with all of my heart, and I know that everything is in his plan.

So the big question that I have been getting from a lot of people is: "Are you going to do it again?" My answer is yes. My plan is to compete in the Miss Columbus pageant which is fast approaching. I will still be Miss Columbus State University until November. I love representing our city because I truly can look around and see so many faces that have impacted my life and made me the woman I am today.

So thank you again for all of the encouraging words. I have so many people that come to my mind which helped me make this such an enjoyable experience. From learning how to do makeup, hair, walking in heels while wearing a swimsuit, to being poised on stage, and showing my confidence... thank you!

Right now, I am packing to fly to Orlando, Florida in the morning. I am the March of Dimes speaker at the FBLA National Leadership Conference. I am super excited to spread to youth and volunteers the difference that they can make when they learn to serve. Sometimes, the workshops I lead end up being a motivational workshop because I love being in a room with students and showing them that I have sat in the same seat, and if they have a dream or passion, YOU NEED TO GO FOR IT!

Tonight, I will be dressed as Rapunzel at the Chick-fil-A Character Dinner from 5:00-8:00. So if you have kids, come join the fun.

I want to leave everyone with a verse that Pastor Bill shared at the church I attend, Cascade Hills, yesterday morning. Acts 2:28: "You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." This verse gives me so much satisfaction and excitement that GOD is in charge and he will fill all of our lives with joy.

In Him,
Hayley
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As I am writing this I am still overwhelmed with the excitement and satisfaction from tonight. I can't express to you how much fun I had up on the Miss Georgia Stage. Before, I get to the details, let me catch you up on what we did to prepare for the big night.

But first, I forgot to mention that we had our Pajama Party with our Princesses last night. My princess is Emorie Maddox. And, she is the cutest, sweetest, and beautiful little girl you have ever met. I love the fact that she has no front teeth right now. She is so cute, and I am really excited that I get to see her tomorrow.

Now for Today! It started off with me waking up at 6:00AM to prepare for rehearsal. This rehearsal was going over the show completely like we would for an audience. This really got to show me how much time I had to get ready, and when I would have breaks just to relax. After the rehearsal, we went to Hollywood Connection to have lunch at Lieutenants. Next, we went to the Medical Center to have a special visit to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) ward. This place is very familiar to me through my work in Columbus with the March of Dimes and Children's Miracle Network. This wonderful facility helps babies when they are born too small, and too early. The March of Dimes is my platform for the Miss GA pageant. I found it to be a blessing for all the girls to really see what my mission is with the March of Dimes by seeing the babies, and seeing the families that are affected.

Next, we walked over to Doctor's Hospital where we had a delicious meal that was themed on flip flops. "We flip for Miss Georgia!" It was super cute and I know all of the girls enjoyed it a lot.

It's so cool that every place we go to, I seem to find someone that has connected with me in my life. I am so grateful for this city. The people in Columbus and Harris County have help shaped me into the woman I am today.

SO THE BIG NEWS!!! The competition tonight was AMAZING. I'm sure you can tell by my other blogs, but my main goal is to keep GOD first in the pageant and to be a LIGHT for him. Before, I walked out on the stage for talent, I could tell there were many girls standing around who seemed nervous and anxious. I asked them if they wanted to pray with me. It was so uplifting giving all my worries to the Lord and just asking him to let his light shine through us. When I walked out on the Miss GA stage, I can't even describe the overwhelming feeling of peace and excitement I had. When I begin my talent, I actually have my back faced away from the audience, and once the music starts I turn around. When I was facing away from the audience, I was able to look up to God one more time and tell him that this was going to be for him. When performing my talent, I felt so good. I had so much fun, and it was the best I have EVER done on that song.

When I walked backstage, my emotions took the best of me. Growing up, I had to take speech classes for years. I never imagined myself on a huge stage singing for the chance to be the next Miss Georgia. Do you see how amazing GOD is? And my roommate Lauren Edmonds, reminded me that what I just experienced is what the Miss America system is all about. It's inspiring young women to go for their dreams and to be an example for others. If you want something bad enough, you have to go for it. I have no regrets about tonight. God is good, and I know he is taking care of me.

I have tears in my eyes right now just reflecting on how much he has done for me. My next competition tomorrow night is evening gown and onstage questions. So watch out COLUMBUS, I am on FIRE!!! :)

Thank you for the support, and all the wonderful notes, flowers from my March of Dimes family, and gifts that I had when I got back to headquarters tonight. Your support means so much to me, and I can't wait to show the judges tomorrow night some more of HAYLEY!

Sweet dreams!
 
 
Hey Everyone,

We have a small break so I wanted to give everyone a little more details than just a Facebook status on how the interview went this morning. For new pageant followers, the interview is worth 25% of your score. So, in reality I have already completed 1/4 of the Miss GA pageant. Last night I had a hard time choosing which interview outfit that I wanted to wear. I have this white suit that represents my business, conservative, and professional side. And, then on Saturday I had another option of a hot pink dress that was very fun, outgoing, and show a sense of modern style. I ultimately decided on the white suit.

Before I walked into the room I was just so excited. I can't explain how fun interview is for me. A judge truly can't see who I really am when I am on stage for 90 seconds performing a talent, or 30 seconds in a swimsuit. The interview gives me ten minutes to let them see ME! Once I was moved to the holding area, I knew I had about one more minute before I was going to meet the judges for the first time. I immediately prayed a prayer expressing my desire to be a Light for the Lord. I walked in the room with confidence and expressed in my bubbly but professional self: "I am so excited to be here, I am Hayley Henderson, your Miss Columbus State University." My first question was immediately about Chick-fil-A.

1) Do you feel that by being a marketing director for Chick-fil-A, that being close on Sunday is the right choice? From a business perspective?

I got to explain how a few weeks ago I actually got to sit down with Truett Cathy at a new store that just opened in Columbus, and how that role of Chick-fil-A will never change. How this decision was the best decision the company ever made. It gives it's employees a day of rest. And in turn being close one day, makes our customers even crave the delicious Chick-fil-A sandwich even more on Monday.

Other questions just to give you a sneak peak are:
1) Do you feel that the Christian morals that Chick-fil-A represents that you would be able to be a Miss America that can relate to anybody, even Non-Christians?
2) What has been your most defiant moment?
3) Do I feel that there still should be colleges for just African Americans?
4) Why did Georgia receive a grade level of an "F" on the March of Dimes Report Card?
5) What do I bring to the table as the next Miss America?
6) How do I handle conflict in my work environment?
7) Do I feel that diversity is an issue?
8) Have I ever struggle with a major issue in my life, and how did I overcome it?
9) What is my comfort food?
10) When is the last time you lied?
11) What is your biggest fear about this pageant?

The other questions were also very detailed, but again I just wanted to show a sneak preview. I absolutely love the judges. They are fun, upbeat, and I know this is going to be a wonderful week. They smiled and laughed a lot, and I look forward in seeing them tomorrow night.  I will say that the interview went by way too quick. I feel like there was so much more I wanted to say, and once you are in the room, the ten minutes FLY BY! But, again everything is in the Lord's hands, and I am excited to see what is next to come.
 
 
Hey Ya'll!

First, I want to say how much fun I am truly having.  It is such a great feeling to be around a group of ladies who are excited about making a difference.

I want to make a special shout out to Shelby Rice and Amarinda Trear. I appreciate the messages you have been sending me. And, girls you have both got to be here next year. I thought about both of you today. And, this is seriously so much fun, when you let go and let GOD lead.

Today was filled with excitement. We started the morning off going over rehearsals for our swimsuit competition. Let me tell you, we get to walk up a platform, walk down a runway, and walk down  stairs, all while wearing a swimsuit and heels. :) Not to mention a few spins in there too. I am going to have a blast Friday night doing this special production number.

After this brief rehearsal, we all went to the Impact Center where former Miss Georgia and first runner up at Miss America, Chasity Hardman's mother treated us to a relaxing lunch and entertainment perform my Chasity's bother. He sang the perfect song for all of us: "Georgia on My Mind!"

When we left for lunch the Gold group was the first to go for their interviews. So, we had a three hour break today. During this break I got special treats that were job off to me from my amazing mother and Chris. One bag that my mom dropped off had such encouraging letters from my speech teacher who taught me how to speak in front of others, my PE coach from elementary school, and many others.

After our break, the girls went back for a quick rehearsal for evening gowns and then off to
B Merrell's for supper. (Or should I say a salad.) Then we had one more last rehearsal before we went back to the dorms.

I just want everyone to know that my interview is TOMORROW MORNING at 9:55AM. Please say a prayer for me. I want my light to shine.

Love you all,
Hayley
 
Day Two Complete 06/12/2011
 
Hey Guys and Gals,

It's been such a wonderful day. I really cannot express how much fun I am having. The morning started at 8:00AM when all the girls in my group (Bronze) had our hostess meeting. I love these three women. They are our moms for the week, and there is comfort knowing that even though I can't literally see my mom every day, these women are there if anything happens. We have to check with them before we go anywhere. We are their beautiful girls for the week.

After the hostess meeting it was time to go back to the Bill Heard Theater for rehearsals in opening number, finale, and swimsuit. I am really excited for the swimsuit portion of this competition. Let's just say the production number is going to be very entertaining. We then had the opportunity to go to McDonalds for lunch! Honestly, being the Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A, I can't tell you the last time I have actually sat inside the McDonalds for a meal. But, this was such an enjoyable experience and I truly made great friendships over a McDonalds salad. (lol) And, I want to thank all of the employees who served us and welcomed all forty girls to eat whatever we wanted off the menu today.

After lunch, we headed back to the River Center to rehearse our TALENT. I cannot express to you how talented all of the women here are. I think this is just one factor that makes the Miss America system so unique. Women in this system are educated, they care about service, and they can entertain. And, for the friends and family who came to my Miss CSU onto party, I was able to to sing my song with power and a lot of spunk! Singing on a big stage with an amazing sound system was INCREDIBLE.

For the past couple of hours, I have been relaxing in my dorm and catching myself up on current event. My Outstanding Teen, Courtney Grap will be having her interview tomorrow. Please keep her in your prayers. My interview is on Tuesday.

Again, I just want to thank you for supporting me. Thank you to my mom and dad for always encouraging me and loving me. And, thank you GOD for giving me this opportunity to represent YOU and this amazing STATE.
 
Day One Complete 06/11/2011
 
Hey Everyone,

I just want to say thank you for all of the encouraging words that you have written on my Facebook wall today. Today has been very eventful and fun.

Around 12:00 noon all forty contestants checked in to the Miss GA pageant. I will tell you that it is an awesome feeling knowing that this pageant is in Columbus, GA. I am at home, representing the University that I LOVE!

I am currently typing this in the CSU River Park dorms. And, they are GREAT! Today we had dinner at El Carrizo and we all rode on the nicely air conditioned CSU charter buses. I am so proud to be Miss Columbus State University.

I really do not feel nervous. I am completely at ease knowing that GOD has this under his control. Tomorrow, will be a day of rehearsals. I have really enjoyed getting to know all of the girls and looking forward in seeing what tomorrow brings!

Thanks again for supporting me on this journey!

Love,
Hayley Henderson
 
Miss GA is HERE 06/10/2011
 
Hey Everyone!

I really can't believe that time has passed so quickly. There are so many exciting events that have taken place. I promise I will update you on everything very soon. The biggest component that I have been working on is preparing for this pageant! I often get asked the question, "Do you want to win?" My answer of course is YES, however winning to me means a lot of different things. Sure my ultimate goal is to walk away with the title of Miss Georgia, and to represent this state as an ambassador of service and leadership for all. However, my number one goal when I check in tomorrow all the way until the night of July 18th, is to be ME! To be the best HAYLEY HENDERSON that I possibly can be. And, more importantly I just want to be a light for the Lord. I really feel that I am at this pageant for a purpose. And, I am ready to show the judges who Hayley Henderson REALLY is! It takes a lot of stress off when you realize that God already has the outcome of this pageant planned.

I am excited to see all of the amazing things that I am going to learn this week. I want to update this blog at night to let you know how the week is going for me. I would not be at this pageant if it wasn't for the many people in my community who have supported me for many years. Harris County and Columbus made me the woman that I am today. And, thanks to my GOD, my parents, and family,  I know I am ready for tomorrow.

A lot of people wanted to know how they can come to the pageant. Go to tickets.com and type in "Miss GA competition." I am number six in the bronze group.

Tuesday 14th - Interview (please pray for me)
Wednesday 15th - Talent 
Thursday 16th - Evening Gown and On Stage Question
Friday 17th - Swimsuit
Saturday 18th - Top 12 introduced


If you want to watch it live online it will be streamed on www.wrbl.com at 7:30 PM the 15th-18th. And, lastly if you would like to send me mail that I will receive every morning:

Hayley Henderson - Bronze 6
Miss Columbus State University
Rankin Events Office
1004 Broadway
Columbus, GA 31901

Thank you again for your support and prayers!

God Bless,
Hayley
 
 
A couple months ago, I had the pleasure to be photographed by David Maddox. Check out this link below to see some of his work! 

http://tinyurl.com/DavidMaddox


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The past couple weeks have been filled with so many opportunities. One big event was CSU Day that took place on March 24th. This was such a special day for me. I was asked to speak at the kick off breakfast the morning of CSU Day. This is the special day that is set aside every year to truly let the donors of CSU know how much they mean to us. Without them, students would not have the scholarships, stipends, and grants that are given out every semester for special programs on our campus. To the donors who are reading this blog right now: 

The scholarships that supporters like you are providing for our students is making students follow their dreams and passion to get to that career that they desire. I know I am going to make Columbus State University proud. I want to do all I can to give back to the community, for they have helped me so much. I feel this goes for all scholarship recipients at CSU. Students are humble and appreciate anything that can help them through these very important years in their life. CSU is a growing percentage. We are growing at a fast pace. And, this is an amazing thing, however there are going to be more students who will need the financial support that comes with scholarships.

I just want to thank you so much for supporting students in their efforts to succeed. It is important to remember that the students attending CSU are the future. They will be our future doctors, teachers, scientists, musicians, artists, and like myself, Public Relations Specialist. On behalf of CSU I just want to thank you for all the support you have given in the past and if you plan on the future. My dreams are becoming reality every single day I step foot on the CSU campus, and thanks to scholarships I am able to live that dream. I am excited and proud to represent CSU at the Miss Georgia Pageant competition in June.

I had such a blast going to different businesses throughout the day to truly thank the donors for all that they do for students like myself. In total, CSU handed our over 5,000 signs.
 
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In addition to CSU day! Things have been really busy at Chick-fil-A Bradley Park. One part of my job is really connecting with the community and building emotional connections. For two weekends back to back the store has had two wonderful events. On March 26th, we had a Father Son Sports Night. This night was dedicated to father and sons building better relationships and of course to have fun playing sports together. We had had a big screen set up inside the restaurant to play Facing the Giants thanks to After Shock Production Company. And, thanks to Carmike Cinemas everyone had delicious popcorn while they watch the movie.

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To top off all the wonderful events, last Saturday was the Easter Eggstravanganza at Chick-fil-A. We had so many families show up for this event. I can not even express how good it makes me feel when I know that I helped put a smile on a child's face. It makes you look back and see that all of the planning, hard work, and team work with one another really does pay off. At this special Easter event, which I know we celebrated early, we had a petting zoo, a live COW, games, activities, and an Easter egg hunt on every half hour. (Two pictures below were taken by David Maddox)
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With all of this being said, the semester is ALMOST over. In the next four weeks, I will be facing FINALS, two pages that have to be at least 15 pages long, and I will be turning 21..... my does time fly when you are having fun!
 
 
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Reflecting back on this weekend I think of a few words: "YOUTH CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE." This weekend I attended the Georgia FBLA State Conference. This conference which took place in Atlanta, Georgia brought back so many wonderful memories for me. FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America. When I was a sophomore in high school I was introduced to this organization. During high school, I competed in numerous competitive events, was the GA State Reporter, completed my America Level award, and concluded my FBLA experience by winning first in state in third in the nation for Future Business Leader. (Which, at the conference I had the opportunity along with other state officers to dedicate this award to Monty Christopher Rhodes who is the State Director for FBLA.)

I hold this organization so close to my heart, because the skills that I learned the three years I was member, instilled values in me that has molded me in the woman I am today.

This was also the organization that introduced me to my passion for the March of Dimes. FBLA's national service partner is the March of Dimes and year after year Georgia FBLA is one of the top states that raises the most money for this incredible organization.

This year, I returned to this conference not as a member of FBLA, but as the March of Dimes spokesperson to thousands of students and advisers. I remembered when I was the student sitting in the audience listening to the March of Dimes spokesperson tell their story on why it is important for students to spread the mission of this organization. It was a very humbling experience to represent March of Dimes at this conference. After two workshops, which both of them were a packed house of eager students, I feel that the students walked away with a better understanding on how they can make a difference.

The biggest thing that I want to show youth is that I was in their shoes. But when you find your passion, use that as motivation to serve others to make a difference.

The mission of the organization hit home, when a mission family came and told their story on how the March of Dimes saved their babies. I had the privileged of meeting two adorable 16 month old twin boys: Thomas and Dylan. Each boy weighed under two pounds when they were born. Because, of the mission both of these happy boys are living their lives.

During this conference, $12,000 was recorded as the amount raise so far for the March of Dimes. Students got to enjoy an awesome mini walk too.

I am so glad that conferences like the FBLA conference shows me the impact that youth volunteers can make. I am so glad that my mom got to come to this conference with me too and enjoy this action packed weekend with me.