An Exclusive Interview with Hope Stephens, Miss Tennessee USA 2016
Miss USA 2016 is blazing with enthrallment and ecstasy not only across the United States but across the entire globe! The quest for next Miss USA is on, and beaming with high hopes and elegance is Miss Tennessee USA 2016, Hope Stephens.
20 years old, Hope is a sophomore at Tennessee Tech University where she majors in Fashion Design. She enjoys volunteering for her personal platform: Drug Abuse Awareness. Hope was confronted with this issue as a young child due to her father’s addiction to drugs. She had to deal with the hardships that drug addiction can cause to a family. To ensure that no child ever has to witness a loved one battle addiction, she created a program called Healing Hearts: Drug Abuse Awareness and Prevention where she plans to speak across the state sharing her story and urging all to stay drug free.
Lately, I got the chance to interact with the beautiful lady, wherein she revealed her aspirations, dreams and hardships she had to undergo as she walked on the trail of Miss USA 2016. The valiant diva is all set to give her best in the coming weeks, hoping to bring third victory to her state, Tennessee. Let’s have a look at her graceful demeanour-
Hello, Hope! The entire world is enthralled to see you as Tennessee at Miss USA 2016. How does it feel to wear the sash of “Tennessee” at Miss USA pageant? What are the changes you have experienced in your life post your crowning as Miss Tennessee USA?
There are really no words I can think of to describe how it will feel for me to walk across the Miss USA stage representing the state of Tennessee. I can remember growing up and always cheering on my state representative and to think that there might me a young girl somewhere thinking the same things I thought is honestly the most amazing feeling. I am so excited to represent my wonderful state and I hope to make them proud!
The main changes I have made for myself after being crowned Miss Tennessee USA is that I learned time management and multi-tasking skills. When being a title holder you have to learn to juggle a lot and it can be overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it you will have so much fun and get to experience so many amazing opportunities!
The world knows you as the face of Tennessee but tell us something about your veiled personality!
I would describe my personality as free spirited! I am always up for a good time and typically find myself zooming from one thing to the next. I am always willing to join in on an adventure or try something new!
How are your preparing yourself for Miss USA 2016 pageant and what are your prime agendas?
I have been preparing myself in many different areas from swimsuit body to interview. I am really trying to make sure that I am as well rounded in every category possible!
Who do you think will be your toughest competitor in the journey to Miss USA 2016 crown?
My toughest competitor is myself. I am someone who is very hard on themselves and I have to always remind myself to just have fun and take in the once in a lifetime experience. I know that all I can do is my best and the rest is in God’s hands.
After Rachel Smith’s win, Tennessee’s quest for the Miss USA crown is ongoing! Do you think you will be able to adorn Tennessee with the third Miss USA crown?
I like to think that I have what it takes to be the next Miss USA. I have worked hard to be able to walk across that Miss USA stage and I think I could make a new and unique Miss USA. I would love to be able to follow in Rachel and Lynette’s footsteps and be able to represent my amazing state as the newly crowned Miss USA 2016.
United States has a terrific record at Miss Universe pageant and last year after Olivia Jordan’s splendid performance at Miss Universe, the expectations from USA’s next representative will be even higher! Does it give you any pressure?
I try not to let that kind of pressure get to me. I think that Miss USA’s record at Miss Universe is amazing. There have been so many women from our great country who have worked so hard to be able to make Miss USA one of the top competitors at Miss Universe. I think that all you can do is your personal best and let the rest be up to God. It is all in his hands.
Who is the role model and influential figure in your life? Who motivated you to evolve as a beauty queen?
My role model is definitely my mother. She is a single parent who raised two daughters on her own. She has had to deal with many hardships from battling cancer, to living with a substance abuser, to providing for her children on her own all while still maintaining to be the amazing and positive woman that she is. She has impacted me in so many ways that I cannot even begin to name and I am forever grateful to have such an incredible woman as my mother. She is my best friend and my biggest fan. I know I would not be where I am today without her.
My sister actually motivated me to start pageants. Growing up I was always the Tom Boy of the group and I never had any interest in beauty pageants. I did look up to my sister though and she competed in pageants. I thought that anything Abby did was always so cool. So when she talked me into doing the fair pageant in my hometown, I automatically agreed! Since then, I just kept pushing myself and dreaming bigger until here I am. I’m only a few days away from heading to Las Vegas to compete for Miss USA and I cannot wait!
When did you first realize to enter in pageantry? Was it a sheer evolution of dreams or did it come unexpectedly?
Competing in pageants is something that honestly was unexpected for me. My older sister talked me into competing around 17 and I guess I just got hooked after that. I always thought that the girls at Miss America and Miss USA were amazing and wished I could one day be someone as impactful like that. It is still so surreal for me to think that today I am able to say that I reached that goal that I had as a young girl.
What message would you like to give to your fans reading this interview?
The message that I would want to give to fans would be to chance your dreams regardless of how crazy they may seem. I am just a girl from a small town in Tennessee who had a dream. It doesn’t matter where you came from, how much money you have, or whatever your situation is… You can do anything if you work hard enough for it. There is no dream too crazy to achieve!
Thank you for the beautiful conversation, Hope! You truly inspired us a lot. Your story and your way of dealing with all the challenges are worth appreciating. TKOP wishes you all the very best for Miss USA 2016 pageant.