My parents wanted me to do well, but there wasn’t pressure to be the best or to always have to be the winner. As long as I tried and was happy with what I had done, that was all that mattered in most cases.
My final year of 4-H, I was blessed to be the Sullivan Co. Fair queen. My mom didn’t want me to run for fair queen that year. I ran the previous three years just because I thought it was fun. I signed up without mom knowing. After much convincing by Robin, my mom’s friend, mom decided it was OK.
I was definitely in shock when I won. In fact, I just stood there for quite some time before finally I heard my mom and my “fashionista Mom” Jayne Bierhaus-Young scream. Unfortunately, when I was crowned, the combs attached to the crown didn’t get pushed down into my hair. The first steps that I took as the new Miss Sullivan County Fair resulted in my sparkly new head piece, dropping from my head and rolling across the stage. Luckily, I wasn’t easily embarrassed (probably because I was still in shock). By 10 p.m., my mom had changed her mind on the subject of fair queen, but not before the local paper had heard about her previous protest.
One of the judges told me it was my passion about 4-H and hard work that had stuck in her head. It was the sincerity I had when I spoke about my time in 4-H and what I hoped for the future. I didn’t want to be 4-H queen because of the crown. I wanted to be 4-H queen because I wanted to show other girls what a sense of accomplishment you feel when you work so hard on your projects. I wanted kids to experience what it was like to do something all on their own and be rewarded.