Introducing this week's campus celebrity, Molly Fitzpatrick, a freshman here at UNH who was crowned Miss Maine Teen USA in 2012! Keep reading to find out more about her experiences with pageantry/modeling, her reign as Miss Maine Teen USA, and much more!
Name: Molly Fitzpatrick
Hometown: Cumberland, Maine
How long have you been modeling?
My modeling career started when I became Miss Maine Teen USA as a junior in High School. Winning that title opened up the door to modeling for me in several ways. As Miss Maine Teen USA I was fortunate enough to have Tess Johnson as my personal photographed who was the official sponsor for my organization. I started shooting with Tess, made my way to California and Las Vegas to shoot with other photographers, modeled for a National Magazine, and eventually signed with a modeling agency which introduced me to even more modeling opportunities.
How long have you been involved in pageants?
The year that I won Miss Maine Teen USA was actually my very first pageant. I had never done anything like that before so it was really a new experience for me. Ironically I have actually always been extremely involved in sports instead. I’ve played soccer, lacrosse, rugby, ran indoor and outdoor track, and also Irish Danced for 10 years. Being Miss Maine Teen USA was an extremely unforgettable experience but in the big picture I have been way more involved with sports than I have been in the pageantry world.
Tell us all about the road to winning Miss Maine Teen USA 2012!
As I mentioned before, I had never done a pageant before competing for Miss Maine Teen USA so I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed up to compete. I didn’t have a “pageant coach” but I was lucky enough to have help from a really good family friend whose daughter had won Miss Maine Teen USA 2008. I also decided to ask a personal trainer to sponsor me for the competition. I trained with John Emond from Body By John Gym for months in preparation for the pageant. With the help/advice from my family friend and John training me, I learned so many important skills and was able to feel completely confident and prepared when it came time to compete. As I prepared and as I competed I really just tried to be myself because if I figured if I tried to fit a certain mold and be someone else and I won than that’s who I would have to be for the rest of the year. I believed that portraying who I really was as a person was extremely important and if I didn’t win by being myself than the title was not for me. There never came a time in my preparation or in the competition where I practiced/rehearsed being or acting a certain way. Throughout the whole process I stayed true to who I am and this helped me greatly. There was also another person who was extremely involved in my road to the Miss Maine Teen USA competition. This person is my best friend, my hero, and my little sister Emma. I have always believed that family is everything so I cannot take credit for winning the title without mentioning the love, help, and support of the best family in the entire world. My little sister Emma was an enormous influence on my road to Miss Maine Teen USA and I could not be more grateful for having that support system.
What, if any, other titles have you been crowned?
Miss Maine Teen USA was my first pageant so I haven’t been crowned any other titles in pageantry but I do also hold the title of being an Open Champion Irish Step Dancer! Being an Open Champion is the highest possible level of Irish Dance you can achieve so I am very proud and appreciative of that title.
What do you do when you’re not modeling, doing pageants, etc.?
During my reign as Miss Maine Teen USA I definitely had a lot of responsibilities and commitments but I was still able to balance those obligations with my sports and social life. I am definitely not the kind of girl who just does pageants all the time and by that I mean I am very well rounded and diverse when it comes to my activities and hobbies. For example, during my reign I remember having to fly to Los Angeles for a Miss Maine Teen USA obligation and then flying back and driving directly from the airport to go compete in my State Championship track meet. I have many passions so when I was not busy with Miss Maine Teen USA duties I would be playing sports, dancing, writing, hanging out with my family, spending time outside, or playing with my dogs. I am a huge dog lover and I also love the ocean so when I had free time (which was not very rare) I would always love taking my dogs to the beach.
What is the hardest part about doing pageants?
I definitely think that there are psychological factors that can play a huge role in pageantry. A lot of contestants will psych themselves out in their head and then not perform as well as they could have. I think it is so important to only be concerned with yourself and not be comparing yourself to other people. Allowing the other girls to get into your head is very toxic or poisonous and very hard to ignore. When I competed I made a huge effort to only focus on my own presence instead of my competitions and that really made the difference. It is so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to everyone else but if you just concentrate on you and what you are all about than the psychological factors won’t affect you! Also, I think a lot of girls have a hard time being themselves at pageants because they’re trying to fit a specific mold. I strongly believe in the concept of making your own mold and being original and natural and true so even if it’s hard to grasp, I definitely think this approach is more effective and successful.
What is the most rewarding part about doing pageants?
I definitely think that the most rewarding parts of pageants is different for every person. For me, the most rewarding part of the actual pageant was being able to present who I am and what I believe in front of not only judges but also an entire crowd of people. I am very sure and proud of the person I am so being able to portray myself in that way and share who I am with others was very rewarding. In terms of being Miss Maine Teen USA, the most rewarding part is without a doubt the time I spent and friendships I made with those involved in charitable organizations. Being able to reach out and inspire people makes me feel so happy and fulfilled. I will never forget the time I spent giving back to so many different non-profit organizations. I really discovered that when you give back to someone and make that difference in their life, what you get in return is far more rewarding than anything you could ever give them.
Do you see yourself continuing pageantry in the future?
This is actually a frequently asked question and to be honest I don’t think I have an answer yet! The world of pageantry is very complex and is something that not everyone understands. There are a lot of aspects of it that I loved such as the friendships and bonds I made as well as the opportunity to give back and reach out and inspire people on a bigger level. But on the other hand I do not think that every aspect of the pageant world is reflective of who I am as an individual and what I truly believe in. Just like with everything, there are some aspects you like and some you don’t. Overall, I am a very passionate person and there are so many things that I want to do with my life. I really do have so many goals and aspirations but I try to live in the moment so maybe there will come a time where I decide to run for another title but as of right now I’m just enjoying life as an 18 year old college student!
You’re a freshman this year, what is your favorite part about UNH so far?!
Even though I’ve only been here a few months I am already loving it. I think my favorite part about UNH is that you meet new people every single day and have so many opportunities to make new friends. Everybody here is so open and friendly which made my fall semester of freshmen year so much easier. I am a very outgoing person so I love the fact that there is always an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends here. UNH does it right!
Tell us about any involvements you have here on campus!
I was so used to always playing a sport so coming here and not being on a team really made me want to get involved with intramurals! I participated in a co-ed flag football team, which was a lot of fun and a good way to meet new people. I also just recently found out that we have an Irish Dance club which is awesome because I Irish Danced for 10 years! I definitely plan on getting involved with that as well as other types of dance clubs/teams. Also, I am a huge nature geek so I love almost all outdoor activities. I have gone to outing club meetings and signed up for some overnight hiking/camping trips in the White Mountains! I have also discovered our bigger rock wall in New Hampshire Hall so I have spent some time learning the basics of rock climbing and I have considered joining the climbing team here! Also, I played rugby in High School and loved it. I almost did rugby here this fall but decided to wait until spring semester. I can’t wait to get involved with even more organizations and clubs!