We are excited to share with our readers, a new series with you called, "The Road to Miss New Jersey's Outstanding Teen." The next young contestant to be featured in our series is, Miss Coastal Shore’s Outstanding Teen, Ashley Murphy!
Tell us your name, title, and the platform you’re representing.
Hi! My name is Ashley Murphy and I am Miss Coastal Shore’s Outstanding Teen! my platform is 4-H “Making Your Best Better.”
Why did you choose this platform as you competed in the Outstanding Teen program?
4-H is an organization that works with people of all ages and is geared to get them involved through clubs of interest. We have over 28 clubs in a mixed variety. There are livestock clubs, sewing and knitting clubs, baking and agricultural clubs, robotics clubs, and much more! I chose this as my platform because our overall goal as a 4-H member is to help everyone to “make their best better!” We help people to stay involved in their communities and lead a healthy and happy life. As a 12 year member I can say that 4-H has taught me and still continues to teach valuable life lessons to everyone in a fun and interactive way.
Is this your first pageant, or have you competed in pageants before?
I have been competing in pageants since 2012 when I was 1st crowned as Miss Cape Shore’s Pre Teen. I have only competed in the Miss America Organization so far!
What have you learned thus far from our current Miss NJ, Brenna Weick, that can help you be a better Outstanding Teen?
Brenna Weick sets life goals hoping to achieve them one step at a time. She has taught me that success isn’t completed in one day. It takes time and a lot of progress. As an outstanding teen competitor I have to remember to continue to work hard for what I want while remembering that it simply takes time. This is one of the most valuable lessons in life and Brenna has always set a great example when showing how she works toward her goals. She is someone I can look up to when it comes to understanding that progression and a strong positive mindset is important.
If you were to win the title of Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen, what is the biggest challenge you think you will face? How do you hope to overcome it?
As Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen, I believe the most difficult part of the title would be being able to explain to others how important this title is and what it truly means. Being a titleholder isn’t just a day of appearances. It’s a job and to many people, Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen is a role model. She is someone who completes her duties while showing that she is a great example for other people to follow.
If you were to win the title of Miss NJ OT, how do you hope to better educate your generation about your platform and the importance it holds?
With my consistent involvement in 4-H I have so many opportunities to speak to people about what 4-H is and how it can help to improve their lives. As one of the highest ranking public speakers in the state of New Jersey, I know that I can help everyone to understand what the program is and what it means to be a part of it. I conduct several statewide presentations each year and invite the public to visit as I give out informational packets, show powerpoints, and have a 1 on 1 Q&A with them.
What advice do you have for those who want to compete for a local title?
Go for it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying something new. I never thought I would be into pageantry until my 1st pre Teen competition in 2012! Spike up some confidence and try it out! You never really know what your interests are until give them a go!
Because of the way media and certain television networks have portrayed the lifestyle of a pageantry, there is a preconceived notion of what a pageant girl is. How do you think that being a part of the Miss America Organization, you’re able to break that barrier?
I hope to break the barrier by counting to do what I do! And that’s compete! I was never one to think of pageantry as a profitable hobby, but being a contestant and titleholder has helped me to better understand the system and the people. Now I can’t stop promoting Miss America Organization! It has changed me in so many positive ways and just by talking about how it has helped me, I have encouraged many of my friends to start pageantry.
Bravura is an artistic word for exceptional. Tell our readers what makes you “bravura.”
I am Bravura because I love being myself! I always feel happiest when I’m just me! I accept who I am very openly and love to help others feel the same way about themselves! Loving yourself is exceptional!
Where can fans follow you on social media?
Anyone interested in keeping up to date on my activities can follow my Instagram account @misscoastalshoresot2017!
Do you have any final words for the readers of Bravura Magazine?
I hope I have given you all an idea of who I am, why I am passionate about my platform, and how the Miss America Organization is beneficial! But most importantly, I hope that everyone has learned that finding what you’re passionate about and accomplishing goals are something anyone can do! MAO is a great way to learn how to succeed at not only your goals, but how to positively impact others while doing it!
To purchase tickets for the Miss NJ Outstanding Teen pageant, click here! See who gets crowned on January 21, 2017! You can also support the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation with an in-kind donation!