Katarina Fielding, who is the current Miss Champlain Valley 2017, is our next contestant to be featured as part of our series, "The Road to Miss Vermont." Continue reading to learn more about her journey to the crown, what she hopes to teachers others about the state of Vermont, and so much more!
Please share with our readers your title & platform.
My title is Miss Champlain Valley 2017 and my Platform is Endless Furribilities: Animal Assisted Therapy.
How long have you competed in pageants? How do you think you’ve personally grown with all your prior pageant experience?
This year will be my second year competing in pageants. In the past year, pageants have helped me grow in many ways including emotionally, mentally, physically, and intra-personally.
In regards to your platform, why did you choose to go with this particular one?
My platform is something near and dear to my heart. I began volunteering at the age of 12 with an equine animal assisted therapy program which helped children and adults with disabilities have either physical, occupational or speech therapy using a horse as the mode of therapy. I have seen so many lives transform because of these animals and now I hope to some day be able to care for these animals as a veterinarian. Animals has always been my passion and I want to be able to show the state of Vermont and eventually all of the U.S. how animals can have such a strong impact on the daily life of people.
How has working alongside your platform made you into a stronger person?
I have seen people struggle with addiction, physical and mental disabilities as well as severe anxiety and depression. Animals have Always been then tie between all these people for me. I have seen people come from such a low place, including myself, and have an animal introduced to them and change their whole outlook on life itself. I have personally become stronger in falling in love with the animals that aid people and being able to learn to care for them through my undergraduate education.
What have you learned from your current Miss Vermont, Rylee, which you hope to carry with you if you were to win the title of Miss Vermont?
Something that I have learned from our current Miss Vermont which I will continue to carry with me is that not everything will go as planned and that you need to be adaptable for every situation. Living in Vermont, things can change in a blink of an eye. From the weather, the expectations of you at an appearance, to the people who may be your audience for that day. Rylee had taught me that the key to being successful in this job is being able to take every appearance as a new experience and to expect the unexpected at all times.
As a title-holder, what is one of the single-most important message, which you think you convey to your followers?
As a titleholder, a single message that I believe I conveyed to my followers is that you always need to be yourself. No matter what, at the end of the day, you are still going to go to sleep being you and I think being the best you you can be is what’s going to make you the most successful in communicating your platform to people who may not know what it’s about and even just making connections with individuals who don’t come from the same background as you do.
If you were to win the title of Miss Vermont, what is the one thing which you would strive the hardest to accomplish?
I would strive the hardest to bring my platform to Vermont in a greater sense. There are many animals assisted therapy programs in the great green mountain state, but I would love to educate children and adults in order to make sure that they are aware of these types of programs available to those who may need to use them. The availability of these programs can sometimes be covered by insurance costs and also provide a different type of therapy for people who may not experience the benefits of traditional therapy methods.
Imagine you’re competing for Miss America, and your roommate has never visited Vermont; how would you describe your state to your roommate?
Vermont to me is the great green mountain state. Whether it’s the landscapes, the vast majority of wildlife in the state, or the huge number of cows that fill many of the fields here in Vermont. Something that drew me to the state of Vermont for college was the great importance of being a community and being able to share the wealth of others with each other. In Vermont, we take pride in our state and I looking to better the greater good of all citizens here.
If you could place three items in a time capsule, which represent the women of today, what would they be and why?
This question is really hard for me. I believe that women today have changed the world in so many ways. I would probably have a video made of women and their accomplishments in the past ten years, a copy of a women’s magazine to show the change in fashion, and a science journal to show the great shift in women scientists.
Because of media, many people tend to look at pageant with a very scrutinizing opinion; For you. personally, what have been some of the biggest benefits of being a part of the Miss America Organization. And how would you share the positive nature of pageants with others who may not be familiar?
Personally for me growing up as a child, I believed that women had to be either pretty or smart and in high school I strived to be just one of those dependent on my environment. Through the Miss America organization, I have learned that we are all beautiful and intelligent women that are changing the world day by day. This organization has brought me so many new opportunities and friendships and will leave a lasting impact on my heart. This pageant is more than just beauty, but focuses on intelligence and the great use of scholarship money in order to better the higher education system to make it more affordable for women who may not have that opportunity.
“Bravura” is an artistic word for exceptional; in your opinion, what makes you “bravura”?
I am involved. I am educated. I have an inner drive for success. I strive to be the best version of myself that I can be. All of these things makes me bravura.
Where can fans follow you on social media?
My Facebook page, and my Instagram is: @katarina_mariaa.
What advice do you have for those who want to take part in pageants?
Follow your heart and decide that you want to do it for yourself. On that stage, don’t worry about the cost of your gown, how fancy your jewelry is, or how much better you think someone else is compared to you: focus on making yourself proud of all that you accomplished and you will go far.
What words of thanks do you have for those who have helped to bring you to where you are today in the Miss Vermont Class of 2017?
Everyone in my life today no matter how positive or negative their experience with me has been, has brought me closer to the Miss Vermont organization. Whether it was overcoming the negative view points I had of myself or strengthening the positive affirmations that I make in order to make myself a better version of myself. I would like to think my sorority sisters as well as my great friends that I have gained here at the University of Vermont or that I have kept throughout my childhood for making sure that I am being the best version of myself and being true to who I really am. Thank you to all of my baton coaches for making me believe in myself and to the organization that started my passion for animal therapy, HorseAbility, you always be in my heart. Last but not least thank you to my family who have been a supportive as possible for me throughout this journey.
What final words do you have for the readers of Bravura Magazine?
I wanted to thank you all for reading my story. I want to encourage you that if you have a dream don’t let anyone stop you and continue to believe in yourself.
The 2017 Miss Vermont competition takes place on Friday, April 21st at the Vergennes Opera House. The competition begins at 7:00pm! Keep it locked on Bravura Magazine to find out who gets crowned Miss Vermont 2017 and earns her way to Miss America! To make a donation to the Miss Vermont Organization, you can do so via this link.