When Olivia registered for the 49th annual Miss Thousand Islands pageant the Clayton Opera House, she was expecting to make great friends, rock the stage with her vocal performance, and go home feeling overjoyed with excitement, ready to participate again. Somewhere in the back of her mind, of course she wanted to win; she knew that the Miss America Organization’s emphasis on service was the perfect outlet to make a difference. But as a recent high school graduate who had never competed before, imagine the surprise when she heard her name called, was crowned by Nina Davuluri (who would later go on to become Miss America), and she took her first walk as Miss Thousand Islands 2014.
Shortly after being crowned, Olivia jumped right into serving the Thousand Islands region. Even though she attends university up in Canada, she has attended nearly every preliminary pageant to see which future queens she would be competing with at the state pageant. Each year A Touch of Grace in Watertown sponsors a fashion show to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Olivia not only hosted this event, but performed as well. While north of the border, Olivia promotes her platform, Unedited Beauty, through photo collages, banners, and inspirational posts the Facebook Page.
Olivia was born with a large birthmark across the entirety of the back of her left thigh, and as a child never believed she could be involved with pageants. Thankfully, as she grew up she learned to embrace what makes her unique, and different, and came to realize that her birthmark is part of what makes her beautiful. Unedited Beauty comes from this realization, and aims to bring forth a whole new perspective on the beauty culture.
By visiting clubs and schools, Olivia hopes to spread one message: real beauty is not conforming to the norm, it’s embracing one’s inner and outer uniqueness for all it is and using it as a foundation for greatness. This message promotes acceptance in the community, and will allow people to make their own definition of beauty.
Pageantry helps contestants be confident and make a difference, while being true to themselves. Even after Olivia is finished competing, while hopefully will not come for a long time, she will leave with oodles of once in a lifetime experiences. She will use all she learned to continue and serve her community, possibly as a global development leader in social work. The passion for serving others and making a change in society is the driving force behind all of the hard work she puts forth in competing and this alone, not to mention her powerful voice, natural beauty, and graceful elegance on stage, is what affirms Olivia Grant would make a truly amazing Miss America.