Titleholder Tuesday; Miss Rochester International

 Miss Rochester International: Victoria Rippel

Hometown: Batavia, NY

Countdown to the Crown Facebook Page
Miss New York International Website

Which MNY locals have competed in? I completed at Miss Greater Rochester, Miss Finger Lakes, Miss Thousand Islands and Miss Buffalo.

Why did you start competing in pageants/MAO locals? I started for a couple different reasons, first was that as a little girl like many I watched Miss America every year and just had little girl dreams of being a princess like those girls. I didn’t know any of them but I looked up to them and wanted to be like them. When I got older I realized what an amazing chance that being a titleholder meant as a role model. Being a role model has always been a driving force for me, I believe that my personal story as the ability to touch people and I wanted to help empower and support other girls and women who went through similar trials growing up. That’s really were my platforms I competed with came from (I did both domestic violence and service learning) for me my platform choices a being a role model were closely connected. Of course I was also a college student who was also looking for scholarship money and the Miss America System gave me a chance to help support my studies.

Why did you chose to compete in Miss International? I choice the Miss International system because of the importance they put on the personal platform. That is so important to me and as I have personally gotten more involved with domestic violence I felt a need to find ways to speak out about the signs and ways to support those dealing with these situations at a number of different levels. I also had seen through my friends that had competed in the system how supportive they were of the girl competing and how they really encourage and support their title holders to success in all areas of their lives.

Why is your platform unique? My personal connect to my platform is really where the difference comes in, I watch my mom go through abuse situation for most of my childhood till she ultimately died. It has been 17 years since her death and what happened to her is still a mystery. The cycle of domestic violence begins young, my mother’s history of abuse relationships started long before she had children. And the cycle could have continued with me, when someone asked me one of my greatest accomplishment is, I always say it is being a break the cycle kid. Does that mean I have been in abuse relationships? No, sadly I have dealt with emotional abused relationships but I was able to recognize the sighs and move away before it became worse. For me my platform is a person mission to help people better understand the signs of abuse, what happens in abusive relationships and hopefully help to lead to a break the cycle generation, where my message isn’t needed anymore. It is also to honor my mother and show that her story makes a difference.

What has been your favorite appearance or service event so far this reign? I was able to take part in the Rochester’s Women Magazine Help and Wellness Exhibit. It was such fun event, I was able to help represent a number of the nonprofits I am working with, talk about my personal connection and also get to be that role model through my actions throughout the day. As far as a service event, I was so excited to set up a drive for supplies to the Alternatives for Batter Women shelter in Rochester for Mother’s Day. It was such a great feeling dropping off 75 care packages for the women who will be going through their shelter.

What appearance or service event would you like to do most before the end of your reign? I am really excited about getting into schools, with October being Domestic Violence awareness month I am looking forward to being able to be out in the community for the month and helping out at the organizations I have partner with.

Which is your favorite phase of competition? Interview!!!! I love interview, it’s a chance for the judges to see the real me and get to know me at a different level. It is also the place where I am most able to share my story and why I am competing.

If you could add, remove, or change (either approach or scoring) of one phase of competition I would love to add in a press conference style Q and A where the audience could ask questions. I think one of the most important jobs of a title holder is interacting with the public and the media so it be a great chance for the judges to see firsthand how a girl handles that setting.

10254031_662880716654_3912490486394298491_nHow do you prepare for pageants (either local or state)? The first thing is that I make it a priority. I have a very busy life and as soon as I starting thinking about competing I make sure I have the time to committee to the prep work and also to after if I am luckily enough to be selected. I am a planner so I spend time making sure that I do everything that is important. As silly as it sounds making sure I get 8 hours of sleep a night, every Sunday I do meal planning with or without a pageant but using that time to also plan in practicing interviews and checking over my schedule. For this pageant I was lucky enough to find Dan Dirkx and Angela Santos Captain from CrossFit Fruition to help with my training. I have fallen in love with CrossFit in the process. I also cycle and doing Les Mills Combat and TurboFire. I have always enjoyed working out and pageants always help me to focus on taking care of myself in every way.

What advice do you have for a girl who thinks she can’t compete in pageants? Go for it, don’t think about what everyone says about it. You truly can’t understand what its like until you try so try once! You have nothing to lose and if you are luckily enough to come out with everything I have then it’s a blessing no matter what.

What do you plan to do with your pageant experiences after you finish competing? You can always find me backstage at pageants, where hopefully I can help pass on what I have learned to those competing now. I also use the skills every day at my job and with organizations I volunteer with.

Why should you be Miss NY International? I should be the next Miss New York International because I am a passion support of the organization thought through my years of experience in pageants will put my all into my year of service, in preparing to bring the title of Miss International back to New York again but most importantly through sharing my story of living in a domestic violence situation to education the community and help support legislative changes to give children a voice in the process of healing.