PAGEANT Talks Presents:
Miss Virginia United States 2017 Olivia Carter Rumsey
I am Miss Virginia United States 2017, Olivia Carter Rumsey. I was born in Plano, Texas and I am the first in my family to attend college! I am currently a junior studying Marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). I also serve on the executive leadership board for Phi Mu Fraternity and work as a bridal consultant at Caryn’s Bridals. I am hardworking, passionate about philanthropy, and a lover of the outdoors.
How did you get involved in pageants?
I want to start off by saying that I owe my love for pageantry to my Nana. A few years ago, she received a letter in the mail from a pageant system called National American Miss (NAM). I had been selected to compete for the title of Miss Teen Virginia. I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and very much a tomboy at the time. With that being said, my Nana signed me up (without informing my parents) and we began to prepare! Although I did not take home the crown, I learned a lot about myself and I knew I wanted to continue to compete and make a difference in my community.
Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Virginia United States?
After competing in the system as a teen last year, I knew I found an organization that was perfect for me and what I stand for. As a titleholder, I want use my year promoting my platform “We Rise by Lifting Others” by speaking about my story and letting each person know that no matter what they are going through, it does not define them as a person or where they are going in life. As a young adult, I have faced many struggles however, I turned the fear into strength and I grew from every situation that was thrown at me. I want nothing more than to be able to connect with people and give them the confidence that this organization has given me.
When you heard your name called and put on that sash what emotions or thoughts were going through your head?
When I heard my name being called, I was in complete shock. I was extremely excited and knew that all my hard work leading up to that moment had paid off. There were so many women on that stage with me who were all so deserving and beautiful. With that, I am blessed to have been chosen by the judges to represent the state of Virginia!
What was the first thing you did after the pageant?
Right after the pageant, my family and I went out to eat and celebrate my crowning!
What are you looking forward to during your reign?
During my reign, I am most excited to help make a difference in someone’s life. I am currently planning several events to help bring happiness to my community. I hope as Miss Virginia United States, I will be able to impact someone’s life and help to give them the strength they need during their difficult times.
Tell us about your platform?
When choosing my platform, I wanted to be able to connect with a lot of people and not have the topic focused on a specific cause, charity, etc. I decided to create the platform “We Rise by Lifting Others”. Having a simple, yet very broad topic as my platform has given me the opportunity to connect with several people on a personal level. I created this when I was going through a very hard time in my life. My family and I had just had a house fire and within the next year I lost several people who were very close to me. Although I was in pain, I wanted nothing more than to be a role model for my siblings and parents during this time. Now as a titleholder, I want to do the same for every person I meet. My hope is by sharing my story and personal struggle I will continue to serve as a role model to others who are going through difficult times. I want to encourage them to get out of their comfort zone and to dream BIG!
I love traveling and exploring new cities across the country. If I were to visit your hometown where would you take me?
If you were to travel to my hometown, you would be visiting Farmville, Virginia. My hometown may be small, but there are many things to do and see in the area. I would bring you to High Bridge Trail. This trail is 125 feet above the Appomattox River and is a 31-mile converted “rail trail” for hiking and biking. High Bridge is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia, and one of the longest in the United States!
What are you looking forward to the most at Miss United States?
I am extremely honored to be traveling to the Miss United States pageant in just six short weeks! I can honestly say that I am looking forward to meeting all the contestants.
What advice would you give to someone who was going to compete in their very first pageant?
My advice to anyone who is going to be competing in their first pageant is to have fun and be yourself! I know it sounds cliché, but it is true! In terms of the interview portion, my advice is to answer questions based on what comes to your mind first so that it is natural. Once it is time to compete just have fun! You have worked very hard up to that point so enjoy yourself and meet everyone you can! The title only lasts a year, but the friendships you make will last a lifetime!
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are the people in my life who have believed in me and helped me to succeed. I am so blessed to have such a strong support system filled with love. Thank you all!
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
I believe every woman should try to compliment and lift other women up (including strangers). In a world filled with hate, it is so important to be there for one another. By simply complimenting each other and bringing positivity to those around you, you will make such a difference in someone’s life.
What’s your one biggest pet peeve?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone smokes while walking down the sidewalk. I know it is strange to say, but there is nothing worse than choking on someone’s smoke while walking outside.
Describe yourself in two words?
I am motivated and passionate.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
The item in my closet I wear most often is a romper. They are so easy to dress up or down and perfect for almost every season!
What is one item you can’t live without?
One item that I cannot live without is my planner! I am a full-time student, state titleholder, and work two jobs. Having a planner helps to keep me organized and on top of things.
Photo Credit: Goodwin Photography
Follow Olivia on Social Media!
Instagram – virginia_unitedstates and/or ooooolivvvia
Facebook – Miss Virginia United States and/or Olivia Carter Rumsey