Miss Missouri 2014 Jessica Hartman kicked off the 6th Annual Van-Far A+ Career Fair with her motivational speech last Friday inside the high school gym.
Hartman told the students in the assembly that when their high school days are over, they will find life outside the district’s walls won’t be easy.
“It will be much harder to succeed and you will fail more than once,” she said. “But what will determine the kind of individual you become is how you accept those challenges and those failures and what you will decide to do with it.”
Hartman reminded students that she was once in their shoes as a 17-year-old who loved competitive figure skating. She said she trained year round for competitions.
With the hours spent in practice, she noted the importance to be mentally strong to obtain the goal of gaining the “characteristics of a winner and a mindset of a champion.”
She also told students about her Miss USA experience. Hartman held the title of Miss Colorado USA in 2010, where she placed third runner-up.
She won the title of Miss Intercontinental in 2011, competing against 59 other women from all over the world.
Hartman’s dreams of becoming Miss America came to an end this past fall when Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the title.
In spite of the loss, being crowned Miss Missouri was something Hartman won’t soon forget.
“I think anyone whose ever achieved a goal and had all of that hard work and dedication come to be a point of success; that’s the feeling I had the night I was crowned Miss Missouri,” she added. “All of that hard work and dedication were worth it and I was so excited to be able to represent such a great state at the national level and get to travel around and know the state even better.”
Hartman said the crown and sash gave her a voice and a platform to speak about the causes dear to her heart. This includes a focus on leadership development, STEM education, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
She said she enjoyed her visit to the district.
“The students here at Van-Far have been really amazing,” she said. “They were so cooperative and I could tell they were really engaged in what I was speaking about.”
She said she also enjoyed the soft-hearted questions like what movies she had seen, etc.
After leaving Van-Far, Hartman went to Springfield to crown a new Miss Springfield, who will compete for Miss Missouri next June.
During the day long event, there were several guest speakers providing presentations to students in classrooms throughout the Jr./Sr. High School.
This year’s list of scheduled presenters in a variety of career paths includes:
Natural Resources &
Agriculture: Nature Path
Eddie Purk (Sydenstricker), Mark McCulloch (private land conservationist), Jeff Moore (Penton Farm Progress), and Sarah Szachnieski (Natural Resource Conservation Service USDA)
Human Services Path
Phil Davis (MoDOT), Mark Woodward (Missouri Employers Mutual), Lt. Robin Terrell (WERDCC), and Lt. Nancy Padgett (WERDCC)
Industrial and Engineering Technology: Building and
Kim Trainor (MoDOT) and Matthew Jones (Hannibal Board of Public Works)
Health Services: Health Path
Dr. Carl Abbott (Precision Eye Care), Kerri Wyatt (Missouri Orthopedic Institute), Lori Swank (Van-Far Ambulance District), and Jennifer Williams (Pike County Memorial Hospital)
Communication: Creative Path
Deidre Hayden (Branded Custom Sportswear, Inc., Jennifer Adam (book editor), and Annie Wallace (Sunnyshine Designs)
Business, Management and Technology: Business Path
Bobby Christian (American Pacific Mortgage), Donna Wilson (Central Bank of Audrain County), Kelsey Thall (Landmark Bank), Adam Trower (Community State Bank), and Kim Kohl (AmDocs)
Colleges and other career opportunities represented includes the University of Missouri, Central Methodist University, Culver-Stockton College, Graceland University, Job Corps, Lincoln University, Moberly Area Community College, Northwest Missouri State University, Ranken Tech Center, Southeast Missouri State University, State Technical College of Missouri (Linn), Truman State University, Western Illinois University, St. Charles Community College, Missouri Army National Guard, along with the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines.
The Van-Far A+ Coordinator is Joy Davis.