Alexis Mitchell

Growing up I never felt like I belonged at school. I was that kid that woke up every day just dreading going to school. I was bullied a lot during elementary school because of my weight or because I was "different", but by the time I got to junior high I was so scared to be myself, that I was the quiet girl sitting in a corner by herself most of those two years of my life. By the time I became a freshman in high school I got over that stage and started being myself again. This was also one of the best years of my life and one of the worst. Girls in my class including my "best friends" started turning against me and did everything in their power to make my life miserable at school. I was called names to my face like "fat" or "ugly" or "worthless". Then it turned to cyberbullying by these girls calling me the same names on Facebook and social media. This happened on a daily basis.

While this was going on, I won my very first title as Teen Miss Pioneer 2011, and then I went to compete at  Williams County where I had to give a community concentration speech. Of course mine was about Anti Bullying. I was very proud of my performance and I really felt like I moved the audience. Little did I know that some of those girls, were there to mock me. So just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. As a choir we went on a trip together, and while I was changing into my robe, this big group of girls surrounded me and had me cornered. They started degrading me and the speech I gave at the Williams County pageant, saying that the things I said were false and I had no right to say any of that. Next thing I knew I was sitting on the bathroom floor crying. This was my breaking point for me. I missed so much school and missed out on good opportunities. My parents and I went to the guidance counselor so many times but nothing worked. So finally after that year, I decided to change schools. It wasn't an easy decision, but I knew that this was best for me. And it ended up being one of the best decisions I've ever made. I became so involved in everything! I was in cheerleading again, I did the school musical every year, I was in FFA and I even was awarded Junior Attendant for homecoming. Also having weight problems my whole life, I decided to finally take charge after the incident. I ended up losing about around 50 pounds and I feel so much better about myself physically and emotionally.

If it weren't for pageants I don't know where I'd be. Pageants have gave me so much confidence whether its with public speaking, modeling or just confidence in myself, pageantry is the reason I am the person I am today. With receiving two local titles, a county title, two state titles( Teen Miss Ohio State), 2nd and 1st runner up at the national level, and my recent title being my very first national title as your National Excellence Teen Queen, you can see my passion with pageantry has never stopped. But with pageantry comes volunteerism, and I have made sure that I take my story and share it with other girls to show them that all of that negativity in your life doesn't have to define you and where you go in the future. My goal in life is to make people feel more confident in themselves, because when someone has confidence in who they are as a person, they are truly unstoppable. You are strong. You are brave. And you are so beautiful.