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How Do Miss USA Contestants Define Success?
06 May 2017

How Do Miss USA Contestants Define Success?

Miss USA 2017How do you define success? We asked this year’s Miss USA contestants from across the country to share what achieving success means to them. See their answers below and watch the 2017 MISS USA® Competition LIVE on FOX Sunday, May 14th at 8pm ET.

Miss Alabama USA Baylee Smith: “Success is being happy in every aspect of my life.”

Miss Alaska USA Alyssa London: “When my work impacts others in a positive way, I feel successful.”

Miss Arizona USA Tommy Lynn Calhoun: “Success comes in so many different shapes, sizes and experiences. Making lemonade out of lemons. Finding our purpose and walking in it. Breaking down walls. Inspiring yourself and others to see things they couldn’t see and to do things they never thought they good. Getting knocked down, but not allowing yourself to be knocked out. All of those are how I define success.”

Miss Arkansas USA Arynn Johnson: “Success to me is defined by happiness. I deem myself successful if I am happy with where I am in life and where I plan to go. I have all of these crazy dreams, and yes I want to achieve them. But I wont deem myself successful unless I am happy with where I am in life.”

Miss California USA India Williams: “My personal definition of success is being able to set and achieve goals regardless of how big or small they may be.”

Miss Colorado USA Sabrina Janssen: “Success, in part, is overcoming your failures and continuing to push on. At the end of the day, it is self-satisfaction, that can not be taken away. Until I learned to be happy with who I am and what I believe in, I knew I could never achieve my goals and be successful.”

Miss Connecticut USA Olga Litvinenko: “Success is about being happy while achieving your goals without being phased about the deadline of your accomplishments.”

Miss Delaware USA Mia Jones: “Success is built off of the actions the individual had to take to potentially reach a specific goal. It may come easy to some, others may have to struggle and some may never reach their goal but accomplished benchmarks along the way. As long as the individual is proud of his/her accomplishment… it is a success!”

Miss District of Columbia USA Kára McCullough: “My definition of success is not allowing fear or failure to define me. I’ve always recognized the process before the outcome. As a female scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission I feel successful walking into my agency, because I know only I can control my destiny. It all became clear that I am in competition with myself, when I overcame my fear of math at a young age, graduated with a degree in Radiochemistry and decided to be the only scholar in my class to major in Radiochemistry. Therefore, If I help one student pass math or chemistry, one young lady improve on the basketball court, one stranger learn about radiochemistry, I know that I have not allowed fear or failure to limit my success or ability to connect others.”

Miss Florida USA Linette De Los Santos: “Success means being able to overcome every obstacle life throws your way and staying true to yourself. I am successful because even though I had to prove that I belonged in Law School by passing the conditional program, I didn't let the fear of not passing, stop me. I worked harder than I have ever worked to have the chance of continuing my education and achieving my dream of becoming an attorney in the State of Florida.”

Miss Georgia USA DeAnna Johnson: “Success is a never-ending personal journey of discovering one's self and chasing your individual goals and dreams.”

Miss Hawaii USA Julie Kuo: “Success is when you have reached a point in life where you can start to give back to the people and the community that have helped you become who you are. My parents have sacrificed so many things in life for my sister and I to live in Hawaii to find the American Dream. My parents are the ones I would like to give back first when I reach my American Dream.”

Miss Idaho USA Cassie Lewis: “I define success as finding and living out your purpose. As long as I am building relationships and empowering young women, I will consider my life a success.”

Miss Illinois USA Whitney Wandland: “Success is being well prepared, working harder than everyone else in the room, and surpassing the goal that you set for yourself. I believe that success isn’t just achieving the biggest dream you’ve ever had in your life, but success is winning all the little battles along the way.”

Miss Indiana USA Brittany Winchester: “Success is setting a goal, working fearlessly towards that goal, and then, with perseverance and focus, achieving that goal!”

Miss Iowa USA Kelsey Weier: “Success to me is not being scared to go after my dreams. Success comes in many forms. Although my dreams may not always come true, as long as I know I tried and gave it my all that’s what matters to me.”

Miss Kansas USA Catherine Carmichael: “To me success means waking up every day and knowing that you are living a life YOU love. In my opinion the people who are most ‘successful’ have the things that money can't buy. No matter where you are in life, if you love yourself, love what your doing, and know without a shadow of a doubt that you're doing it to the best of your ability; to accomplish the goals that YOU set for your life. Then to me, you are successful.”

Miss Kentucky USA Madelynne Myers: “Success for me is utilizing my skill set, experience and knowledge in situations that improve the lives of others. I have felt most successful serving on mission trips where my work has made a positive change in someone's life, whether it was building a sanitation station (a toilet/shower combination) from the ground up or fitting a villager with eyeglasses. I believe helping our world's most needy creates a model and an example which inspires and encourages even the most disadvantaged to reach out to help others to make a difference in the world.”

Miss Louisiana USA Bethany Trahan: “To me, success is peace of mind. It's looking back at your endeavors and accomplishments and knowing you did your very best while feeling no regret about what you did or didn't do.”

Miss Maine USA Brooke Harris: “To me, success is not measured in monetary value or status. It is being at peace with yourself, your life, and the legacy you are leaving behind. Success is the continual pursuit of happiness for both yourself and those you love and leaving the World a better place than when you entered it.”

Miss Maryland USA Adrianna David: “Adrianna believes success is the continuous journey towards the achievement of predetermined worthwhile goals. This mantra has been instilled in her since she was 6 years old; her father started the practice of reciting this definition of success every morning when he would drive her to school.”

Miss Massachusetts USA Julia Scaparotti: “Success is simply setting goals for yourself and working hard to attain those goals. It is never giving up and always working to better ones self.”

Miss Michigan USA Krista Ferguson: “I define success as maintaining determination to reach for your goals and dreams. Success is taking the necessary steps needed to accomplish these dreams and not let setbacks compromise your progress.”

Miss Minnesota USA Meridith Gould: “Success is not associated with a large paycheck at the end of every month, but it IS a payout. It's seeing your hundreds of hours of studying, your long days of working with clashing personalities, and your non stop dedication turn into the achievement of one goal, aspiration, or dream.”

Miss Mississippi USA Ashley Hamby: “I define success as finding your purpose, and pursuing it. When we find our purpose or our passion in life, it allows us to set goals and accomplish those goals. All of the milestones we reach along the way make us successful.”

Miss Missouri USA Bayleigh Dayton: “I define success as the peace people get when they are doing something that fulfills them. My idea of success has nothing to do with a dollar amount or with someone's status. Success to me happens over and over. At every new level, every accomplishment, every different experience there is success. Like they say ‘success is in the journey, not the destination.’”

Miss Montana USA Brooke Bezanson: "Brooke defines success as setting a goal, formulating a plan and putting your best foot forward."

Miss Nebraska USA Jasmine Fuelberth: “This world puts so much focus on gaining riches, fame, and power, and my mentality is completely opposite of that. I believe success is having healthy relationships and striving each day to be a better person than you were yesterday. My ultimate goal is to live a life I can be proud of when I'm old and look back on everything I've done. I want to be the best version of myself in every area. And if I can say that I did my absolute best in loving God and loving people, then I would consider that a success.”

Miss Nevada USA Lauren York: “I think the measure of success is different for everyone. For some, it might be financial freedom. For others, it might be the ability to travel. For me, success is knowing that I am bettering myself every day and doing what I can to reach others. Those are the things that bring me happiness, and while different people may have different dreams, true happiness is the only universal measure of success.”

Miss New Hampshire USA Sarah Mousseau: “To me success is ongoing. It is not a status that you reach, but rather a journey that continues throughout a lifetime. It's about setting goals, working hard to achieve them, and never settling. It's important to understand that there is always room for continued growth and development.”

Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg: “You try, you fail, you try, you fail, but the real failure is when you stop trying. I have come to understand the meaning of success through failure and have realized that success and failure are not opposites. In fact, failure is a crucial part of success because it provides learning opportunities that are essential for growth. Since I define success as growth, the opposite of success for me is the absence of trying and accepting defeat.”

Miss New Mexico USA Ashley Mora: “I believe that success is measured by personal growth. If you're able to look back a year, month, week, or day ago and say that you're a better person, you are successful. Success shouldn't be measured by wealth or status but by making small changes every single day towards becoming the absolute best version of yourself. I believe that success is something that we should constantly be striving for and it's something constantly evolving.”

Miss New York USA Hannah Lopa: “Hannah's personal definition of success was finding the motivation to escape a physically, mentally and emotionally abusive relationship and regain control of her life.”

Miss North Carolina USA Katie Coble: “For me, success is a juicy combination of a career I’m passionate about, being able to travel and see the world, have great friends, self-love, family support, good health, and a home to always fly back to!”

Miss North Dakota USA Raquel Wellentin: “Trying new things that you normally don’t do to challenge yourself and to overcome your fear by giving all of your effort.”

Miss Ohio USA Dinaleigh Baxter: “Achieving the goals you have set for yourself while achieving inner happiness.”

Miss Oklahoma USA Alex Smith: “Alex defines success as finding fulfillment. Whether that be in making a difference, personal achievements or ultimately being happy. She believes success comes in all many different forms.”

Miss Oregon USA Liz Denny: “Liz feels she is most successful and happiest when she is reaching outside of her comfort zone, discovering new adventures, and experiencing personal growth.”

Miss Pennsylvania USA Cassandra Angst: “Success is to be happy with the life you live. It's having the peace of mind knowing that you've become the best possible version of yourself. You're passionate about what you want to achieve and never give up!”

Miss Rhode Island USA Kelsey Swanson: “Success comes in many forms, but is always achieved with hard work, dedication and commitment. Success is maximizing your potential to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. Just like beauty, success is in the eye of the beholder; you can live up to your own standards of success.”

Miss South Carolina USA Megan Gordon: “A defining moment of success for me happened once I unveiled my true purpose. When I became incredibly clear on my calling and was able to operate out of an authentic space consistently, I knew that I had reached success. Serving others and motivating other young women to reach their success comes natural to me. When I am doing these things, I feel a sense of peace and purpose. Once someone discovers why they were put on this Earth and is able to stand firmly in their truth, I believe great success will follow.”

Miss South Dakota USA Tessa Dee: “Trusting in the journey, knowing you have given all you can, and enjoying the result, whatever it may be. I first felt this when receiving a second place trophy with my high school gymnastics team felt like earning an Olympic gold medal.”

Miss Tennessee USA Allee-Sutton Hethcoat: “Success is building and leading a life that you are excited and proud to live.”

Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez: “I define success as persistence and achievement while staying true to yourself. I believe that success is about how many times you dust yourself off and keep pushing and advancing bit by bit until you reach your final goal.”

Miss Utah USA Baylee Jensen: “To me success means learning. No matter how hard we want something or work for it, we know that life does not always work out the way we imagined. More often than not, it is not meant to work out the way we want it. If we can have an open mind and gain knowledge through our hard work and trials, than there is the success.”

Miss Vermont USA Madison Trimbey Cota: “Success is a journey not a destination.”

Miss Virginia USA Jaqueline Carroll: “Success for me means working hard toward my goals. Not achieving them does not mean I did not succeed; as I find something to be learned from any attempt or experience.”

Miss Washington USA Alex Carlson-Helo: “Can't is not in my vocabulary and with this mindset, success is inevitable.”

Miss West Virginia USA Lauren Roush: “I believe success is individually defined by each person. Success to one person may not equate to success for another. For me personally, it is being passionate about life, loving the moments you create for yourself, being pleased with the personal growth and progress you’ve made, facing difficult times with dignity and grace, and never giving up on your dreams. In the words of Shakespeare, ‘to thine own self be true.’ Based on these tenets, I consider myself successful.”

Miss Wisconsin USA Skylar Witte: “Success to me is defined through hard work and dedication. My parents were my age (19) when I was born. My dad dropped out of school to work two jobs while my mom powered through her last few semesters of school to make ends meet and raise a child. My parents made selfless sacrifices in order to provide the best life they could for my brother and I, even if there were challenges. My parents are successful because even when there were challenges, they worked through whatever life threw at them. They never have to tell my brother and I what hard work is, because they show us every day. They have been successfully married and have raised a family for the past 20 years!”

Miss Wyoming 2016 Mikaela Show: “Success starts once you know what your goals are and progressively work towards them. The process a person uses to achieve that goal truly defines their success. When I was younger, I would get so nervous for violin concerts. Since I had songs memorized and didn't rely on notes, I would sometimes forget parts of the song. I thought I was failing, but I was actually succeeding. I was successful because my goal was to be a violinist in a symphony orchestra and every concert (good or bad) set me up to be a better violinist. I don't think we will ever understand the paths we took to get to our goals until our goals are achieved and we look back in retrospect. I knew that I had to continue to work towards my goals if I wanted to achieve them and 11 years later I did! I will always have new goals, and as long as can define the goal and works toward it I am successful.”