Pancakes, Pageants, And Preparing for the Future

Last week was National Pancake Day! I had a blast going to IHOP in Idaho Falls to help greet all of the customers who came to get free pancakes and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The proceeds from the Idaho Falls location go specifically to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake. It was fun to see people from all over Southeastern Idaho who came to support such a great cause. I even ran into a student from Teton Valley High School that I visited last October. Many high school students came on their lunch breaks – it made me feel so old that I didn’t recognize many of them from Idaho Falls High School! It feels like yesterday that I was in their shoes.

A group of girls from IF High after enjoying some free pancakes at IHOP.

A group of Shelley High students who were taking an "extended" lunch break. ;)

Just last night, I had the opportunity to speak to the girls competing for Bonneville County’s Distinguished Young Women next month. I was also able to help a few of them individually with their closing statements for their interviews, and I must say that I was blown away by the caliber of girls who are competing this year! WOW! It was a lot of fun to revisit the organization that jump-started and preceded my involvement with the Miss America Organization. The Idaho Falls area is so lucky to have such dedicated volunteers to run scholarship organizations like Distinguished Young Women and Miss Idaho Falls’ Outstanding Teen and Miss Idaho Falls.

Between a few speaking engagements at service clubs like Kiwanis International, elementary school visits, and teaching piano lessons, I have been trying to get my life organized to return to school. I finally have a housing agreement, the best roommate ever, and tuition paid!!!! It is such a sweet feeling to be able to use my scholarship money from Miss Idaho to further my education. I’ll be returning to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for 2nd block Winter Semester classes, which start February 28th. However, my credit load will be pretty light so that I can return to Idaho Falls and Boise on weekends to do appearances. One of my courses is online through BYU Independent Study, and it will be a blessing to work on that course at my own pace, on my own schedule since I will still be traveling a lot. BYU Independent Study was a fabulous sponsor to have for Miss America this year, and they were a lot of fun to work with.

This week I’ll be in Boise to volunteer at the St. Luke’s Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Department, and for a Valentine’s Day VIP Celebration at the Veteran’s Hospital. And I’m hoping to deliver some handbags along the way. Keep on the lookout for pictures coming soon!

Until next time,
Whitney Wood
Miss Idaho 2012

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