Preparing Tomorrow’s Business Leaders Through Pageantry

It takes a lot of work to want something big!

“When I’m defeated and disappointed, I practice the 3P’s to help me overcome and push through: Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance.” Crystle Stewart, American Actress, Model and Miss USA 2008. 

Owner of Miss Academy, a pageant training school, and director of the Miss Houston Pageant, Crystal competed in pageants 12 times before being crowned Miss USA 2008. She competed five times for Miss Houston, five-time for Miss Texas, once for Miss Universe, and once for Miss USA. strangely enough, however, Crystle didn’t watch pageants growing up and neither was she interested. After many attempts to persuade Crystle, her friend finally convinced her to try out for her first pageant, Miss Houston. Soon after, she declared, “I have fallen in love with it.”

The Streets to Success

Crystle’s key to success in the 3P’s: Patience, Persistence, Perseverance. “When I have an idea, I just go for it and I don’t let anything get in the way.” throughout her career as an actress, Crystle was told no on many occasions. She went to auditions for acting jobs she wanted and was told no. rather than allowing the rejection to affect her negatively, she used the rejection as fuel to push forward. “I would pick myself up, learn from the defeat, and grow from it.” Similar to the acting auditions, when Crystle didn’t receive the crown in each of the pageants she competed in, she picked herself up. With the support of her family, friends, prayer, and mindset, Crystle kept pushing forward until she received a yes!

Aim for the stars

At 16 years old, Crystle was working at a modeling school where she was inspired to open her own school. “I loved the teachings. They taught us about hair, makeup walking, and posture.” however, rather than establishing a school that focused solely on modeling, Crystle also wanted to focus on etiquette. Some coaches and schools taught etiquette and modeling separately, yet there wasn’t a school that combined both aspects. Realizing the market gap, Crystle combined the idea of a modeling school and an etiquette school. Pageantry encompasses both of these school’s aspects and thus Miss Academy, the first pageant training school nationally and internationally, was born in Houston, Texas. “I want to impact as many girls as possible to participate in pageants and learn about themselves throughout their journey.” Currently, Crystle is creating the groundwork that will bring Miss Academy to international platforms. 

Budgeting for Tomorrow

“I want the Miss Houston contestants to be surrounded by strong women who are eager to learn and grow.” – Crystle Stewart. In April 2019, Miss Academy and Women’s Inflection Point (WIP) worked jointly on an ongoing collaborative mission to inspire the pageant contestant, between the ages of 13 and 27, in fulfilling their hopes and dreams with confidence, knowledge, and resources. WIP, a non-profit educational and result-driven organization aimed to cultivate this inspiration by raising awareness on wellness in the financial, spiritual, and mental space. The recent collaboration was a retreat that brought the contestants together as they discovered new and fascinating things about themselves and their fellow contestants. Further, the contestants also learned about their financial awareness and wellness in pursuing their goals with confidence. 

One of the lessons taught during the retreat is an understanding of pageant expense. The recent collaboration covered pageant expenses. The recent collaboration covered pageant budgeting in the pursuit to help the contestants understand financial affordability and sustainability in the future. Such focus includes answering the following questions: “How much can I bring in? How much can I put out? Can I cover costs today and later?” participating in the WIP retreat, the contestants received insights into ways of achieving a wealth-based lifestyle while competing in the 2019 Miss Houston Pageant. 

A second focus was on the contestant’s personalities and how different personality types affect them and those around them. As Crystle states, “as a whole, the relationship would get better between family members, friends, and parents.” Activities introduced at the retreat included theatrical role-playing and team-building exercises that taught communication styles between different personalities. After the activities, many of the contestants were seen sharing their insights with family members including acknowledging the reasons behind different personality clashes in the family and ways to resolve such clashes. Overall, the retreat in April 2019 was a huge success and both Miss Houston Pageant and WIP plans to continue this ongoing collaboration.

Renee Wilson Commentary

“Yes, Crystle Stewart is a class act and not only has impeccable taste, and incredible work ethic, but that’s not what I was most impressed with. Every young lady I met and spent time with felt the love and felt special because of the personal relationship with Crystle. She’s authentic, passionate, and genuine about the impact she desires to make in these young women’s lives holistically, and it was evident that that’s exactly what they felt,” said C. Renee Wilson, WIP Founder.