About Me

My photo
Hello everyone! My name is Mercedes Harvey and I am your current Miss California Teen Achieve 2010. This is a blog I will update weekly of all the great events and fantastic/life changing opportunities that serving as your queen has allowed me to have. I will be uploading pictures and videos and then telling you a summary of what they are about. What I hope to accomplish by this blog is to help young women become interested in participating in the Miss California Teen Achieve Pageant. It is truly a one of a kind scholarship pageant based on scholastic achievement and community service, not just beauty. It will increase your self confidence, help you possibly win scholarship money and meet amazing friends for life, and teach you valuable assets about yourself. Don’t miss out! :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Final Weekend

This past weekend was the Miss California Teen Achieve 2011 Pageant. I arrived at Embassy suites on Friday afternoon, after getting my hair and makeup done, and helped my parents unpack for the weekend. There was the coronation “Crowns and Gowns” dinner at 7 pm that night, and I had to look my best for all of the contestants that I was going to meet. When 7 pm finally came around, I went downstairs to the ballroom where the dinner was going to be held and I introduced myself to the few contestants that were able to make it. There were also a few visiting queens so I made sure to introduce myself to them as well. During dinner, Marlene my director let Mrs. California, one of the visiting queens, introduce herself and explain to the girls about how much a job it truly is to win a pageant and that its not always about the glamour and beauty, its about the dedication to the community and the 365 days of community service after. It’s about service, not you. Her speech was truly inspirational and I was so thankful I got to hear it. After the speech Kelinda (Miss California Junior Teen Achieve) and I crowned the contestants that were present at the dinner with their delegate crowns. It was so sweet to see the looks of joy and amazement as the girls felt the idea of being royal for the first time. The next day, Saturday, was the lunch with the queen. A few more contestants arrived and we all ate lunch in a beautiful section of the hotel restaurant. My mom laid out all my photo albums, all 5 of them, and the girls were able to look through them and see all of the events that I had done throughout my year. The girls that were there were Lynnette, Looloo, Lila, Samantha, Julie, Elaine, and Lynnette’s friend Alexis. Because there were so many contestants there, along with their mothers, I went ahead and gave my “How to Get Events” presentation to the girls and showed them how even with their delegate crowns and sashes they can still do events and be queens in their local community. It was important for me to show them that they could still do events even if they didn’t win the Miss California Teen Achieve title, because they still have a title and a desire to make a change-and that’s truly all you need. Later on, Marlene told the girls that three of the judges were at the hotel and that they were allowing for early interviews. All of the contestants except for Samantha decided to go ahead and get the interviews out of the way, which I thought was a good idea. After the interviews, I told them all I was having a “Movie Night” at my room if they wanted to come and hang out with me and the few that were staying at the hotel, Lynnette, Alexis, Lila and Taylor were able to come and hang with me. We watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, and stuffed our faces with junk food.  I love girl’s nights! The next morning, was the real pageant day. We started out with a queen’s breakfast and all the contestants (Miss, Junior Teen, and Teen) came to eat with us. Marlene made announcements throughout the breakfast about the events of the day and had me and Miss American Teen Achieve Anna Suzette help pass out the sashes and crowns for the girls that hadn’t made it on Friday or Saturday and also the pins that would be able to go on their sashes. The pins were for things like community service, GPA, making honor roll, and other achievements. It was such an honor to be able to award these ladies with what they deserved for all the hard work they have done in their life. After the breakfast, I quickly ran upstairs to change and get ready for the opening number rehearsal. There wasn’t an opening number during my pageant so I was really excited to be able to have a cute little top number for the judges and audience. It was to the song “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green and between laughing like crazy, and trying not to run into each other-the dance was really fun! But then Marlene came in and announced that interviews were starting and all of the girls put on their professional faces and got ready to be interviewed. I remember how it felt to get ready for interviews when I was in the pageant. It was nerve-racking but since I am completely comfortable in talking to people I didn’t mind it that much. I spent the majority of my day with the girls, getting ready for the different parts of the pageant and talking to people that asked questions. This would be the last time I could wear my crown and I truly wanted to work it. I have to admit, however, that I did shed quite a few tears when they played my slideshow and video from the El Cajon Chamber of Commerce. It was such a heart string tugger facing the reality that my reign was over and I would no longer be queen.  Especially when I said my farewell speech, it made me realize just how truly lucky and honoring it was for me to have been crowned the Miss California Teen Achieve title and how many great lessons it has taught me for my life. I will never forget my year as queen and I know that it will always be the most life changing event for me. I wish the new queens, LooLoo, Lila and Julie amazing luck in their reign and I hope it changes their lives for the better as it did me.

Thank you to all the people that actually read my blog, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read it and it means a lot to me. I will miss it greatly but I am excited for the next chapter in my life. So farewell California!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Farewell Video from the East County Chamber of Commerce!

My Video :)


My Final Event: The Grand Opening of Children’s Place

            Last Tuesday was my final event as Miss California Teen Achieve.  It’s so hard for me to believe that this was my last event after such an eventful and amazing year. I have worked side by side with the East County Chamber of Commerce for so long that it seems so weird and unnatural to see it all just end. When I arrived at the Children’s Place, I met the owner and teachers that worked there. They took us on a small tour of the Children’s Place and I was introduced to about 4 toddlers that were in the day care center. I absolutely adore little kids so I sat down and talked to the little kids, playing with them and laughing at the silly things they did. Miss El Cajon and Miss Teen El Cajon Princess arrived at the ribbon cutting not long after and she and I went and took pictures with the children, and the staff. All of the East County Chamber of Commerce members had arrived, including Sherral, and a representative from the U.S. House of Representatives, California Legislature, and California Senate. Miss El Cajon, Miss Teen El Cajon Princess, myself, and the East County Chamber of Commerce all stood with the preschool faculty for the ribbon cutting photos and the presentation of the letters from each of the prestigious state and national departments. It’s such an honor to be present for the ribbon cuttings, because you are initially taking part in a once in a lifetime experience. After the ribbon cutting, I was expecting to continue on as usual, meet as many people as I could, take as many pictures as I could and say my final goodbyes. However, when I turned around, I noticed that Sherral walked to the front of the room and said “We also now have a second announcement. Today we are saying goodbye to our very loved and amazing queen, Mercedes Harvey, Miss California Teen Achieve 2010” She then had another member of the Chamber speak to the crowd about what a blessing I had been to them this year, and how I am destined for great things with my caring and loving personality. Then, to my absolute surprise I was presented with “Thank you letters for Outstanding Community Service and Leadership” from all three of the state and national departments: the California Senate, Legislature and U.S. House of Representatives. I began to cry because I was absolutely honored.  I had never in my wildest dreams expected to be honored like that in front of all the ones I had worked with so long, and a few people I had met a few times. I really felt like I was leaving my family and getting a priceless farewell gift like that from them just made it that much more sad to me to say goodbye. But I know that it will not be the last time I see them, I will be staying in touch and helping them in any way shape or form that I can-even after my pageant is over. It has been a phenomenal service for me to work side by side with such an Amazing group of people, and I can truly say that they are one of the main reasons for why I had an amazing a year like I did.

East Coast Family Optometry Grand Re-opening

Last week, I had the grand opening for the East Coast Family Optometry. It was my second to last ribbon cutting and I was so excited to have even more memories with the East County Chamber of Commerce, El Cajon queens, and the wonderful people of El Cajon. When my mother and I arrived, we were instantly felt welcomed.. They were vendors setting up tables, to sell specially marked brands such as Gucci, Juicy Couture, and Versace, as a gift for those who came to support the new management of East Coast Family Optometry. The old owner of the business was retiring after working there for nearly 40 years and was turning over ownership to a young doctor and his wife. They were the nicest people and were excited to show us around their store. The past owner himself was quite a hoot however. He took one look at me and Miss El Cajon (who had arrived) and said “I’m not quite sure if I want to retire now!” I was really happy I got to meet someone like him; he definitely knew how to bring a smile to anyone’s face and make them feel comfortable in any environment. His wife, on the other hand, was a very classy lady. She told me that she didn’t understand why her husband would be retiring, because she completely thought he could most likely last for a couple more years. It was really funny to see how much the two loved each other and could be so sarcastic with one another at such a mature age. Sherral and the rest of the East County Chamber of Commerce were also so happy to see me, because they too will be sad when my reign is over. They were at the event and thanked me for driving all the way down to El Cajon once again. It is such an honor to know all of these great people and I think that working with them will be the one thing that I miss the most about being queen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr. Cardinal Pageant

After the Oceanside Park Day, my mom and I drove an hour and a half to San Bernardino for the 8th annual Mr. Cardinal pageant. Jamie, the director of the Mr. Cardinal, had been a judge for the Miss Southern California Teen Achieve Pageant, and his past king Mr. Cardinal had also been at the Mr. Vista pageant, so my mom and I were happy to support Jamie at his pageant. When we arrived, I was surprised to see all the different types of queens that were there including Miss Earth, Miss Riverside, Miss Little Riverside, Miss California International, Miss Teen Citrus Valley, and many more. When the pageant was about to start, the little queen-Miss Little Riverside, came over and wanted to sit on my lap. She was only 4 years old and was so adorable: especially when it came to talking about her love for pageants, her dogs and cats, and her favorite Disney princess. The pageant itself was fantastic! All 15 male contestants did an outstanding opening number that was extremely well choreographed, and all of the young men’s personalities were superb. During sportswear they were all so happy and silly as they strutted the stage in their sports outfits and how classy and handsome they looked in their suits. I really found myself really liking one young man in particular and really thought he was going to win-but it turned out he got first runner up. Which isn’t a bad thing, it just was surprising to me because he was so good, in my opinion. He was obviously also very disappointed so after the  pageant I went up to him and told him that I really had been rooting for him the entire time and that he should definitely not give up. I know exactly what he felt like, because I did not win my first pageant either. But that meant I was destined for greater things-and the same applies for him. A quote that has always been helpful to me in times like this is “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Oceanside Heritage Day

On Saturday, I was invited by Eileen Turk, the director for the Friends of Oceanside Parks Organization to come take part in the first annual Oceanside Heritage Day which was basically set up to help raise money and awareness for Oceanside Parks and to bring people together once again. Eileen’s main goal is to help restore recreation to parks in Oceanside so that they will be just as well used as they once were. I thought this was such a good passion to have-because its true, parks are becoming more and more forgotten and becoming more and more run down and less used as families spend less time playing outside. So, when Eileen asked me to come and help support her at her event, I was thrilled. When I arrived, I introduced myself to several people and was even interviewed by the Oceanside TV station! I got to talk about why I was there: which was to sell raffle tickets, meet and greet, spread the word about the park, and just make people feel welcome. Eileen and all of her volunteers were so proud, thankful and excited to have me there. It made me feel so welcome! My mom and I went around and introduced ourselves to all of the people there-those running the car show, those playing in the band, the vendors, the dancers, and even the passersby. It was such a fun experience, and I will never forget how kind and friendly everyone was to me. I really will do everything to support and publicize the importance of Oceanside Parks ever since that event because I think that it is for a good cause, and it definitely is for the benefit of the community as a whole.