Miss Texas InternationalKourtney Kellar
Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town called Argyle, TX.
How would your best friend describe who you?
My best friend would say I’m genuine, easy going and that I’ve got an interesting sense of humor.
What were your teenage years like?
I wouldn’t go back if I had the chance too. Teenage years are rough on just about everyone I think.
What was your favorite subject in high school?
Wind ensemble was my favorite class. During marching season, we rehearsed and critiqued the musical portion of our show and then during concert season we perfected pieces that qualified us to travel to Chicago to play as a high school band. Plus, playing music beats listening to lectures any day.
What was your least favorite subject?
I loathed 8th period athletics. I used to “dress out” and then hide in the front bathroom with my best friend so we could avoid the timed mile every week.
Were you popular in school?
Eh, define popular. I was voted homecoming queen as a senior, but I wasn’t ever invited to the cool people parties. Matter of fact, I never even went to one party in high school.
What from your high schools days do you miss and would relive if you could?
Free textbooks, my parents paying my bills, no college debt, I could go on…
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced that helped you develop into the person you are today?
After high school, my family experienced a unique, unfortunate circumstance and I lost both of my parents. I went head first into college alone as a homeless, young adult and it was the scariest time of my life. I’m grateful for the mental and emotional strength I gained from the whole thing though, without it I’d probably be a spoiled brat.
This is a generation of 140 characters or less. What would you say are some of the benefits to having a real conversations vs any other form of communicating?
Body language says so much that can’t be misconstrued behind a screen. I’m a weird Pisces that is expert level on reading people’s vibes and body language. Communication is such an important tool in life and body language speaks for itself, no words necessary.
You are in the driver’s seat
You were crowned Miss Texas International on February 12, 2017. What is the Miss Texas International pageant about and how did you have to prepare for it?
Miss Texas International is still a beauty contest, but the community service portion is magnified. There is an emphasis on what you’ve been through and how you have used that experience to improve the world around you. On stage question is also a large portion of your score, so you must be well spoken and form solid options while staying true to yourself.
What life experiences were most helpful in allowing you to maximize the opportunities the Miss Texas platform provides?
As Miss Texas, I represent every person living in the Lone Star State. Being in multiple organizations such as marching band, cheer squad in high school/college and studying sports medicine in college gave me the exposure I needed to be able to communicate with all types of people. I can relate to just about anyone at this point and I’m always excited to hear everyone’s story.
In order to compete in any pageant one has to have a healthy degree of confidence and self esteem to compete and believe you can win. Have you always been a confident person and if not who or what helped you gain the confidence you have today?
Definitely not. I was a broke college kid that was introduced to the magical scholarship given if crowned a pageant queen.. This pageant adventure began in Arkansas with the goal to pay for college and ended in the best way with me representing my home state. Miss Texas International opened up doors for me that I didn’t even know were there.
You are an advocate for the Boys & Girls club, why?
As a teen, I experienced homelessness. I began my journey with Boys & Girls Club as a mentor for College Prep because I saw first hand how college gave me the power to create my own future. The Boys & Girls Club provides a safe, educational environment for kids and teens that are facing situations similar to what I went through.
What is the message you hope young people receive from your advocacy with the Boys & Girls Club?
Our past does not define us. Ever. We have the power to create any future we can dream of.
Girls and boys face unique challenges as it relates to growing up and developing into well rounded and healthy people. Many students today experience some degree of bullying as early as elementary school. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and bullying prevention is personal to you, how did this come to be and what do you believe needs to be done to combat bullying in our society?
My bullying experience ranges from me being called oompa-loompa from my entire grade after a receiving a spray tan for the school dance to me being shoved into the lockers for dating someone another girl had a crush on. Whether it is name calling or physical force, bullying hurts so badly because you feel completely alone. I love that we are talking about this with each other now and being transparent with our struggles. I think the more we talk and define what is not acceptable, the less pain younger generations will experience.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you that is true?
I drive an old, stick shift. Her name is Black Betty and we’ve traveled across the country together.
Tell us 3 things about you with 2 of them which are true and one of them being made up.
I am gluten free. I get nervous speaking in public. I tried out for volleyball in middle school and didn’t make the a or b team.
Lastly, what is the best advice you received to date and how did this advice help you in your life to date, and who gave you this advice?
My dad always told me, “You are in the driver’s seat.” From dating to choosing my career, I always kept this in the back of my mind. Life will throw us curve balls, but we are in control.