Tell us a bit about your back story leading to where you are now as Miss Denver USA?
I promise not every girl or woman who competes in pageants starts out as a Toddlers and Tiaras style competitor. I’m proof! I didn’t compete in my first pageant until I was 14-years-old. I had no clue what I was doing when I took the stage at the 2010 Miss Colorado’s Outstanding Teen pageant. The pictures are pretty funny to reminisce on. I went on to compete for the title until I won Miss Colorado’s Outstanding Teen 2012. During my reign, I earned over $400,000 in scholarships and scholarship offers, made appearances across the state, and even sang the National Anthem for the Denver Nuggets. I competed in the Miss division of Miss America three times, but decided to try Miss Colorado USA for the first time in 2021. I had no clue – once again – what I was walking into, but fell in love. The organization is extremely empowering, welcoming, and enjoyable. I am honored to serve as Miss Denver USA 2022 and represent my hometown at the Miss Colorado USA competition in July.
Tell us about your work as the Ambassador for the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
As the ambassador of the Denver Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, I have the honor of making appearances at local establishments, Denver City Council meetings, on-air for television and radio, and more. These appearances are in the spirit of promoting the parade, as well as fundraising. The Denver Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a non-profit and wouldn’t be able to happen with out donations.
Tell us about the Queen Colleen competition this fall?
The competition will be planned once the parade is over, but we’re excited to get it back up and running after three years of COVID cancellations. The areas of competition, while not finalized, are evening gown, on-stage interview/speech, and private interview with the judges. We may include an optional talent competition, too!
What are your top Accomplishments of 2021/2022?
In the last year, I have graduated from the University of Denver with my Master’s Degree in Communication Management, placed second runner up at Miss Colorado (America), won the interview award at Miss Colorado USA (out of 61 women), began my own small media consulting business, and celebrated two years as a first-time homeowner. Oh, and I was named Queen Colleen 2022! To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement, but I love it.
What are some of your favorite local Denver businesses/places?
I am absolutely biased in saying this, but Wheelhouse Gifts is my favorite small boutique for gifts and trinkets(full disclosure, I run their social media, so again, I’m biased!).On any given day of the week, you’ll find me in a booth at Sam’s No. 3, which has been a family favorite restaurant for three decades. Any time a visitor is in town, the first stop is Sam’s. After, you’ll find me at Sweet Cow ice cream or trying to beat an escape room at EscapeWorks in Downtown Denver. If I’m not headed to Sam’s or Sweet Cow, you’ll find me at Bull and Bush (another multi-decade family favorite) or Inside Scoop. And for all things photos, you’ll find me shooting with Jay Cupcake photography. Not only does Jay foster puppies, but I always leave photoshoots feeling like a million bucks. My favorite, though, is attending an Avalanche game. I’m a born and raised Avs fan, which absolutely comes out at games in the form of operatics (oops).
Are you from CO? Why did you choose to call your neighborhood home?
I am a born and raised Coloradan! I graduated from Denver South High School in 2013 and thought leaving Colorado would be a good idea. After moving around the country for five years between college and jobs, I came back to Denver in 2018, and after renting in Platt Park, I was able to purchase my first home in Virginia Vail about a mile from where I grew up in Virginia Village.
What do you love about Denver?
What is there not to love. Denver is truly a mish-mash of cultures. I can go get authentic Ethiopian food (my favorite) or Thai food and then go watch a Broadway caliber musical at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. We have nationally recognized museums and hospitals, we’re a business hub for some of the biggest headquarters in the country, and we support small business like nowhere else. While Denver might be a big city, It’s proven time and time again that Denver often has a small town feel when I run into second cousins on the light rail or family friends from across town.
How would you describe the personality of Denver?
Eclectic. Not Austin, TX, eclectic, though. Denver isn’t weird, Denver is openly comfortable with what it is in a lowkey, “welcome in” kind of way. We have our problems as a city, and we accept that we need to work on them, but we have so much more good to focus on. Denver is a place you can create a fresh start or continue your journey because there is something for everyone. I’ve never felt out of place in Denver, which can’t be said about most places.