As she entered our podcast studio, so did the crown.
There it was, shimmering in the see-through plastic, square box — the crown for Mrs. Texas International.
And the head that wears that crown belongs to Jennifer Daly, a resident of Celina, Texas, and a role model for people everywhere.
Audrey Henvey, a reporter for Star Local Media, and myself had the pleasure to spend nearly an hour talking with Jennifer for a recent podcast episode. You can find that podcast and more by searching Star Local Media Podcast Network whenever you listen to podcasts. Simply search, subscribe and download! OK, end of shameless plug.
During our interview, we talked about what her role as Mrs. Texas International entails, and about her mission. On her website, www.cheeringonmoms.com, Jennifer uses three words to describe her mission while she holds the crown: "Unity in community."
And to achieve that unity, Jennifer believes we have to "embrace others and serve others" and that is what leads to "unity in community."
Jennifer works to spread that message during her many public appearances in North Texas. She spent Saturday evening at the annual Splash & Blast event at Old Celina Park to help celebrate the Fourth of July. On Monday morning, July 4, she was in attendance at the McKinney July 4th parade. She spends many hours visiting with students across the North Texas region and beyond, and sharing the story of her latest children's book, Zoey the Zebra Meets Lexi the Lion.
The two characters in the book are named after Jennifer's two daughters, Zoey and Lexi, with her husband, Daniel — they all make up "Team Daly."
Zoey has followed in her mother's high-heeled footsteps on the pageant circuit. She competed and was named Miss Pre-Teen Lonestar, and you will see her share the stage with her mother at various events.
Here are a few excerpts from our conversation with Jennifer Day, Mrs. Texas International, from our most recent podcast episode from the Star Local Media Podcast Network:
What is your goal, mission when making public visits?
"I want to inspire and encourage and bring people together," Daly said. "The last couple of years we have been isolated and disconnected, and we were built for community… When I am out at these events, I love being with the kids. I love taking pictures. They see a crown and say, 'oh, it's a princess,' and then I get to say that it's cool to have this crown because I get to help people even more, so I get to share that with them… to me, it is just about community."
What can participating in a pageant teach young people?
"Both of my girls can stand on a stage and speak to a crowd without any problem," Daly said. "This is one of the things that I love about pageants is that it is teaching them life-long skills. You get to do interviews. How many kids at age 8 and 11 years old can be interviewed by an adult. That is just a lifelong skill… They have had to introduce themselves with a 30-second intro on a national stage. I want people to see that the pageant world can be life lessons for kids."
You are more than just Mrs. Texas International, are you not?
"We are changing the world one crown at a time," Daly said. "…I have an MBA with a focus in human resources. I love HR because it is all about people, and it is about serving your employees. So, right now, I am the vice president of human resources for a digital marketing company… Yes, there is that component to me. I am a mom, a wife, and as adults we are balancing so many things. There are different seasons of our lives for different things, and I believe in saying the right no to say the right yes so we can balance and pour into the right areas of our life."
I encourage you to take 40 minutes or less of your day, maybe on a future commute to work, or while doing chores around the house, and listen to the full episode of the podcast from Star Local Media featuring Jennifer Daly.
After listening, I think you will understand that Jennifer's mission is simple — she wants to create unity in community.
And who doesn't want that.
If you are reading the print version of this story and wish to listen to the podcast episode, scan the QR code associated with this story.
If you are reading online, simply click this link.
Or, search Star Local Media Podcast Network whenever you listen to podcasts and subscribe and download!