This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
Perseverance, confidence and benevolence: these three words describe how Miss Utah 2007 counseled students about the best ways to increase self-esteem on Dec. 02 in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center Alumni Room.
Sponsored by the Pretty In Pink student club, this “Follow Your Dreams” forum was put together to show USU-CEU students, particularly ladies, how to appreciate themselves and each other.
Heather Anderson, Miss Utah 2007, commenced the meeting by asking the audience to tell everyone one the quality they like most about themselves, one quality they like about someone else in the room and finally their life dream. She stressed that everybody should “See good inside yourself and in others.”
Of course, complimenting others was effortless. However, finding a personal favorable attribute was more difficult. Everyone hesitated, but as more students noted a good characteristic about themselves, the easier it became.
After everyone in the room had a chance to speak, Anderson asked how everyone felt after hearing the comments. Some students said awkward, others said good. She agreed it is strange finding something about yourself to appreciate, but it was really nice for those who received a compliment from others.
She discussed her life experiences and how she accomplished her dreams. “Happiness is the key to starting your dreams.” She encouraged everyone to shoot for the stars and to not let anything stand in their way. After all, she started out exactly where we are: a student with a dream.
“If you want something enough…you can make it happen.” Throughout her junior high and high school years, she tried out for every play and musical and always was cast a part in the chorus. She described her abilities as “mediocre.”
But in her freshman year at Utah State University in Logan, this changed. She continued to audition for plays and musicals, but this time around, she was cast in the leading roles. All her efforts of following her dreams and doing what she loved paid off. She moved to Los Angeles, Calif., and found herself cast in important roles, this one as a runway model. “It just mattered to me that I got to be a part of what I wanted to do.”
Before Anderson became Miss Utah or even dreamt of that, she experienced a life-changing ordeal. While her younger brother was in high school, he died from a drug overdose. From that moment, she was determined to do whatever she could to encourage children and teens to say no to drugs. Since then, she has spoken at many schools, told her story and pressured students to stay away from drugs.
She concluded the forum by opening time for questions and leaving students in a self-confidant state.