Within the Arizona United States Pageant, women compete to earn the title Ms. Arizona Woman. This division judges a woman’s moral character and her passion towards charity work. Ms. Jenna Juniper is this year’s Ms. Woman for the city of Gilbert.
A few years back, Jenna volunteered as an event coordinator for a local church that was holding a fashion show in benefit of StreetLight USA. This organization focuses on child sex trafficking prevention and recovery. While volunteering, Jenna had the opportunity to meet some of their models including the current Ms. World America, Mrs. Arizona and Ms. Arizona. They had also been volunteering for the benefit and after the successful show, encouraged Jenna to compete in the next Arizona United States Pageant.
“I remember telling them that there was no way I could ever compete in a beauty pageant. I was too short, a single mom and had tattoos. They squashed that idea in my head very quickly and encouraged me to think bigger,” Jenna said.
Jenna took their advice and decided to enter America’s Super Pageant in 2016 in the Ms. Woman division.
“I wanted to be a beacon of hope to single mothers to show them that you can achieve your dreams no matter your age, height, weight or situation. As single mothers, we put our children first and our dreams second. This is natural, but I wanted to show women that you can have both!”
Jenna was shocked when she not only won her division, but she also walked away with the winning title of International Super Ms. for the overall pageant. Jenna was inspired to continue competing in pageants and has plans to attend the Arizona United States Pageant this coming April. This is a much larger competition in which city titleholders, such as Ms. Gilbert Woman, can compete for the state title.
Pageant models must choose a charity as their platform throughout the competition. For Jenna, she chose something close to her heart, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.).
“Years ago I was hit by a drunk driver and thankfully there were no injuries,” Jenna shared. “Ever since then, this organization has captured my heart. When I began my pageant journey over two years ago, I immediately knew M.A.D.D. was the best platform for me. I have heard countless stories of drunk driving which ended in fatalities and have met with family members who have lost a loved one to a drunk driver. I have had the opportunity to speak to several high schools about the dangers of drunk driving. My goal is to reach as many youths as possible, not only in Arizona, but across the nation, in hopes of making a difference.”
Jenna became certified to teach the M.A.D.D. course and now volunteers as a speaker in schools talking to students about making good decisions while driving. She also partners with the Department of Public Safety to accompany students during Drivers Education classes.
While preparing for her next competition, Jenna plans to travel with her family and experience different cultures. Jenna will also keep volunteering with M.A.D.D. Her goal is to reach all schools and youth groups across the nation and provide them access to the program’s free course for students.
“I believe that knowledge is powerful,” said Jenna. “I hope to influence future generations in hopes of saving lives. I am also hopeful that I can partner with more Drivers Education schools and bring M.A.D.D. representatives to speak to young drivers.”
Wishing Jenna the best of luck in her upcoming competition!
Written by: Rebecca Zaner
Rebecca Zaner has written many stories throughout the valley and enjoys having the ability to share community news, journeys and achievements. Holding a Bachelor of Music, Rebecca’s favorite place to be is the stage. Having been a singer all her life, Rebecca is now in pursuit of a professional performing career, singing opera and musical theatre (rebeccazaner.com). Also an avid photographer, Rebecca owns a photography business, Rebecca Kaye Photography (rebeccakayephoto.wix.com/rebeccakaye). She enjoys the natural beauty of Arizona and can be found spending her free time exploring and traveling with her family.