source: Alisa's Photos

Journey to the Crown: It Takes a Village

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If you can accomplish your dreams on your own then your dreams aren’t big enough. Your dreams should be so incredibly huge that it’s going to take a village of people to help you get there. Most of the work and preparation will fall on your shoulders. And you'll need to create a road map explaining how you are going to reach your desired destination, however, you won't be able to get there on your own. Every successful person had or has a mentor, sponsor, or coach who helped hone-in on their skills to propel them forward. Many times, we look at successful individuals and we forget about the essential people that helped them get there. These people are vital to our dreams because without them we can't succeed. I am the product of the people who helped cultivate me into the leader that I am today. Without my church, family, pageant mentors, and best friend, Miss America would not be an option.

My village supports me emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically. When my body is exhausted and I'm mentally drained they are right there to encourage and lift me up. When I need to step-up my wardrobe and take it to the next level they are able to help provide for me financially. Their overwhelming love and support supplied me with a strong foundation going into Miss Central Pennsylvania. I was able to put my best foot forward because God has blessed me with such exceptional people, and because of them my dreams became a reality!

Each of us has dreams and goals that we are striving to accomplish. And yes, you need a strong work ethic and hunger to succeed, but you also need to identify those key people in your village. As much as you want to believe that you are an independent woman who does everything on her own, you can’t. If you have the mindset of, “I can do it all by myself,” you are going to burnout and be stuck in the same place while your friends are thriving. It's imperative for you to have a core five to ten people who are going to help make your dreams feasible. I wouldn't say more than ten people. If you have too many people in your village it can get stressful and confusing. Your village’s mission should be to help you get to your desired destination. They should understand that this dream is a God-ordained vision and be willing to do everything that they can to help you along the journey. Each person in your village will have a specific role, as no individual will be the exact same.

Because this time in our lives involves so much change, and at many times stress, you have to choose the people in your village very carefully. Before going on this journey there were certain people that I had to let go. It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. Regardless of how I felt, I knew I had to trust in God and know that He has my best interests in mind. Also, oftentimes the people in your village will choose you before you choose them. God is absolutely amazing because He will place certain people in your life that you need without you having to search for them. 

Choose wisely when considering the people who will help you plan for your future because these individuals are going to see you in your most vulnerable state. Embarking on the journey of your dreams is a very intimate process that can't be shared with everyone. However, the people in your village who are going on this journey with you will be there to hold you up. They won’t leave you and it is their duty to help make sure you reach the destination.

Because it is so important to choose the people in your village wisely, I created a worksheet to help you with this process (DOWNLOAD IT HERE). I encourage you to take ten minutes out of your day and complete it. Once the worksheet is finished, start reaching out to those individuals who are going to be your key players. And one day when you sit down and reflect on your journey, you will realize how each individual plays such a significant role in the process. 

Alisa Vasquez is a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University. Her passion for journalism began as a senior in high school when she was one of the anchors for Blue and Gold Television. In addition to being on air, she also enjoys using her love for writing as a platform to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Her dream is to land a spot on Good Morning America, in addition to inspiring young women through her love for fitness. She understands the significance and power of living a healthy lifestyle, and wants to share that desire with young women across the country.