The mission of the Kern County Beauty Pageant for the past 10 years has been “furthering the educational goals of women in Kern County.”
Since Pamela Schull-Feer took over the organization, she gave it the much-needed touch of humanity it was missing. She took out the talent portion and the bathing suit competition so that the focus would lie solely on the individual’s character and willingness to lead and serve the community.
“When we were attached to another organization, it was more on showing up and looking pretty, and that really is not what service is about. Service is truly giving from your heart, whole-heartedly – we are more than beauty, we are community,” explained Schull-Feer.
The proud CEO of the beauty pageant, Schull-Feer, may be behind the scenes, but she never lets the queens attend events alone and is always empowering the girls with helpful words.
“Each of us can very securely say that she has been like a second mom to all of us, and when most of us would probably crumble, she still stands tall,” Ms. Kern County, Keri Lynn Kehoe, said of Schull-Feer.
Each queen underwent an intense process of interviews with men and women from all walks of life and different industries to be crowned one of Kern County’s queens. Along with the interviews, the pageant is looking at leadership, how the individual is an outstanding pillar to the community and if they fit the brand and what the pageant stands for.
A queen must serve a full-year term in order to receive the scholarship money, and if they are under the age of 18, they will not receive it until they have reached that age.
Schull-Feer explains that their focus was more than just beauty.
“Changing the opinions and the stereotypes of beauty queens – yes we are a beauty pageant, but we are deeper than that,” she said. “We focus on their interview, their onstage question, their bios that they have to submit prior to the pageant – it’s really depth-driven; it’s more than just surface.”
“We’re a sisterhood; we care a lot about each other,” said Teen Miss Kern County, Gina Compton.
All the queens have a platform, an issue that is near and dear to their hearts and how they will work to educate the community.
The queens take pride in serving the community and are committed to making it better. Besides being the face of the organization at different events, they are volunteering and helping in any way they can.
In 2008, Schull-Feer knew she could take this organization and make it better. So she did.
“I really love to take the ‘you’re nots’ and show these girls ‘you can,’ ‘you are,’” she said. “You can achieve things, you will achieve things.” ￼