Gainesville native Miranda Childers recently won the title of Ms. US World NOWSA Ambassador at a pageant held in Reno, Nevada, during the month of November.
As a winner of the Ms. US World Pageant, Childers will represent NOWSA, the National Organization for Women's Safety Awareness, for the next year.
“I was very overwhelmed,” the Barrow County resident said in a recent interview. “It was ladies from all over the United States that came to compete.”
She said the organization’s mission is to spread “awareness about the violence against women and how to prevent it.”
“My goal moving forward this year under my title is to spread that mission — to educate women about the violence against women, to educate women on ways they can personally become more emotionally, intellectually and physically responsible,” she said.
Childers participated in the Ms. US World Pageant after being crowned Ms. North Georgia World earlier this year.
“I earned that title through the credentials that I presented,” she said about the state competition, mentioning that it was mostly online. “From there, I went on to the national pageant which was a huge production. It was so flashy and fancy.”
And while winning the title of Ms. US World NOWSA Ambassador is now one of her biggest accomplishments in pageantry, Childers’ journey began at a young age in her hometown of Gainesville.
“I did pageants my whole life living there,” she said. “I was your Miss Gainesville High School. I won that title my senior year. And I also was Little Miss Hall County, Little Miss Black Hall County and Miss Black Teenager of Hall County.”
Once she graduated, Childers pursued other interests and studied theater education and Spanish at Methodist University in North Carolina.
“In high school, I fell in love with travel, fell in love with culture and fell in love with the community service,” she said. “I went away to school with that mentality.”
Childers said she studied abroad throughout her time in college before becoming a teacher.
“I was teaching, and teachers don’t make a lot of money,” she said. “I just was like, ‘Goodness, how can I generate income?’”
From there, Childers decided to become an entrepreneur.
“I thought, ‘Well, what do I do well?’ she said. “I come from a background of understanding the face, understanding beauty. And I had never had really a lot of luck with over-the-counter cosmetics.”
So she started to create her own makeup products.
“I essentially got on Google and started teaching myself,” she said. “I began creating products and I started to wear them. I opened my first business, which was called Book of Eve Natural Cosmetics.”
She said her life “completely changed” after that.
“Because I had the business, my time was freed,” she said. “I had a lot more time to go back to my roots so to speak, which is altruism and community service. And that’s really what I did.”
Childers began to volunteer with organizations like The Homeless Voice, HandsOn Miami, Susan G. Komen, Dress for Success and Teatro Sea, a bilingual theater company.
“The work was focused essentially on women — helping women to achieve goals,” she said. “From there, I created my own programs for young women and teen girls. The two specific names of the programs that are mine are E-10 and Future Focused Initiative. They’re workshops that focus on various aspects of solving the same problems, which are essentially teaching life skills (and) self confidence to children and teens.”
Childers soon decided to get into pageantry again, and she happened to meet Meghan Buelt, the woman who then held the title of Ms. US World.
“We connected in a lot of ways,” Childers said. “She suggested, ‘Why don’t you compete?’ And she said, ‘You are exactly what the pageant stands for and looks for.’ I thought about it, and upon researching I learned that they were partnered with the NOWSA.”
She said the pageant’s partnership with that organization was the “catalyst” for her to compete.
“I heard one of the founders speak, and she talked about what they represent and who they represent and the type of women that they want to work with,” she said about NOWSA. “And it just really touched my spirit.”
And now that she’s won at the Ms. US World Pageant, Childers has the opportunity to continue her community service while representing NOWSA.
“I’m really excited over the next year to go to schools and functions and programs as Ms. US World NOWSA Ambassador and to really just educate any group that I’m honored and able to speak with,” she said.
She also has a few initiatives in the works to help teach women “life skills.”
“I don’t want any woman that I’m able to affect to ever struggle,” she said.
And she’s also bringing a pageant to the local area in the spring.
“My company will be presenting the Miss Black Gainesville America Pageant,” she said. “A winner from the Black Gainesville Pageant will go on to the national Miss Black America Pageant.”
On top of her community service, Childers is also working on her master’s degree while managing her own businesses.
Childers will continue with pageantry in August of 2019 when she competes internationally for the title of Ms. World in the Bahamas.
“I’ll be representing the entire country,” she said. “Of course, I’ll be spreading the NOWSA mission at the pageant. I’m excited about that.”