Buildings don’t appear overnight. They are built brick by brick until the structure stands strong and tall. The same can be said about building confidence in yourself.
For Capt. Jennifer, maintenance operations officer in the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, some of the first bricks laid were as her Air Force career began in the spring of 2011.
The next level? When Jennifer first competed for 2012’s Ms. Colorado, USA.
“My initial goal when competing in my first pageant was to boost my confidence,” Jennifer said. “Having to walk on stage, in front of 500-plus people, and feel confident in who I was, did just that.”
She explained the Ms. Colorado pageant opened her eyes to a world of powerful women who inspired her to pursue pageantry in her spare time.
However, soon after her debut in the world of pageantry, Jennifer’s dreams of being a beauty title holder were put on pause as she, instead, donned the title of captain, mother and wife.
After eight years, and five children, she set her eyes back on competing; preparing for the Mrs. Nevada, America beauty pageant, which took place Aug. 8-9, 2020.
Just before her deployment, she expressed she had a gut feeling to compete again when she learned that an Airman won the Mrs. Colorado, USA pageant in 2019.
While away from her family and home, Jennifer began the sketches of a blueprint to further build her confidence and character.
The moment Jennifer returned from deployment, she looked forward to the good she could do within her community, not only as an Air Force officer, but as Mrs. Nevada.
Some of her hopes for the future include providing aid for veterans in the Las Vegas area as well as children in low-income neighborhoods, and even more projects on the horizon.
“My goal with the Mrs. Nevada pageant is to be a role-model for women out there who may think they can’t do more, and to set an example for my kids,” Jennifer said. “I grew up with a stay-at-home mom and I’d like to show them how the roles of a woman are evolving, and how women and men can do things equally.”
First Lt. Kyle, assistant maintenance operations officer in the 432nd AMXS, was able to step in for Jennifer while she was deployed, and paid significant credit to her mentorship and guidance.
“She really taught me a lot about confidence and understanding the job that we do,” Kyle said.
Also a father, Kyle also expressed his admiration for her as a parent as he’s watched her balance the mission and five children.
“In all aspects of what she does, I’ve looked up to her almost as an older sister,” he said. “She takes care of what she needs to at home, as a parent, and in the workplace with confidence.”
Jennifer explained how her passion and drive can be tied directly to her support system, built around her family, and pushing her to be the best she can be in all aspects of life.
“I often look at the legacy I’m going to leave for my family and my kids which has always been what drives me,” she said. “I can also relate my passion for doing more than expected to the Air Force core values.”
Jennifer’s confidence in herself now stands as tall as the Eiffel Tower and has continued to lay brick by brick, day by day, with no intentions of calling quits. Her Air Force career has built her into the woman she is today and competing in pageantry has made Jennifer confident in who she is as an Airman, mother and wife.
“You don’t want to just meet the standard,” she continued. “It’s ingrained in us as Airmen to want to do better or meet our fullest potential.”
Editor’s note: Capt. Jennifer was the first place runner-up in the Mrs. Nevada, America pageant on Aug. 9, 2020.