My Outlook: Graham Turner

 

Written by Bethany Scott in the September 2013 Issue

Graham TurnerWhen did you get started in pageants?

My first pageant was the Oklahoma state pageant in November of 2012, so the national pageant was my second!

What inspired you to start participating in pageants?

Competing in pageants took my mind off of some health issues I was experiencing. I also found it was an opportunity to share what I’ve experienced - and hopefully help someone in the process.

Can you share a little about your health challenges?

For almost 2 years now, I have struggled with my health. My entire endocrine system—thyroid, adrenal, hormonal—has been compromised. It has affected what I am able to eat, my physical appearance, and my control over any of it. What I have gained in spiritual and emotional strength has far surpassed what I ever expected to be tested. It’s pushed me to trust God in a way I never would have before.

What’s your favorite part about competing?

I’ve been able to make great friends. I was prepared to go in and experience a lot of cattiness, but I couldn’t have been any more wrong. I spent most of my days laughing, just having a great time with the girls.

How has becoming Miss Oklahoma Teen USA affected your life?

I feel as if I am a deeper part of Oklahoma. It means everything to me that I get to go talk with little kids or read a book to a class. To see a smile light up on a person’s or child’s face when they see the sash and crown makes me smile.

What’s your favorite pageant memory?

I will never forget that feeling when my name was called. I was in shock and didn’t expect it! I knew that everything would change after that and I was excited to start sharing my experience on a greater scale.

Who do you hope to inspire with your title?

I hope to show other people that their situation does not define who they are. Their character, what they make of every trial and how they seek to better themselves and those around them are all factors in the bigger picture.

What do you like to do outside of competing in pageants?

My biggest passion is figure skating—I absolutely love it! It’s my happy place! There is something so beautiful about the fluidity of the body through motion and power.

What’s next for you?

After my reign is over, I plan to finish my senior year, continue sharing my story, and go to college. I’m excited to see what else the Lord has in store for my life. I will follow Him wherever He may lead me!

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