My Outlook: Graham Turner

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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