Chance Cessna: Miss Illinois Amity 2013

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Recently, Y.S. Mag got the opportunity to chat with Miss Amity 2013, Chance Cessna. You may remember her from her latest appearance on the Steve Harvey Show’s holiday, dating episode. Not only is this young lady full of personality,  but she knows exactly what she wants out of life. Check out the interview, as she discusses her experience in the Miss USA Illinois 2013 pageant.

Describe your experience as a contestant in the Miss USA Illinois 2012 pageant.
It was amazing! It was a priceless experience for any young woman. It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and others around you, and reveal dimensions about your character that you may have never realized. I raised over $2,500 in 20 days with the help of family, friends, and supporters and was able to successfully compete. I made so many friends, and was really just inspired and encouraged throughout the whole process. I was truly blessed to be able to compete.

What was your reaction when you were announced Miss Amity?
I was totally surprised (smiling). I had forgot that award even existed! I didn’t even realize how many lives I touched in that one weekend, and I think that was the beautiful part about it. If I can impact your life, whether big or small, that means everything to me. So I am very grateful.

You have accomplished so much at such a young age, what keeps you driven everyday?
I am a visionary. I know what I want out of life. I am focused. My agenda in life is very clear and I won’t allow anyone or anything to derail me from my purpose. I am very hopeful and very encouraged because I believe my hard work will pay off. I also have realized that my success is not just for myself. I want to be successful to inspire other people, whether young or old, that they can do whatever they put their minds to. If you have a skill, and work hard at perfecting it, you can’t go wrong.

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You just received your Bachelor’s degree from GWU, what was it like being a full time student, while also maintaining various internship opportunities?
It was tough. However, I love to embrace challenges. It’s a thrill (laughing)! That’s what I live for. Challenges make you better, make you stronger, and make you wiser. I was taking 18 credits my senior year, working two jobs, hosting my own radio show, and interning at WUSA 9 News. I look back and say, what was I thinking and how did I do it (laughing)! But I made a serious effort to maximize my time and despite the heavy workload, I still had so much fun! I like to make it fun wherever I go!

There are little girls all over the world who aspire to make their dreams come true, what wisdom do you share with them?
There are people that have the talent, and don’t work hard. And others that work hard, and don’t have the talent. Yet, if you have both, there is NOTHING in this world you can’t do. Keep positive friends and role models in your life and stay true to yourself and you can’t go wrong. Remember that you are beautiful, loved, and that only you have the power to make your dreams come true.

Have you encountered any adversity on your journey? If so, what were the obstacles, and how did you press forward.
I have had many mountains to climb…. Geez! I’m sounding like my grandma now! (laughing) But seriously, I have always remained hopeful and knew that my best days were ahead of me. I lost my mother while I was away at college in 2009, my grandmother in 2010, and had my heartbroken in 2011. I was denied twice from my major, journalism and mass communication, and I fought my way through. Yet even in the midst of all that, I still had joy, I still had peace, and that’s priceless. The mountain always looks big when your standing at the bottom of it, but when you are at the top, you realize it wasn’t as big as you initially perceived it to be. I believe there is purpose in your pain. So you realize the purpose, and use it to reach greater heights.

What’s next for Chance Cessna.
It’s By Chance (www.itsbychance.com), will be expanding from Chicago to Los Angeles which I am very excited about. We cover local news, arts, and entertainment, and me and my team are looking forward to some great things in 2013. We launched on August 31, 2012, and have been going strong ever since. I will also continue to make appearances as Miss Congeniality, so you will definitely be seeing a lot more of me. And a few other film/tv projects underway that I can’t discuss at the moment, but I promise to keep you updated (laughing)!

Interviewed by Jonnita Condra

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