Interview with Jenna Edwards – The Benevolent Beauty

Jenna Edwards was crowned Miss Florida USA in 2007. She is the founder of Queen For A Day, a non-profit organization geared toward helping pediatric cancer patients gain confidence despite their illness. The charity holds parties for young girls and turn them into royalty by crowning them with tiaras. For the boys, they have a Heroes program, it encourages bravery through firefighter and police officer themed parties. This charity helps boost the morale of these young children, and shows how much of an inspiration they really are. It helps them realize that as they fight the cancer, they come out victorious because at the end of the day, they are happy.

Her sincere desire to help out those in need is seen through her generosity. She is a beautiful woman, not only because of her physical qualities, but for her big heart. Her success comes from every smiling face that she helped create.

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The Interview

Jenna Smile

Name: Jenna Edwards
Location: Miami, Florida
Occupation: Founder of Queen for A Day

What challenges did you face in your line of work, and have you ever felt like giving up?::

My biggest challenge is convincing people that Queen for a Day offers a legitimate psychosocial service, that we are more than a cute art-and-crafts project. Sometimes I wonder about ways I can better convey that message, but I’ve never considered giving up because of it.

What does your work environment look like?::

I’m moving soon, so I just packed it up. I like to be enveloped by my work so I don’t forget anything. As long as I can see it, I won’t forget to do it. I end up spreading out my various projects and covering the walls with notes and calendars. But I also like to be organized, so I have a lot of folders, boxes, and drawers.

What do you consider your greatest failure and why?::

My greatest failure is not being able to answer the simple question, what do you do for fun? At both Miss America and Miss USA, I was stumped by this question. It’s not that I don’t have fun, I just have fun through work—I don’t have free time!  I often wonder what the outcome of either pageant could have been had I been able to recover from the stumble.

What do you consider your greatest achievement and why?::

My greatest achievement has been my ability to put on blinders and focus on success. When I first started Queen for a Day, I never thought about people saying “no” to my requests for donations and support. As an adult, it is quite easy to roadblock myself and allow the possibility of rejection to keep me from even trying. At those times, I miss the innocence of my youth that didn’t consider rejection as an option.

How have you thrived despite negative comments from others?::

I took to heart the perspective of preferring respect over liking. I found I couldn’t make everyone like me or approve of my choices, but I could gain their respect. That gave me the ability to rise above the negativity and eventually find humor in it.

Who (and or what) inspires, motivates you?::

Fear of regret motivates me. The last thing I want in life is to look back and regret doing/not doing something. Productivity inspires me…seeing projects finished, seeing connections come together and movements forming, marking items off my “to do” list, and getting feedback from finished projects.

Do you have any favorite quotes, pictures, internet links that you would like to share?::

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.
The miracle is in the people.
A long journey begins with a small step.

Debbie 02 copy

What are the most important things you have learned in your life so far?::

Showing vulnerability is attractive; it’s the little things that make the biggest impact; God still speaks (and he has a sense of humor, too!); I don’t give myself enough credit; I’m a really strong person; my mother is one of the coolest people I know.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?::

Strength: discernment, sense of humor; weakness: asking for help.

What are you goals for the future?::

My goal is to build up the budget for QFAD to hire a staff,  host a conference for volunteers and local chapter directors, and include pediatric HIV/AIDs patients in the program; I want to become more involved in the fight against homelessness and have begun with Community Partnership for Homeless in Miami; I want to lobby for Veterans’ Affairs and am already learning from my participation in local veterans’ groups in South Florida.

What are some weird things that people might not know about you?::

I collect Snoopy ornaments. I like NASCAR (and have driven a race car). I can live on cereal for days. I’m featured in a book “Treating Yourself Like Royalty.” I play golf. 90% of my closet is Diane Von Furstenberg.

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