Thank you for taking the time to explore this thing called my life.
I am currently a fourth year student at the University of Iowa pursuing a bachelor’s of arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a certificate in Critical Cultural Competence. I am interested in reporting, writing, and broadcast with a strong focus in minority and social justice issues as well as mental health.
I have big dreams of becoming a news anchor and one day a TV Talk Show host. “Mornings with Mikhayla” I like to call it- well, let’s try something without the word morning in it. I’m more of a night person.
I am also a violinist with both classical and hip-hop experience. My violin, his name being Charles, has given me so many opportunities, along with being able to play with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as well as the world-renowned Midori. Although I do not currently play with a professional orchestra, I do venture into the community sharing my gift at various events, weddings, and talent showcases.
I held the title of Senior Assistant Editor of LOVE Girls Magazine from 2014-2018 which gave me a platform to speak to young women about learning to love themselves. LOVE, which stands for “lead, overcome, value and empower” encourages young women to tell their stories. There is something about hearing about someone else’s experiences that helps one to know that they are not alone. It’s a gift to others to be transparent about life’s experiences.
Working with the magazine inspired me to pursue the art of storytelling in a new way, by telling my story of dealing with a mental illness and suicidal thoughts. I started a campaign called How About H.O.P.E.? – Helping Others and Providing Encouragement which poses the question of why we still have a stigma surrounding mental illness. Why do we not share our stories and help others? What does it mean to you to have HOPE?
Last but not least, I was selected as Miss Iowa 2018 under the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program. I held the title of Miss Wild Rose from March 2017-June 2017, and Miss Clinton County 2017.
Serving as Miss Iowa 2018 in the Miss America Organization allowed me to reach thousands of people in a unique way. I mean, people like to listen to someone with a crown on their head, right?
I spoke to over 10,000 students in schools throughout Iowa and Illinois and completed over 150 community and school appearances. I made it my mission to partner with nonprofit organizations who provided mental health services for their communities and did so in multiple counties throughout Iowa. I represented the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program at the Miss America competition in September of 2018, and earned over $15,000 in scholarship dollars to pursue my higher education.
So a pageant queen – violinist playing – journalism writing – curly haired – suicide awareness advocate… That’s me in a few words.