With the base with of the music vibrating the curtains backstage, I thought to myself, “is this the music or is it my heart getting ready to explode out of my chest?”  In that moment it could very well have been both.  I began shaking as if something terrible was about to happen.  Then I heard it, “MISS FRISCO”.  I began to force a smile at the hundred eyes looking directly at me. Soon it became physically impossible to hold a true grin.  Why?  I was deathly afraid of putting myself out there in an environment I have never seen before.  With every step I feared what I “looked like, if I’d fall, and if I was good enough”.

I went back to our hotel to 50+ texts saying how awesome I did, but I didn’t believe it.  I turned my headphones on and attempted to drown out my thoughts, and then it him me.  For the past 10 months, I’ve preached to little girls how to be confident in yourself.  Yet, I couldn’t and, most definitely didn’t do it.  I began to fill my thoughts and focus on the “what if” mentality and my heart began to slow down.  I knew deep down that if I didn’t step up and give the next night (Saturday) everything I had; I’d regret it the rest of my life.

Rehearsal day two began and it was the start of something beautiful; my own journey to love myself.  I practiced with those blank chairs as if it was those eyeballs staring back at me.  I was slowly learning to love my own skin.  The thought of “I’m too short, I’ve never done this, I’m not pretty enough…” was gone.  Finally, Saturday night came.  I put on my heels and when we went backstage, my heart was at ease – no expectations, no comparisons, loving and remaining secure in the fact that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.  I began to walk with my uncoached, god-made ability to walk, and to my surprise, I was able to soak in EVERY STEP.  In the very moment that I stopped at the end of the runway to look the judges in the eyes was the moment that I realized that the world was at my fingertips, that I can do anything I want to do.

At the end of the day, I didn’t win, nor did I place.  But above all of that, I found the true gift that you have been giving to your women all along, confidence.  I am a huge believer that I am placed in moments for various reasons, and I am so beyond grateful for getting the opportunity to experience this moment through your pageant.  This was my first pageant, and most likely my last.  (This girl has lots of grad school loans to pay off.)  But I will always spread the word to younger girls about the power of a pageant!  I have been extremely encouraged to relentlessly pursue any opportunity this world has to offer, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I wish you and the Crystal Group nothing but further growth and success in the future!

Hopefully, one day, somehow, we cross paths again!  Until then, I’ll be rooting you on each year.  The quote I live by is this…” wind extinguishes a candle but energizes a fire.”  Likewise, randomness, uncertainty, and chaos:  you want to use them, not to run and hide from them.  “BE FIRE AND WISH FOR THE WIND.”

Anna Leigh Cargile

Miss Frisco USA 2020

I just wanted to reach out as the parent of a contestant, my daughter was among the youngest competing this weekend at 13 years old … I just wanted to give you our feedback and let you know how much I appreciate the amount of integrity I felt your pageant offered. She had an incredible experience and although she hoped to make the finals, she was so enthusiastic about everything she learned going into the pageant weekend and during her experience. She processed her disappointment for a little while but by the end of Sunday night said she is excited to go back again next year. I felt the standard for girls competing was incredible kindness and genuine well wishes for each other which was refreshing. I don’t think any ugliness would have been tolerated and I didn’t have to worry about her belongings or be afraid to leave her without staying at her side. The new Miss Texas Teen winner absolutely deserved it and we are very excited to watch her reign with Taylor!

We appreciate you and the team working behind such an incredible pageant system. 

Jennifer Hahn

Mother of contestant, Hazelynn Hahn, Miss Cuero Teen USA 2020

…I wanted to thank you for the privilege to compete this weekend and tell you how much I learned throughout the whole experience. I want to thank you for…and how kind each and every member of the organization I had the pleasure of meeting. I have dreamed about competing at Miss Texas since I was 8 years old and it felt so amazing finally being on that stage and I can’t wait to compete again next year! … Again, I cannot thank you enough for one of the best weekends of my life and everything your organization has taught me so far. Thank you so much!!

Paris Beal

Miss Lakeway Teen USA 2020

Thank you for allowing Amber to be involved in the Miss Texas pageant this year. She really enjoyed it and wants to return next year…Your group was wonderful and the girls adorable. …I was worried that she would be alone and “left out”, not so, the girls were wonderful and so welcoming. What a great thing to have such an opportunity! She says that it is the best thing she has done in her life thus far…WOW what an endorsement!
Hillary Calderon

Mother of Amber Calderon (contestant)

The opportunities you have given me to make my dreams realities will never be forgotten… above all, the memories and goals you helped me form will always hold a special place inside of me… You didn’t only teach us how to be winners in pageants, but also, how to be winners in life. Thank you for your dedication to all of us girls.
Denise Hopkins


I can not begin to tell you how beneficial, rewarding & awesome the entire experience turned out to be…
Carrie Stockstill


This is a wonderful opportunity to learn grace, how to interview and how to be your best. I would recommend it to any girl looking to become self-confident about going out into the world of life!
Laurel Sturrock


Camiece had a wonderful time. …She gained so much personally being there. It was truly a good experience for her. It started off very overwhelming, she had never done any pageants at this level before, but then things just fell into place for her. She said it was sooo much fun and she wish she could do it again. 🙂
Terry Hackathorn

Mother of Camiece Groves (Contestant)

I just got a phone call from one of the largest PR firms in Texas and I have been offered a place in their summer intern program. This is the third place that I applied to for an internship, and the third place that has offered me a spot in their program. I’m telling you this because before I started pageants I failed to get a job at a store in the mall due to a lack of interview skills. Today I’ve been offered three internships in Marketing and PR even though I have virtually no experience and am not a marketing major. I’d say that I’ve come very far from the shy 17 year old I was before entering the Miss Texas USA circuit.
Christi Swift Wulf


Working with Al and Gail has been one of the best experiences that I could ever have. As a judge, I feel that they did everything they could to make sure judges made their selections independent of other judges’ opinions. Their integrity during the pageantry process is above reproach. They also were very insistent that they not influence us in any way. They were not biased and were totally objective during the entire process.
Dr. Marilyn Kern-Foxworth

Department of Journalism, Texas A&M University (Judge)

We never realized what a life-long education this would be for Jenna. I encourage every single young girl to enter this system because of the benefits gained in poise, public speaking, confidence and learning social graces of meeting people and volunteerism. Winning a title is the “icing on the cake”, but the real “take home” experience is invaluable. Thank you from millions of girls for what you have done and the efforts you have made to make this all possible.
Marilyn Hopper

Contestant's Mother

The past seven years I have competed in your pageant and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you! This pageant has played a substantial role in the woman I have become. I am filled with confidence and communication skills that will continue to play a vital role in my career. I owe a lot of this to the Miss Texas USA pageant. It has been an honor and blessing to be a part of this system.
Valerie Pro


My mother can’t believe the changes in my personality. I’m outgoing and confident now. Being shy for so many years was painfully hard. But now, after only two pageants, I now look in the mirror and smile! Many thanks! My mother was also impressed at how Al and Gail Clark really care about all of the girls.
Britt Lombard


I have traveled to a majority of the state USA pageants in the last few months and I have to tell you guys that there is no better pageant home than the Texas USA family. You guys put on such a great show and bring the best staff in the world to coordinate it all! I have discussed with all my out of state friends and most of them said they had an okay time at their state pageant. As for me, I have nothing but great things to say about y’alls pageant. I feel truly blessed and so honored to compete in Texas and I look forward to coming back next year! Thank you for such a wonderful experience!
Nicole Golyer


I just wanted to thank you for hosting an amazing pageant Thanksgiving weekend. It was so much fun and I met a ton of amazing young women. I learned so much throughout the weekend about myself and what I was capable of accomplishing. Being in the top 15 was such an amazing experience and honor I cannot wait to come back with a big bang and hopefully hear my name called as your next Miss Texas Teen USA.
Tiffany Faul


I want to thank you for such an amazing weekend at the Miss Texas USA pageant. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. I walked away with a renewed sense of self and memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. I am honored to be part of such an amazing group of young women and I look forward to competing again next year.
Lisa Melden


…I learned so much from this; to encourage my opponents, to stay positive, conduct myself with more poise, to always be a lady, and most importantly to glue down my swimsuit bottom! (Just kidding). I’ll never forget what you said about being happy whether we win or not, because if we aren’t happy, winning won’t fix that. That’s true I all of life….
Janelle Strickler


Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in the Miss Texas Teen USA Pageant. I had the experience of a lifetime and would never trade it for anything!
Tori Benavides


I just wanted to say thank you so much for an exciting and wonderful Labor Day weekend. I had a blast competing! I thought the pageant was run very smoothly and that it was very organized! I can’t wait until next year so that I can have another opportunity at being Miss Texas USA. Thank you again for an awesome weekend!
Christina Entsminger


Thank you so much for everything you have done for me this last year I can’t even begin to think what my life would have been like without this incredible experience. What you do for women is truly remarkable and I was so blessed to be a part of it. I was completely taken out of my element but you gave me every ounce of love possible…
Kelsey Moore

Former Miss Texas USA

…The last four years participating in your pageants has made me a more confident, outgoing and successful person.
Christin Sirizzoti


Thank you so very much for a wonderful 2006 Miss Texas USA year! We look back 12 months and can hardly believe all the accomplishments Lauren and our family have made. We are forever changed. Your strong support, advice and love meant the world to us. We just have loved this experience! …We think the world of you both and just appreciate the opportunity to have worked with you…Again, thanks for all the wonderful memories!
Rod and Dianne Lanning

Parents of Former Miss Texas USA

I competed at Miss Texas Teen USA over Thanksgiving break and had one of the best weekends of my life! I will always remember this experience and I just wanted to say thank you for letting me be a part of an amazing pageant that has such fun and wonderful people a part of it and a pageant that gives every girl an opportunity of a lifetime to represent Texas and get the chance to experience so many awesome things. Your hospitality and friendliness was so warming and I really appreciate everything you do. I’ll see you at Miss Texas USA in the future.
Sara Herbel


Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!…I learned so much more than I imagined I would that week. It helped me build my confidence!…The production was a huge success. I will never forget all of the wonderful memories…
Whitney Jarrett


I wanted to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to participate in Miss Texas USA last weekend. I had an absolute blast, learned a lot, and loved everyone I met there! I had never done a pageant before and knew very little about what the weekend had in store. However, I had the most amazing time preparing for the pageant and actually participating in the competition weekend. I never knew how much I would learn about myself, skills to use in everyday life (focusing on my posture, hair and makeup lessons, discussing difficult topics, remaining up-to-date on the news and current events, and how to interact with others most effectively while being myself), and the pageant world. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to represent Arlington, a city I was so proud to wear on my sash. I am so thankful for you and everyone who put time and resources into the Miss Texas USA pageant weekend.

Grace Sandblom


A week ago I came back from a wonderful opportunity where I stepped into a social arena I never thought I would have the courage to step into. Three months ago, if someone would have told me that I was going to participate in what I did know was going to be an amazing opportunity to meet and connect with some beautiful people on the inside out and be a part of something bigger than everything I thought it was going to be, I would have a hard time believing them. The pageant was about something more than winning. It was about having fun, being around people your age and making memories that will last a lifetime. The Miss Texas Teen USA Pageant has given me so much confidence, encouragement and self-worth. I want to thank the Crystal Group for letting me be a part of the Miss Texas Teen USA Pageant.

Hannah Prince/Missouri City


I was not able to see you after the pageant, or thank you for everything you and the Miss Texas Teen organization have done for me this past year.

When I first signed up for the pageant, I did not think it would be something I would ever see myself doing. My friends convinced me it would be an amazing opportunity and I couldn’t be more happy that I signed up.

Because of this pageant, I have had more self growth in the past few months than I have in my entire life. I have felt more at home, more included, and more love at this pageant than I have felt in any of my few dance teams and friend groups. These girls and this pageant taught me self love, empowerment among women, and skills that I will carry not only to my next pageant but for the rest of my life.

Since joining this pageant, I plan to take this incredibly serious and pursue this next pageant with open arms. I’m so happy I have found something that has changed my outlook on life, and helped me in the way that it has. I now understand that these titles follow you with a great honor and responsibility, and couldn’t be more excited to take it on. Thank you for all the wonderful lessons learned, I feel so blessed to have many more in the future.

Thank You For It All

Raelyn Sepull


… the pageant was the most fabulous experience of our life. I say mine because I enjoyed every moment. So did Payton.

It was so well organized. It was simply amazing.

She just loved her roommate, and the friends she met. She has already set her sights on next year.

Again, kudos to you for all the hard work you put into it….it was obvious.

Melissa Peveto

Mother of Contestant

We’ve now made our way back home from this weekends’ show and let me first say thank you, it was a great experience for both my daughter Vianka Sanchez and I. I loved everything you said and made possible for all the girls. This was her first time there and although she was very nervous, I feel she learned a lot about herself. Everything was all new to her. The applying of makeup and hair to wearing her first gown. I am very proud of her accomplishments.

…Again, thank you!


Mother of Contestant