1. Tell us about how you got started in pageantry and your pageant history.
Growing up, I watched my cousin compete in South Carolina. It was always on my bucket list, and I took a shot at Miss New York USA. I did a pageant in college to raise money, and was 2nd Runner Up, so I thought I would give Miss New York USA a shot. Since then I’ve competed In Miss Georgia USA, in America’s Perfect Pageant, Miss Northeast Galaxy (I was 1stRunner Up, Won Interview and Miss Congeniality), Ms. New York United States and World’s Perfect Pageant (I was top 10 and World’s Perfect Supermodel).
2. What is the most important thing that you've learned competing?
I would say that I have perfected my interviewing and speaking skills. I am naturally an introvert and competing has made me push myself to hone these skills. I have also learned that I am enough. I do not need to fit a mold; I need to just be the best version of myself.
3. What has continued to motivate you to compete as an adult?
I would say that I am retried until I am a Mrs., but I love what competing does to me. It forces me to look at myself and creates a deadline to get myself in better shape (mentally, physically, and goals wise).
4. Do you have a charitable platform?
My passion has always been children. Previously, my platforms have been No Child Left Behind and Mattie’s Heart. These both focused on being a role model in the community, providing services to children in the community, and providing etiquette classes to young girls.
5. Tell us more about your pageantry involvement behind the scenes.
Since getting the pageant bug I became a part of the Miss America family behind the scenes. I worked as the media trainer for the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Organization and worked my way up to being the Secretary and Board Member for Miss New York Scholarship Organization (preliminary for Miss America).
6. You are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about your business.
Through pageantry, I also found my love of public relations. I have always loved to help people make their dreams come true, and I do just that with Perfect Vision PR. I founded my organization after working on a public relations team with the Miss Brooklyn Organization, and now I help people perfect their visions. You can learn more about what I do here: www.perfectvisionpr.com.
7. What was your preparation process like for a pageant?
My very first pageant, I thought I was doing everything right. I was working out, eating right, I found a beautiful gown, and got a long weave lol!! I had no idea that everything I did was great, but was not best to showcase me, and highlight my assets. Now, I just spend constant time, having "me time." During this time, I reflect and think about what I like, what my passions are, and what makes me shine. This goes on even when I am not in pageant mode, so that I am ready, so I never have to get ready. One thing that I always must work on is my fitness. I am always running around, and this is something I need to take more time aside for.
8. What advice would you give to other women considering competing?
If I could give a woman one piece of advice it would be know your why. Why are you competing, what you hope to achieve and what happens of you do not win? This will also guide you to know if this system is what you want, and how will you serve during your reign.
9. Do you have any branding advice for pageant girls that are self-promoting?
Regarding branding advice, I would say that people meet you online before they do in person. It is 2020, people will google you, so make sure that who they meet is who you want them to.
10. What is your next pageant goal?
Right now, my goals are mostly off behind the scenes. I would love to get back into directing one day. In the meantime, I will continue to be a good friend, sister, and ally. But, when the time is right, I will make my debut on that Mrs. stage. Until then, I will continue to work on the overall package of Shekinah.
11. Tell us about a non-pageant goal you're hoping to achieve this year.
One non pageant goal is to get at least 3 clients on a cover of a magazine. And, for myself…to fit back into that size 6 Sherri Hill gown.
Shekinah Monee is a Brand Strategist, Blogger, and Influencer. This international MBA recipient is a former Executive Director of two preliminaries for Miss America, and is now serving on the Miss NY Board of the Directors and the Booking Director for Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen. Shekinah has a vast amount of knowledge in what is required for a Beauty Queen to build a brand.While Shekinah loves working behind the scenes she started off as a Beauty Queen competing in Miss NY USA, Miss GA USA, and America's Perfect pageants. She held the titles of Miss Metro Atlanta USA, NYC's Perfect Miss, NY's Perfect Woman, World's Perfect Woman Supermodel, and was last Brooklyn’s Perfect Woman. Shekinah is also signed to MMG and EFM Model Management.
Currently, Shekinah is guest speaking at colleges, pageants, and workshops sharing her journey to building her own brand. Shekinah has taught Perfectly You at America's Elite Miss pageant, Crown Con and Albright College, and will continue to share how to be perfectly you throughout the country.
To learn more about Shekinah check out: www.perfectvisionpr.com and www.diaryofaprsocialite.com.
NYC pageant coach Jackie Schiffer is passionate about helping women find their voices. Her international client roster includes women competing at the local, national and international level. Currently, she serves on the national coaching team for Miss Earth USA, USA National Miss, Miss Global United States, Mrs. Universal, and more.