I am excited to tell you about an outstanding young woman I had the pleasure of meeting less than 4 years ago. Alissa Morrison, now known as Miss Iowa USA since October 11, 2015, was a student of mine at St. Ambrose University. To earn the title of Miss Iowa, a contestant needs to be poised, intelligent, graceful, and attractive. Alissa possesses all of these traits and you can read more about her on the above referenced website and get to know her better on the below referenced video.

I want to share with you the Alissa I knew before she was Miss Iowa (actually you won’t notice any difference). Alissa was a shy, introverted young woman in high school – she was a grade older than my son in high school and I didn’t even know she existed. After two years at community college she attended St. Ambrose University to pursue a Marketing degree and I had the pleasure of having her in class. By this time she was pursuing the Miss Iowa crown and it was obvious this young person had a certain polish to her. Alissa was a normal college student, a little on the reserved side, but she carried herself differently than the rest of the class. She always appeared ‘put together’, even when wearing sweatpants and hair in a bun. When she spoke, her words were intelligent and purposeful. Alissa was friendly to everyone, prompt in completing assignments and excellent attendance (with advance notice if she couldn’t be there).

Prior to winning Miss Iowa, Alissa had finished as a runner-up and placed in a prior year. Rather than give up, she continued to improve every year. I know she enjoyed the process, the other contestants, and the personal improvement that occurred during those years where she didn’t win; however, it must have been difficult to go through the rigor of competing year after year without earning the crown.

But 2015 was her year and it was well deserved. Alissa is kind, generous, and gracious. She is the perfect representative for Iowa and I am so thrilled for her current success and excited for her future success. Alissa Morrison is a role model for all of us. Her commitment, perseverance, and continued positive attitude has proved to be the foundation for her success.

Success is staying focused on your goals.