Miss Colorado for america

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; To do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
— Maya Angelou

Congratulations to Aida Sow the first ever Miss Colorado for America winner. Aida Sow, Miss Denver, was crowned on March 30, 2019 at the beautiful Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver.

It’s hard for me to describe my pageant journey when I have never considered myself a “Pageant Girl.” I, like many women from west Africa, wasn’t really exposed to pageantry at an early age. My first time seeing anything pageant-related was when I accidentally landed on the show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Being a mom of a 6-year-old girl at the time, I was shocked at how pageantry was portrayed. And I’ve clicked by the Miss USA pageant on television multiple times without being interested enough to stop and watch.

Three kids and three years later, I landed in Colorado with my husband, an active duty Marine. I had a great network of military wives to learn from and develop friendships. One of those wives was Mrs. Wyoming 2018, Erica Pedersen. Erica invited me to do a photo shoot with her at a boutique in Parker. In telling me her story, she broke down every stigma in my mind about pageantry. She introduced me to a great network of people, and a few weeks later I was crowned the first ever local community title.

Being a Marine Corps veteran, my platform was veteran suicide awareness. I helped organize hikes in Colorado with fellow veterans, and we did a lot of service work in the community. It was only a matter of time until I ran into Mrs. Colorado, Erica Shields, at a Wreaths Across America project. She immediately embraced me and urged me to contact the Mrs. Colorado director to sign up for the next pageant. However, I didn’t contact her, perhaps out of fear or skepticism, but the work Erica was able to do in the community with her title continued to intrigue me.

Within the next couple of years I went on to win an international title representing my country of Senegal. I went through a divorce and ended up a single mother. I used my energy and finances going back and forth from Colorado to Senegal to really serve people in need. During that time, I truly got to understand what the crown meant: a chance to serve your community and make a difference in THE WORLD. 

When I finally got the guts to sign up for Miss Colorado for America, I was in a place where I just wanted to not only do something for myself after a tough year, but really wanted to make an impact helping people in need as well. My title has been able to open doors for me in places where I would normally be turned away. It’s given me the chance to do so much in Colorado and West Africa, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to make an impact. I have a full understanding of what pageantry is now, and I couldn’t be prouder to be considered a “pageant girl.”