I spent five hours today at our final judging session for our court . . . junior and senior girls from local high schools, and the three schools assigned to our room were the most diverse, including my own alma mater.
I was mesmerized by these women . . . Mexican, Vietnamese, Filipino, Romanian and one Muslim girl who wore a hijab. The latter spoke so passionately, her hands accentuating every word, her accent as beautiful as her words. One spoke of losing her father and being raped by her uncle when she was younger and how her suffering had made her a stronger person. Another called American the 'golden cage,' a land of opportunity where her father still felt trapped and couldn't understand how she had embraced her new culture.
This is today's Portland. These are tomorrow's women . . . mothers and workers and leaders.
I felt privileged to do my job today. I hope I helped make sure their memories of today were as positive as mine are.
My assessments came out close to those of the judges, and I was especially pleased with the results for my own school. It's hard to believe that in less than 48 hours we start announcing the results . . .