For Miss Delaware no day is exactly like the one that preceded it. From talking with children about the importance of building good character to preparing for the Miss America pageant in June, Kayla Martell enjoys the ambiguity that each new day brings. She is currently attending Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia where she will obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Her career ambition is to achieve a Masters degree in Communications and become a motivational speaker. Kayla has already founded “People Learning to Eliminate Drugs by Gaining Education” (P.L.E.D.G.E) at the age of 16 and “Caps 4 YAPS (Youth Alopecia Patients)” at the age of 17.
A local Milford resident, Kayla was inspired at a young age by her parents and their love for volunteering. She talks about how her father, who is a disabled veteran, could not work but always found a way to help others through volunteering. It is that commitment to others that Kayla thinks the town of Milford embodies. “I can always remember being raised by the community. I remember neighbors driving me to ballet classes and friends of my family making sure that I made it to the library.” Even today Miss Delaware is greatly humbled by the help that this community has given her during the pageant process.
Kayla acknowledges that Miss Delaware is much more than just winning a tiara. To her, being Miss Delaware is a chance to reach out and inspire children to believe in themselves. She has a strong belief that with confidence and encouragement a child can become whatever they desire, regardless of circumstances. “Being Miss Delaware has given me an opportunity of a lifetime. I know that I constantly have the opportunity to have an impact of someone’s life,” Kayla stated when asked about why she choose to pursue the title.
She is worried about the education system in Delaware but is very concerned about what children are exposed to outside of the classroom daily. “They are seeing and understanding so many things that they should not be,” Kayla stated referring to the role models that children have today. Kayla also commented on her enthusiasm of young voters participating in the electoral process but expressed her concerns that some of those voters may be focusing on the “fad of politics” and not the real issues.
Kayla Martell surpasses the stereotypes of the typical beauty queen. She has a pretty face but also is a woman of intelligence and strong determination. She competed in the Miss Delaware pageant five times before she won the honor and got a chance to wear the crown. Her friend and protégé Lilliana, a young girl with alopecia herself, was her inspiration for competing the final time. “Lilliana could not understand why I was not going to participate for a fifth time in the Miss Delaware pageant. She did not care if I won or lost but just that I was going to go for it.” Kayla recounts. As Lilliana was an inspiration for Kayla, Kayla hopes to be that voice of encouragement for others who need a little help to move forward.
Milford’s very own Miss Delaware, Kayla Martell, will be competing for Miss America on June 15. It will be broadcasted on ABC. If you want to follow Kayla and her pursuit for the title of Miss America visit her online at www.missdelaware.blogspot.com.