Miss USF moves on to compete for Miss Florida

By Leda Alvim, MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
On June 18, 2019

Avalon Theisen created a non-profit organization focused on environmental service called Conserve It Forward. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE 

After dedicating more than 10 years of her life to service and social issues, the 2019 Miss USF winner is preparing to compete for the Miss Florida title.

Avalon Jade Theisen, a senior majoring in religious studies, found her passion for service and helping others at the age of 7.

Ever since then, she created Conserve It Forward, a non-profit organization focused on environmental service and worked with different organizations focused on helping the planet and other living beings.

Theisen’s involvement in her non-profit organization is tied to her impact statement for Miss Florida: “Conserve it Forward: Small Acts, Big Change.”

Her statement, based on service work she has done over the past 10 years, seeks to help educate people about how small acts equal big change for the environment and advocate for people to take action to help.

“I was doing what I loved all of these years, pursuing my passions even as a child to help our planet and all the living beings in it,” Theisen said. “Now, I am in a position to compete for a job where I could dedicate an entire year to service.”

Theisen is 18 and plans on graduating in 2020. After, she will pursue a master’s in religious studies at USF. In addition, she plans on seeking a Ph.D. in the combined field of religion and nature.

In addition to her passion for service, Theisen practices meditation and yoga. She holds the title for the USA Yoga National Youth Champion and in December, she won the title of World Champion of Yoga Sports after competing in Beijing. During Miss Florida, she will be performing artistic yoga in the talent section of the competition.

“I have worked my entire life for the service of the planet, people, and animals I love so much. I am an 18-year-old senior at USF, involved on my campus and in my community and I got here by hard work and persistence.”

When Theisen won Miss USF in Feburary, she did not expect that a few months later she would be competing for Miss Florida. According to her mother, Deborah Theisen, after researching the Miss Florida pageant and the people around it, it was the perfect match for Avalon.

“Avalon Jade’s life revolves around her academics, service, and community involvement - three of the reasons the Miss University of South Florida title caught her attention years ago,” Deborah said. “The Miss Florida candidates are very accomplished young ladies, and my husband and I are very proud she is now part of this group.”

Even after Miss Florida week is over, Theisen still plans on continuing her commitment to service and dedication to help others. Ever since she decided to run for the title, her life was changed completely.

“I am finding that competing for Miss Florida is a journey that has so many different parts,” Theisen said. “Without any doubt, I am now more prepared for leadership opportunities, graduate school, and professional life. I do not know what will happen on that stage, but I can tell you that the process has already resulted in so much personal and professional growth, and I know that will continue long after Miss Florida competition week is over.”

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