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"Beauty Queen Dropout" by: Mikey Duran

“From sea to shining sea like lady liberty. She reigns over all she sees. She is beauty and she is grace...”

We all remember “Miss Congeniality” and the song all the beauty contestants sang on the bus as they went on to the preliminaries, leading up to the semifinals and then the beautiful moment of the finals, where Miss United States was crowned. It really made you want to be a beauty queen, especially a gun-toting one like Sandra Bullock portrayed. But for Octavia Reese, Miss America was only a footnote in her life.

Today, Octavia Reese is an accomplished writer, musician and content creator. Knowing her is like knowing the world. She has indeed traveled the globe, usually with her cello in hand, and has stories and images of all she has seen. She is also the mother of three boys (boy mom energy!), whom she calls her world! She is also preparing for a healthcare leadership certificate program at Harvard University. But the one way she is consistently introduced to the world is as Miss Michigan 2005.

“That is something that kind of annoys me, ‘cause I have much more going on than something that occurred when I was 22!” Says Octavia.

While being a former beauty queen can lead to a career for many women in the pageant world, Octavia found life itself too exciting to limit herself to just one aspect of a future that has as many colors as a rainbow. Her jarring and exciting Sci-Fi book series, The Hibouleans, is soon to see its sixth volume published in 2023. Her music, which she is proud to have learned as a small child, is also offering her more opportunities. A classically trained cellist, Octavia now performs contemp