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Pasquinzo Crowned Mrs. Arkansas America

BY LEANN DILBECK –

Julie Pasquinzo, of Mena, has been crowned the new 2018 Mrs. Arkansas America. Competing as Mrs. West Central Arkansas, Pasquinzo was crowned during the state-wide pageant this past Saturday at the Hot Springs Convention Center after competing in interview, swim suit, and evening gown competitions.

Pasquinzo said she was at first “shocked” when she was announced, “My initial thought was ‘shock’ and sincere gratitude. I was immediately humbled and grateful. I actually became very emotionally overwhelmed. I wanted to really pause and rest in the moment to say a prayer of thankfulness and appreciation for the support I had been given throughout the journey, thus far.”

Pasquinzo is no stranger to titles having also held previous titles including: 2002 Miss West Central, 2003 Miss Greater Hot Springs, and 2004 Miss Henderson State University. “In 2016, I competed in the Mrs. Arkansas America pageant and was chosen 2nd runner up.”

Pasquinzo’s title is for married contestants. She is married to Patrick and the couple share three children: Tripp, Emmi, and Aaron. Professionally, she is a mental health professional/ licensed professional counselor employed by Cedar Haven in Mena as well as employed through the Arkansas drug court probation.  As a group leader for co-occurring disorders, she also works online for Justanswer.com, which is an international online resource. “I am an online ‘expert’ answering parenting, relationship, relationship care, and dream interpretation questions.”

As the new Mrs. Arkansas America, she will enjoy many television interviews and personal appearances, allowing her an opportunity to amplify her role as a married woman. Pasquinzo’s platform is “broken crayons still color” and hopes that as a mental health professional, she can use this opportunity to serve as an advocate for mental health awareness and inspiring empowerment. She added, “Harry Stack Sullivan stated, ‘We are all more alike than we are different,’ but, unfortunately, for many, it may not feel this way. In my profession, I meet those with brokenness, dysfunction, guilt, trauma, and fear all living in the shadows of proverbial ‘labels,’ trapped in invisible pain. Through empathy, education, and action we can increase support for those whose strength comes from addressing trauma, identifying addictions, understanding mental illness, and choosing to speak out against abuse. With this opportunity, my focus will be on teaching others about empowerment, overcoming stigmas, and increasing awareness of rehabilitative resources… even still, broken crayons still color.” Pasquinzo admitted that she has a new perspective from working in mental health over the last decade, “Over the last 11 years, I have been involved in the field of mental health. The experience that I have gained has offered perspective that, more than anything, people want to feel heard and validated. They may not always understand how they’re feeling and what it means, but they want to know that someone is listening. My goal was to be able to promote my platform, ‘broken crayons’, as a reminder that vulnerability isn’t a weakness, admitting pain isn’t a weakness, and our pasts don’t define us. The premise is that everything in life has been perfectly orchestrated for growth.”

She explained that her goal in entering wasn’t completely about her platform but also about her children, “My involvement and desire for involvement was related to not only promoting the platform, but also setting an example for my children. I wanted them to see their mother stepping outside of a comfort zone and set a goal to be an example of compassion and advocating for others. The platform I chose was also about vulnerability and moving beyond invisible walls that may lead to stagnancy. The desire to promote empowerment is something more spiritual for me to remind others that when we accept what we think our limits are, we are allowing something greater to act in provision.”

Pasquinzo is very cognizant of the honor in carrying the title, “I was so inspired by the other women involved with the pageant. Each woman has compassion for a cause and a strong sense of empathy and purpose. To be chosen among all of the worthy contestants was flattering and carries, for me, a strong sense of accountability and responsibility because I know they were all worthy of the role.”

Pasquinzo will now advance to compete in the national Mrs. America pageant to be held next August in Las Vegas but explained her year will be very busy leading up to that pageant, “On Wednesday, November 15, I will be privileged to be a part of the CARTI sugar plum ball. That event is quickly followed by holiday community service events and CARTI Christmas for Kids, where I have the honor to participate in presenting gifts to children in need. Throughout the year, the Mrs. America advocates for Victoria’s Voice Foundation, the official cause chosen by Mrs. America. The Foundation addresses the drug addiction epidemic in our country. I cannot think of a better Foundation to advocate for as I work in a field where co-occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse is so prevalent. I’m honored to advocate for resources available to reduce drug experimentation, addiction, and accidental death.”

One comment

  1. She looks so beautiful for 43! I wish I knew how she did it! Congratulations Julie!

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