Sept. 13, 2022

Start By Believing

Start By Believing

Hollis Brown's platform as Miss Wisconsin USA is focused on survivor advocacy, and she’s a part of End Violence Against Women International’s “Start By Believing” campaign. Today Hollis speaks about her assault in college, how trauma changed her life, where she has found strength, and the work she’s doing in the world.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia and now residing in Milwaukee, Hollis Brown is a 26-year-old sports marketer, podcast host, mentor, public speaker, model, youth educator, nonprofit founder, and Miss Wisconsin USA 2022.  For the past year she has worked with the Milwaukee Bucks where she began as a Sales Associate and was promoted to Coordinator of Partner Strategy and Management November 2021.  As a podcast host, she is able to empower young women pursuing careers and as a nonprofit founder, she provides resources to help support sexual assault victims through their journey to healing.  Hollis is a high school graduate of Savannah Arts Academy and college graduate of Virginia Tech.  For over 18 years, she trained nationally in ballet, contemporary, and tap dance.  For fun, Hollis enjoys hot yoga, solving escape rooms, and kickboxing.  Hollis will compete for the coveted title of Miss USA during the national broadcast later this year and if she wins, will advance to the internationally televised 2022 Miss Universe competition.

Hollis Brown Website
https://www.holliscbrown.com/

Hollis's Story
https://evawintl.org/survivor-voices/hollis-brown-2/

EVAWI - End Violence Against Women International
https://evawintl.org/

Vote for Hollis! - Miss USA Viewer's choice (Cost about $2)
https://missusa.com/miss-contestants/

More Info:

The Red Zone is the period of time between mid August and Thanksgiving break. Over 50% of college sexual assaults occur during this time period.
https://www.shatteringthesilence.org/red-zone

Articles explaining Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn (or Appease). This came up in the episode and I wanted to provide an explanation because we didn't talk more about it. Your response is natural, it's valid. and it's not your fault.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-and-recovery/202008/understanding-fight-flight-freeze-and-the-fawn-response

https://www.simplypsychology.org/fight-flight-freeze-fawn.html

Finding OK
https://www.finding-ok.com/

Donate
https://www.finding-ok.com/support/

Join the Patreon to support the podcast and gain exclusive access to bonus material, a look behind the scenes, and occasional video episodes! Tier 3 members gain access to Hollis's video episode.
https://www.patreon.com/HecateFindingOK 

Letters for the Fire - Information and submission instructions
https://www.finding-ok.com/blog/letters-for-the-fire-season-4/

Support the show

Transcript

when something traumatic happens you can't
just get over it [Music]

[Music] hi there thank you so much for joining
me I'm Hecate and this is finding okay a healing

podcast for survivors of sexual assault and
any and all abuse today I'm joined by Hollis

Brown Hollis is a sports marketer podcast
host Mentor public speaker model youth educator

non-profit founder and Miss Wisconsin USA
2022 Hollis will compete for the coveted title

of Miss USA during the national broadcast
in early October and if she wins we'll advance

to the internationally televised Miss Universe
competition hollis's platform as Miss Wisconsin

USA is focused on Survivor advocacy and she's
a part of end violence against women Internationals

start by believing Global campaign today she's
sharing her story and talking about the work

she's doing in the world and now it's time
for

trigger and content warnings for this episode
include the following sexual assault rape

trauma and PTSD please check in with yourself
and make sure you're all right to continue

all right so are you okay

you know we are getting there I feel like
especially recently I've adopted the mindset

of taking it day by day Moment by moment so
In This Moment yes I am okay and what is the

compliment that you've received that you've
never forgotten that I have good energy which

I think sometimes can be a good thing but
then also a bad thing because I really enjoy

making other people feel happy feel motivated
feel positive but then I think on the downside

if people aren't feeling their best they can
kind of gravitate to you and kind of drain

you sometimes but overall I really enjoy spreading
positivity so I'm glad that people find my

energy something so rejuvenating yeah no I
I feel you every so often you get those those

energy vampires you have to

Archer guard your energy neck yep and even
the introvert in me gets very overwhelmed

sometimes but for the most part we're pretty
good I'm an introvert as well so I feel you

and what is your favorite color or color combination
and what do you associate with it my favorite

color is pink growing up it used to fluctuate
maybe every year or every few months it would

change but I think pink has stayed very consistent
over these last few years and I think for

me paint just reminds me of one a very girly
color which I think represents me but then

also just bubbly and full of life so pink
is definitely my favorite color is that like

all pink or do you have a specific pink that's
like your ultimate favorite you know I'm gonna

have to think about that some more right now
it's all pink but I think the shades of pink

differ based on my moods so sometimes it is
a very vibrant pink but maybe some days where

I'm not feeling as best it could be a warmer
like a rose pink so really maybe that's where

my changes have differed so rather than changing
colors every month now I just change every

shades of pink gotta go I changed the the
little Moon lamp to Pink for you oh I love

that's the details

um and what five five I'm like five um what
five things best represent you as a person

oh I'm definitely going to say family are
they physical things they can be intangible

um we're very open-ended and open-minded here
so go through well technically family it's

our physical beings so we'll put that in there
family and friends I'm gonna count that as

one and two especially as I was telling you
earlier how I attended a weekend not a weekend

I attended a wedding this weekend and I don't
actually have time to visit home pretty often

just because I get so busy with the my pageant
or work or just life in general but going

home really kind of refilled my cup and I
didn't realize how much I missed home or being

around like my family and friends and those
genuine connections so definitely family and

friends the next one would be my dog Kingsley
he very much keeps me centered full of cuddles

full of walks um I love my little fur ball
to death so those would be my top three and

then the other things hmm this may change
but right now I'm going to say avocado toast

I had it for the first time a month ago and
I lied to you not I've probably eaten it every

morning ever since so I am very obsessed with
avocado toast and then the next thing would

be chapstick that is my Holy Grail so I know
my top five was probably a little all over

the face but as you can see family friends
food ChapStick and my dog yep hmm what uh

what kind of dog do you have I have a Morkie
and he I want to say will be four in November

so yes he is the best his full name is Kingsley
Christian Brown oh yes he is my best friend

I get it now I get why people are obsessed
with their dogs yeah I think I think mine's

turning five um I think in a few days well
it's like her adoption birthday so we just

celebrate like the the join the family day
but yeah oh isn't it like your Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day I like that I've never heard that
that's so cute that's yeah thank you I like

that it's cute yeah no she's uh she's my my
fuzzy baby oh did you say what kind of dog

do you have she's a mix um so we got her from
a rescue um and she is I guess you could say

she's she's a Pity mix um but she's like Staffordshire
Terrier a Giant Schnauzer and like a mystery

Hound um and you wouldn't know any of that
really looking at her um but watching her

you can tell the Hound because she's like
LED through life by her nose and that is her

her main thing so she was uh she's a little
sleuth and we we play scenting games with

her which is like um like hound dog training
games um and we'll like hide things and she'll

have to sniff them out and we play hide and
seek and it's it's cute but yeah she's she's

my baby oh I love that so much and we have
a very very fluffy like uh cat named Asha

that is like mostly fur and uh and just like
a very a very talkative little Balinese cat

that just like floofy poofs her way around
the house and um acts like a princess and

they all get along they love each other they
snuggle they they play tag like every day

the cat instigates she's like chase me Chase
me Chase me um and uh yeah no they're like

best friends they worry about each other when
one of them goes outside the other one like

Waits at the door and they're just they're
cute yeah I love that and I would love to

hear three Essentials to your self-care

so one essential is my dog he's gonna come
up a lot but he is a very emotional support

dog and so whenever I am feeling down or um
on a brink of Tears which I am a crier whether

I'm happy sad emotional hungry everything
I I can probably cry and so he's always around

to give me some love so he's definitely a
key part of my self-care another one is face

mask and being able to just kind of like relax
put on some music put on a face mask and just

decompress it makes me feel like I'm going
to a modified Spa that I can do myself and

then another part of my self-care has become
TV and just unplugging I think like I mentioned

earlier between the pageant and work and just
everything that I have going on sometimes

life can be very go go go go go go for me
and like very active thinking and so I've

realized that incorporating TV or just moments
where I can just kind of be have been very

therapeutic for me before when you always
see um the sayings on Instagram where they're

like don't watch TV read a book or do all
these inspirational things but there has to

be a balance and I found that TV kind of does
that for me where it's like okay just relax

for an hour 30 minutes two hours whatever
you need but just like enjoy something that

you enjoy watching yeah it's it's a totally
different like switch off like unplug kind

of thing as opposed to reading a book Which
is far more like active engagement and it's

great like absolutely like everyone should
read but um but it is like a totally different

uh state of being and every so often if if
you're if you you a lot of us are in high

stress right now for one reason or another
um but uh but yeah a lot of people I talk

to um and myself included like binge watching
Netflix or something like that just comes

up a lot where it's uh it's very much like
a coping skill that's getting us through just

sort of like I need to be cozy and I need
to just unplug and yeah 100 Disney plus has

become my best friend where they have all
my childhood shows and movies I watch High

School Musical the other day and in that moment
it made everything better yeah I was sick

recently so I I very much just like need some
like Comfort movies and a blanket when I'm

sick but watched a whole bunch of Miyazaki
and like and I think I think they have studio

um they have Studio Ghibli on a Disney right
because Studio Ghibli and Disney are paired

I am not sure but yeah I don't fear off too
much to be honest I watch Kim Possible Cheetah

Girls High School Musical and that's about
it I just keep recycling them gotcha yeah

no I was gonna ask like what are your favorites
what are your go-to's so yeah impossible is

definitely my go-to I instantly have like
yeah yep

um yeah so are are you comfortable if I switch
gears and ask you to tell your story yeah

let's do it

alrighty jumping right on in yeah so

so my story um starts

I've stopped keeping track but I want to say
maybe early 2015 math is not my strongest

school so it's 20 22 now you can do the math
you can say I won't you can say literally

anything I know I'll be like okay that is
me math is not my skill so you can do the

math on how long ago that was but I was a
sophomore at school and college and it was

a very troubling time for me so during that
time um I want to say maybe December is when

I did my first Pageant Ever So a very very
exciting experience for me opportunity clearly

it kind of lingered because I've been doing
pageants ever since but in the hindsight of

that um everything that was going on my personal
life was just very challenging so I was going

through a lot of difficult times with my friends
where there was just kind of like a lack of

communication for better words and now we're
fine we're best of friends but I think in

that moment is just like college drama and
not being friends anymore and I took it very

very hard very very heavy because as I mentioned
in my top five earlier friends and family

are very important to me especially when you
find that connection because let's be honest

everybody's not gonna like you but when you
find that Core group of people that are like

your people you like to hold on to them and
so um going through a loss of a friendship

was just very stuffed truck oh we can cut
that out going through the loss of a friendship

was just very tough for me and so I think
I tried to find the filler and other spaces

and so tapping into seeing where else I can
find friends or where else I can get kind

of that camaraderie and looking back I probably
looked in the wrong spaces and so I ended

up meeting this basketball player that was
at my University and we hung out a couple

of times um it wasn't the greatest connection
but again it gave me something to do it gave

me somebody to talk to and I think one night
he invited me over where a few of the other

basketball players are just kind of like hanging
out and from that um experience I went over

there it started off relatively fun or at
least what seemed to be fun and then we went

into his room had a moment where we were just
kind of talking and then things slowly escalated

where we started kissing and then from there
I realized that I did not want to be there

anymore and that was actually not what I wanted
and so I said that um I'm gonna leave now

I think it's time for me to go home and he
ended up pushing me back to the bed and said

that I wasn't going anywhere and then I think
we can kind of fill in the blinks from what

happened from there and I just kind of froze
um because in that moment I am 510 and he

had to be a solid six seven six eight basketball
player and so I was terrified in that moment

I didn't know what could happen um yeah I
just kind of froze which looking back I understand

why I had that reaction but in a moment you
always hear people talk about fight or flight

people don't talk about the freeze aspect
and so throughout these years I've really

tried to take a moment to educate myself on
the reactions that sexual assault survivors

have or just how they respond to things and
why did I freeze because I always thought

I'd be one of those people where it's like
well if it happened to me I do this or if

it happened to me I'd do this but really you
don't know what you would do in that moment

and it's very hard looking back or being in
that moment and you're just kind of reacting

and you don't probably have time to think
or adjust some people do I'm not gonna say

everybody doesn't but it's just very hard
knowing how you would handle that situation

if you have never been in that situation and
so from there back to my story time from there

um I did end up leaving and I did end up I
think either taking like a lift or Uber home

or somehow I got home but I think in the moment
I just kind of like pushed it in the back

of my head which is something that I tend
to do is if it's bad or if I don't like it

I just push it in the back of my head and
we keep it moving and then the next day as

I was going to class I was on my way to accounting
class that morning and I remember it vividly

and I think in this moment is how I realized
that something was not right and I actually

could not push this to the back of my head
um but while I was sitting in class and the

professor he's going over like debts and credits
and all of that stuff that you talk about

in accounting and I just start crying and
I could not stop crying for the life of me

and I'm sitting in the back of the class and
I feel so bad because the professor he's looking

at me crying because it's not like little
tears I'm like quietly Kim Kardashian ugly

crying in the back of the class and I didn't
want to get up to go to the bathroom or to

leave because then I didn't want to draw attention
to myself because no one noticed that I was

crying and then so I just kind of like sat
there and cried for 45 50 minutes of the whole

class and then I just went home I didn't go
to any of the other classes that I had that

day and I got on the bus Which the town that
I was in um they have a very nice bus system

where all the students that's how you get
around you just hold your passport up and

then they take you home but I cried the whole
bus ride home I cried I think probably the

rest of that day um I don't remember what
the rest of that day looked like specifically

but I do remember crying in a class and crying
to help us ride home and then later that week

um slowly just trying to digest what happened
I told one of my friends and at the time she

was like whoa why actually I forget the questions
that she had at the moment but they were some

doubting questions of like well are you sure
that happened like you seem pretty fine I

if he apologized like I think it's good yep
because he did end up sending me a text message

that said I'm sorry for making you do anything
that you didn't want to do mm-hmm wow and

that was another moment where I was like okay
I think clearly something is off here like

I'm crying mentally my body is telling me
that I'm not okay the text message is telling

me that obviously things are not okay and
slowly I think hold on I'm gonna backtrack

tell me things are not okay and I think oftentimes
people don't talk about the aspect for sexual

assault survivors for the denial that they
face because I faced a lot of denial in those

long times I was just like I don't know why
I'm crying but I'm always crying I don't know

why he's apologizing but clearly he feels
bad for something and it didn't take until

me talking to another friend that was a male
talking through what happened and he was like

whoa are you serious did that happen that
is not okay and it didn't take for me talking

through with him to realize that oh my goodness
I had been raped in that moment and I am still

to this day very appreciative for that conversation
very appreciative of him reassuring me that

it was going to be okay and that he heard
me and that he understood where I was coming

from and that he was going to be there for
me in that moment for whatever I needed and

sometimes that is all you need is someone
to be like I'm sorry that happened to you

how can I best help you in this moment even
if you don't know because I was still processing

that that had happened so I didn't know what
I needed in that moment um so it was just

a very long rest of the semester for me to
get through I ended up almost flunking out

of all of my classes because I stopped going
to class I stopped being motivated to do anything

and then another one of my friends once I
told her what happened um and how I wasn't

going to class she ended up coming to classes
with me and she would just sit there with

me which looking back at the time I don't
think I realized like how amazing that is

it just goes sit in random classes that you
do not have to be in to support your friend

and make sure that they're going to class
and making sure that they do the work but

still to this day she is one of my best friends
um but I just really appreciate the support

system that I had in being able to talk through
it but back to the classes I ended up getting

a 2-5 that semester I'm sorry I did not get
a 2-5 I think I got a one eight or something

it was actually really bad and it came to
the point where I wasn't at the point where

I wanted to open up to my parents about it
and so they just thought I wasn't serious

about school and they thought I was just out
partying just doing whatever I guess stereotypical

college students do they didn't know that
I was going through this whole traumatic experience

that I was trying to fight through um so that
was something all in itself um that must have

been rough to navigate with your parents yes
it was a lot because talking to my mom they

very much value school and education and so
and I'm very fortunate that they were actually

paying for my education while I was in college
and so from there hindsight it's like well

if you're not taking this serious why are
we spending all this money for you to go to

these classes and you're not even going right
and then so it had it came to the discussion

of like well if you're not serious then we're
not going to pay for your school or it's like

well you have one more semester to pull this
together because what are you doing we're

paying for your housing we're paying for your
school and you're literally just up there

doing what yep and I did not have it in the
heart in my heart to tell them what was really

going on yeah so yeah it was a lot wow

honestly I don't remember I think I just in
a moment agreed and was just like yeah I was

just partying sorry I'm not taking it serious
I'll do better next semester and I'll show

you that I am dedicated um because again I
like to have these experiences but then push

them into the back of my mind and I'm like
you know what it happened uh push it back

you're fine move forward get over it but with
some when something traumatic happens you

can't just get over it you have to you have
to acknowledge that it happened you have to

deal with it you have to talk through it in
ways that work for you and that's a process

in itself is finding what way works for you
because I think now in what 2021 2022 I'm

just now really getting a hang of what works
for me and so that truthfully tells you how

long that process takes on that journey to
healing and so it was a long time it was a

long time and so that was probably the end
of my sophomore year and then fast forward

going to the summer going into my senior year
so I want to say the summer of 2017 so almost

two years later I actually got an internship
in California it was the most amazing internship

and I was able to go out by myself and just
live life for a lack of a better words live

life and so one night while I was just like
in my Airbnb watching TV the hot show at the

time was 13 Reasons and so I was like oh I'm
binge watching 13 Reasons this is my down

time but no one told me that there was a scene
in the show where the girl gets raped and

it is a very graphic scene it is a very graphic
scene I've never seen it I I got the warning

and I was like I'm good yeah yeah I'm so sorry
that's okay I'm glad that you got the warning

I know I did not get the warning that that
was in there and sometimes when people hint

at rape they don't show it or they just imply
it yeah but no 13 Reasons they show it they

show the whole interaction and that was the
biggest pan attack I think I've ever had in

my life watching that and it was so hard it
came to the point where I was just like crying

and I felt like I couldn't breathe it was
so heavy it was such a heavy moment and of

course I'm in California so for those that
don't know um East Coast born and raised in

Georgia and so here I am on the other side
of the nation alone having this panic attack

I was just like oh my goodness and that was
another moment where I was just like okay

you need to tell your mom you need to have
this conversation with your mom because you

know you have those moments in life where
you're like I just need a hug from my mom

I just need to talk to her I just need I don't
want to talk to anybody else I don't want

to hug from anybody else I want nothing else
but my mom and so I made a vow that when I

came home from the summer I was going to tell
her foreign

because you know it's your parents at least
for me I thought I was gonna go my whole life

without them knowing or without it ever coming
up and again I was just gonna sweep it under

the rug and just keep it pushing but that
scene just really brought something to me

that I needed to let it out because it felt
like I just was carrying this really big burden

in this really big secret I well sidebar here
but again for those who know me I am the worst

liar I am the worst Secret Keeper oh dear
it just please I know I just feel so overwhelmed

and I'm just like I have to tell someone so
either I'm gonna tell someone or I'm gonna

forget so with other people's Secrets normally
I forget because that's not my place to tell

but with my own Secrets they do not stay Secrets
long I'm the person where if it's a birthday

or Christmas I'm like do you want to know
what I got you I can tell you I can let you

know and you can act surprised I am that person
and so for this it just felt like I had this

really big secret that I was just holding
on and hovering onto and it was just weighing

me down and so fast forward I came home from
the summer and I don't even know how it came

up in conversation knowing me I also have
word vomit so I'm pretty sure I probably just

blurted it out which is probably not the best
way to tell someone that you've been sexually

assaulted but it was the only way that I can
get it out to her I don't really know the

gentle yes you just gotta get it out like
this happened I think I was sitting in my

room and I came out and I was like I have
something to tell you and just word vomited

it out um and that whole scenario or interaction
also taught me a lot um because that one was

very difficult and I ended up having another
panic attack um just because from a parental

standpoint you want to protect your child
you that is all you want to do you want to

fight all their battles you want to fight
all the bad people that hurt them you want

to just make sure that they're okay and protect
them and so for me I think the protection

standpoint kind of took over what I actually
needed in that moment and what I needed in

that moment was just a listening ear and a
hug and we can figure the rest out later or

we can deal with the rest later but in that
moment us having a conversation and I'll never

forget it and of course this is not coming
from a bad place from my mom at all like I

absolutely love my mom and I always like the
preface with that because you just never know

how some people can interpret things but again
it was coming from a place of love and protection

where my mom was like okay well what's his
name and I did not share the name but she

kept asking and she was like no but what is
his name because we're going to the school

and they're dealing with this what is his
name and I did not share the name yeah because

I did not want to open up that can of worms
because as you see throughout my story so

far I'm dealing with a lot of internal emotions
that I'm trying to like figure out right now

the last thing that I want to do is bring
in the school is bring in the athletic department

because he was an athlete there's just so
bringing the police bringing all of these

elements I was not ready for that so I did
not share the name and then my mom goes well

why are you protecting him

that deserves it and that is the moment where
the panic attack happened because of all things

this is the last person that I'm trying to
protect I'm not trying to protect him at all

if anything correct I'm trying to protect
myself because these last few months years

have been hell because they were just random
moments that I'd have a panic attack whether

it was I passed the apartment or past the
building where his team used to play because

it came to a point where I couldn't even go
to the athletic side of Campus and we had

a very big athletic side of Campus because
I went to a D1 school so athletes and Athletics

and sports were very big there and so just
knowing all of these things that I was going

through that was just a very difficult conversation
to have with her now of course it's been a

few years and throughout this process and
bringing them in on this journey my family

has a better understanding of kind of what
I was going through in that moment and we

were also able to kind of talk through the
great situation and she was like wow you were

going through all of this when I just thought
you were skipping class to go to party or

like sleep in and it's like no I just did
not have the motivation to do anything so

it was it was a lot during my college experience
there were happy times but a lot of times

um we're pretty Down based on this experience
and even fast forwarding um it was a lot it

was a lot how did you move through if if I'm
allowed to ask how did you move through that

with your with your mother um were you able
to kind of Express what you needed or explain

like why uh was she able to understand why
that um what she was saying um was so upsetting

or kind of understand things from your point
of view so I think what helped is she was

very transparent that an experience like that
had not happened to her so she wasn't sure

how to help me in that moment or what I would
eat and so what she was able to do is she

had a friend that actually had experience
rape than sexual assault and so she connected

me with her and so I think that helped kind
of create a middle person and create a more

calming space to kind of talk through what
I needed but also hear how someone else dealt

with that situation and so I am very appreciative
of my mom because I think that was kind of

the first step that I actually took to healing
or getting help or just talking through it

in any aspect outside of the dialogue that
I had with friends and so I think looking

back it was extremely therapeutic to just
get a better idea of I'm not alone in a situation

not only am I not alone in what happened to
me but I'm also not alone in the after effect

and how I was dealing with it and how it was
not just a short process of get over it of

how my feelings are valid even though they
were two years later and so that was a very

Monumental moment for us of being able to
kind of like understand where my mom was coming

from which is where the friend also helped
of just giving me a better insight to how

my mom was dealing with it but then also articulate
how I was dealing with it so that's kind of

how we got through it um just taking the extra
step to better understand each other because

it did hurt me but it also hurt her

I was serious wisdom on your on your mother's
part like bringing in someone else and uh

wow like that I wish I wish more people would
do that that's kind of genius and I'm so glad

that you were able to to have that middle
person and also have access to to another

Survivor who who understood your experience
and uh and was able to to be that person for

you and um and I I can't help but get like
slightly emotional because like it brings

us for Full Circle and that's what you're
doing right now is you're being that person

for somebody else who's raw and who's listening
to this right now and you're the Survivor

sharing your story and saying all the things
that they need to hear that maybe they don't

have someone in their life to say to them
so yeah and it's been very helpful because

I think also well one thing that I try to
preach Now is really listening to the Survivor

and understanding what they need in that moment
because looking back in college I want to

say maybe my senior year where I was a little
more open with close friends obviously not

broadcasting it out but with close friends
and I think everyone wanted to help me get

better or kind of like talk through it or
deal with it whatever that means but some

ways just weren't ways that I was ready to
deal with it yet so for example at the school

that I went to of course for a Sexual Assault
Awareness Month they do a candlelight vigil

where people come in share their stories just
kind of like having that moment for survivors

and my friend thought I should go I was not
in the mental space to go to that yet and

although she was pushing and she wanted the
best for me and thought it would be great

for me to go understanding that I had not
personally dealt with it yet to the level

that I'd want to go in here other people's
stories and how they were also traumatized

on top of navigating my own traumatic experience
so I think for me and even another example

of that actually that I just thought of is
one of my classes so I love to write and one

of my professors we had what class was it
I think it was interpersonal communication

and we had to talk about an experience and
dissect how it affects you and how it affects

the people around you and this is another
reason of how well not reason but examples

how I like to try to decide myself or

I don't even know how to explain it but anyway
I tried to write a paper on my reaction to

my sexual assault that was the worst idea
I've probably ever had the worst idea I've

ever had because not only did I have to figure
out how I reacted but I also had to research

it and I had to read other Survivor stories
and just read so much and gather so much data

and even to this day well I haven't read the
paper recently but every now and then I'll

go back and read it because in one of the
papers so actually the way it was broken up

I think one paper was solely like research
driven another paper was based on your personal

experience or just like talking through how
you reacted to whatever topic you were talking

about and backing it up with the research
and then the third and final paper was putting

everything together so overall it had to be
a good like six seven like it was a college

paper if you think about college papers and
so in the second paper your girl got real

Raw she laid it out I went through literally
every emotion every thought that I had and

had it on that paper very vulnerable moment
but it was also very therapeutic it was very

therapeutic to kind of get it all out um but
I'm also understanding that I was going to

turn that into my professor probably again
wasn't the best topic for me to write about

and so I can only imagine what was going through
my professor's mind as she was reading it

I'm sure she was like what the heck we gotta
get this girl some help um and that is exactly

what she did when I came to class for her
after reading the paper once everybody left

she stopped me and she was like hey can I
talk to you for a minute and at that moment

you know I put it all out on the paper so
I was temporarily okay I was like that was

my therapy I was like we're good now we don't
got it all on paper we're living life and

so she was like your paper that you wrote
about are you okay and I was just like you

know yeah it happened but I was like I think
we're I think we're okay right now we're just

kind of navigating it and she was like well
I think you should really go to the Women's

Center where we have therapy and counseling
and they'll be able to like help you process

it and help you through it and I was like
oh I don't really know about that I don't

I don't know if I want to like talk to someone
about it because I had already gone and seen

a therapist that we had on campus and that
experience did not go well so I was like I

don't know if I want to revisit a therapy
on this topic yeah I don't think I'm ready

for that but she was like no they specialize
in sexual assault and so I think it'll be

better because they actually have like the
specific tools to help you navigate this conversation

and then she was like I'll even go with them
yes and so in that moment I was like okay

if you'll go with me I'll go and so I ended
up going and we went upstairs again very early

in my traumatic experience for me to be going
to therapy but we're talking through it and

then the therapist goes and I think at that
point it had literally been a year because

she goes so it's been it's like the anniversary
of your assault and I immediately start crying

I immediately start crying because I was like
anniversaries are supposed to be happy why

did you associate this with an anniversary
I was like that's not that's not how I want

to remit I don't want to have an anniversary
of my sexual assault yeah so I cried and I

left can I can I ask how you've related to
that idea moving forward yeah um to be honest

I have not gone back to therapy um after that
experience I have been looking into it but

to be very transparent life has just been
so busy that I have not had a moment to find

a therapist that I relate with because that
is a job you can't just pick one and go and

start opening up like you have to right it's
a whole process you have to interview basically

interview talk to different people find someone
that matches your vibe then also have that

period where like maybe they originally matched
your Vibe but then two three sessions and

you're like oh actually this is not what I
thought it was and so I just and my schedule

have not had the time to sit down and like
but out different therapists that I'd want

to go to but it is top of my to-do list but
I will also say that within the last years

I have found volunteering to actually be very
therapeutic for me and yeah I think that has

been kind of my therapy or even just one-off
situations because as you see now with me

sharing my story I am very open about it I
don't again I don't broadcast it but if you

know you know and I can go into as much detail
as you want or as little detail it just kind

of depends on the situation and the day that
I'm having um which today is a great day because

I've given you a lot of detail without crying
so great day for a story time but yeah I will

say volunteering kind of has been my safe
space and being able to kind of share my journey

and things that I've learned to hopefully
make other people's experiences a lot smoother

I'm not going to say better because it is
still a very traumatic experience but hopefully

making it smoother so that way you have a
more clear Road on your journey to healing

and not as many panic attacks as I did or
are you out here watching 13 Reasons and not

mentally prepared so that's where I have found
my my therapy and helping others how did you

get into um that advocacy work that you've
been doing and I'd love to hear about it yeah

I would say pageants so pageantry has really
forced me to get out of my comfort zone and

so for pageants for those for people that
don't know you have to have a platform and

usually the platform is a cause that you really
care about or just kind of a change that you

want to see in the world and from the beginning
so I want to say I really started getting

serious about pageantry maybe around 2018
and so it's been a very long journey of figuring

out where exactly is do I fit in this fight
for sexual assault advocacy and helping others

and I think again now in 2022 I have finally
figured it out in a way that fills my cup

but also fills others and hopefully makes
them feel better and so for me it is educating

the family and friends so that way they know
how to respond to someone that has disclosed

they've been sexually assaulted and as you
see from my story from my times with family

and friends and my mom and just like all those
interactions where I was just like that wasn't

the best I understand where you were coming
from but we can make this better to where

it actually helps the victim yeah that is
where I find the most Joy there's so very

much a need for that and I'm so excited to
hear that that's where your focus is yeah

that's incredible yeah exactly for the work
that you do oh no thank you it is literally

my pleasure because I think so often people
wait until after someone has disclosed that

they've been sexually assaulted to figure
out the next steps but those initial reactions

and those initial conversations are so crucial
in someone's Journey that you have to say

the right things and I know that's probably
a lot of pressure to see the right things

which is why I'm so fortunate that I was able
to kind of partner and work with an organization

called imbalance against women and they have
a campaign called start by believing and ultimately

it's like if you don't know what to say if
you don't know what to do if you don't know

how to help just say I believe you just start
by believing and you can figure the rest out

later to say I believe you right it's like
I believe you how can I best help you in this

moment yeah and then you can figure out all
the resources later but in that moment yeah

it's okay to just support someone it really
is like one of the most important places to

start because like as you are disclosing uh
to friends and family there is so much pressure

and fear of um are are they going to believe
me and like that is one of the number one

like hurdles that you start to bump up against
is like you said with with the friend that

started asking you um you know kind of like
disbelieving or maybe even like victim blamey

kind of questions um immediate walls go up
like like that immediately is what makes the

situation unsafe for you emotionally uh and
like and you just a lot of the time like that

can um just just throw up that wall where
it's just sort of like okay you're no longer

a safe person to talk to or like I you know
or or it does incredible damage to yourself

and sets your own healing back um yeah that's
so important yeah 100 and people don't even

realize that again I'm already going through
all of these internal thoughts in these internal

doubts like I think for me it took maybe a
week for it to really soak in and we realized

that I had been raped because I had already
been going back and forth in my mind of like

no it didn't happen like you're you're reaching
you're overreacting but then the other side

was like no I'm pretty sure mature rate but
then others I was like no but you did kiss

him but you changed your mind and it's just
like you have all of these thoughts in your

head already and so to be able to open up
to someone and then have them kind of shut

it down or doubt you or just create any uncertainty
or make you feel uncomfortable that's just

I feel for you I really do yeah it's um yeah
there's I think it's I think it is really

important for for friends like just there's
kind of a baseline that we need because sexual

assault is such a prevalent Human Experience
especially for women and femmes um uh it it

does kind of if we're going to address this
as a society it does kind of ask us at a certain

point like okay so we need like a certain
Baseline of trauma and informed you know kind

of kind of stuff kind of going on in here
in order just to have interpersonal relationships

because you never know when someone's going
to disclose in your life correct from any

direction it could happen at any time and
if you don't if if you're not informed if

you don't know even they're they're like right
things to say and wrong things to say if like

even if you don't know the right things to
say it's really important to at least know

the wrong things to say so you just don't
say them um correct because it would be so

helpful if if we just got that information
out and just everybody knew uh I I love I

love that um uh the start by believing um
that's it's really just wonderful uh place

to start you're absolutely correct and I I
love hearing about that yeah yeah and I love

it and sorry to cut you off earlier but um
it is very important because even looking

back if you notice with my story even the
questions I knew all of the negative things

that people said to me I remember those very
vividly or like the negative reactions or

the negative moments in my trauma but I very
vaguely remember the positive moments you

remember all the bad things that people say
but you don't remember the good things it's

kind of like compliments you remember all
of the bad things that bullies have said to

you or all the negative things that people
have said even though it may have been once

or twice but you forget the 50 or 100 times
people said you were amazing or people said

you look fabulous or just all of those things
but you really focus on those two times that

people said something negative to you no and
I hate that I hate that so that's why those

initial reactions and those initial responses
they are very key into someone's journey to

Healing yeah I'm also you mentioned uh the
platform and pageantry and I was curious if

um just how receptive uh the pageant is to
uh to having these kinds of conversations

uh is is there openness about discussing these
issues I will say 100 and I think that's one

thing about the pageant Community is everybody
has a cause that they're so passionate about

and since the world of pageantry is kind of
built on helping others in the community we're

all very receptive to the platforms that we
want to speak on and so everyone has been

very open and I think having a title helps
where it's kind of gotten me into more doors

to have the conversation which is another
big key for pageantry because I think so often

people think you're doing it to look great
on stage or you're doing it to wear an evening

gown or to take pictures and it's like yes
that is a very cool part of it but the main

part is to be able to say hi I'm Miss Wisconsin
but I have this cause is there any way that

I can speak to the governor on what we're
doing to actually help sexual assault victims

and they're very receptive to Miss Wisconsin
USA calling then they probably are to Hollis

Brown calling so that has been a pretty cool
moment of being able to have conversations

and one thing that is a really big goal of
mine is even let's start by believing they

have it where cities and states can be proclaimed
a start by believing State and figuring out

what exactly does that mean how exactly is
that progressing this conversation and so

I am very fortunate to actually be talking
to some State officials to figure out how

can we have Wisconsin recognized as a start
by believing state but not only recognized

but seeing what exactly does that mean because
something about me is I'm not doing it for

the pretty picture I don't want you to just
sign a paper and it's like Wisconsin stuff

I believe in yay no right this is not this
is not you get a golden sticker we're clapping

Applause no what is the action what exactly
does that mean and it also challenges me because

of course if I'm presenting this idea people
are like yes what does that mean and I was

just like good question let me think on it
but I will get back to you and so that's kind

of the process where we're at now where I'm
like good question what does that look like

for Wisconsin to be a start by believing State
and so I think pageantry is a very very powerful

tool if you know how to use it to really have
these conversations and get it in front of

the people that are making the decisions to
really Implement change

I wanted to ask what have you struggled the
most with in your healing

that's a good question um okay okay okay about
to get real deep um so a few things that I've

struggled the most with in my journey to Healing
was one telling my dad I mentioned earlier

that I told my mom back in what 2017 but I
actually did not tell my dad until this year

in 2022 and I actually did not verbally tell
him I did an Instagram live with imbalance

against women to talk through the platform
my journey and everything and that is how

he learned about my past traumatic experience
yep and I was very kind of strategic where

I sent it to him because I think with dads
like and I am the only child of my dad and

so I'm very much a daddy's little girl daddy's
girl and I just did not have it in my heart

to help to tell him throughout all of these
years and so he watched the video and he instantly

messaged me and was like oh my goodness I
had no idea that you were going through this

you are absolutely amazing and I will always
believe you oh girl you're gonna make me cry

sorry I did the face thing I did the face
thing oh goodness it's okay but yeah even

seeing that I started getting emotional because
I was just like wow because I mentioned before

how I hate keeping secrets and they always
feel like a burden and so I think for me in

this journey that was kind of like the last
step or like the last burden that I had because

everybody had known I've talked about it obviously
I'm very vocal just with my platform and the

pageant and just all of my advocacy in general
um but not being able to like have that conversation

with my dad yeah just always felt like I had
a very big secret that I was keeping from

him and now it's all out on the table and
so that's pretty cool so there's that but

then um also I think being open and having
the conversations with my boyfriend so that

was um I'm not gonna say it was difficult
in the beginning but it definitely gave me

a new perspective on having maybe tough conversations
on how someone likes to be loved or how they

need to be loved moving forward after something
happens to them because as I'm sure you can

imagine a lot changed for me after that experience
of just like things that I would accept things

that I need support that I need and just overall
in general so he's been the absolute best

and having those conversations and not even
just having them once because obviously and

that's something another thing that I kind
of struggled with is understanding that it's

not just like oh it happened it's behind me
but knowing that is kind of like a lifelong

journey um has been very heavy because I thought
it was just like okay it's been five months

girl you can stop crying about it now but
that is just not the case so realizing that

it is literally a lifelong journey to healing
but being open to have those conversations

with the people that I need to have those
conversations with yeah oh my gosh thank you

so much for talking about that yeah oh um
what has helped you the most and where have

you found strength

what has actually helped me the most is talking
through it which before as I mentioned I like

to keep it all in and again push it to the
back of my mind and that actually leads me

to another story is I think once I graduated
I was talking to my best friend lifelong best

friend like she's been my girl since middle
school so we've been friends almost 15 years

now but I don't even know how it came up in
conversation but it turned out that while

she was in school she had been raped as well
and that just blew our minds because the whole

time we were dealing with this alone when
we could have been hoping and supporting each

other especially considering that we'd gone
through very similar experiences and if there's

anyone that can understand what you're feeling
and what you're going through it's someone

else that has been sexually assaulted because
it's kind of like a very heavy tie and connection

that we all have where it's like it may not
have happened exactly how it happened to you

but I understand the feelings that you went
through I understand the process and the emotional

turmoil and just the happy moments but then
you can maybe see a flower and it reminds

you of a flower on that day you know we just
have that understanding yeah um but it was

just knowing that we both went through something
so similar and we could have just been there

for each other but we were also just so embarrassed
to just bring it up and that should not be

the case and I think that's something especially
with sexual assault survivors you're embarrassed

or and not all I can only speak for myself
but you just always see yourself as like that

would never happen to me I can never imagine
myself in that situation or just like I don't

know the stereotypical things people say where
it's like if it happens I just fade them off

it's like yeah okay again you say that but
you've never actually been in a situation

yeah so just knowing that we were just kind
of like struggling and hurting separately

we could have been supporting each other together
yeah and do you do you have those talks now

like have you become supports for each other
um we actually have not talked about it recently

um but I would say if anything I have found
that support and again helping others so let's

say which this is excellent example where
one of my friends a family member of hers

was sexually assaulted and she noticed that
they started acting out or they just started

seeming not like themselves and I was just
like yep that sounds about right and she was

like well what do you mean it's like well
it's all the things that I went through myself

so I completely understand the process that
she's kind of going through and it's very

hard to watch I can't even imagine being on
the other end again you want to protect your

loved one you want to support them but it's
just something that they have to work through

and you can be a support system for them but
again it is something that they have to work

through in their own way and they may not
know what they need from you in that moment

or how you can help them but just being there
and letting them know that you are there that

that helps a lot yeah so I wanted to ask about
your podcast oh yeah we're actually rebranding

it so I can talk about that yeah um but yes
so I started a podcast called outnumbered

and I'm absolutely obsessed with it because
I'm all about women empowerment and setting

up the boss babe situation so that is what
outnumbered is about I actually a few years

ago used to work for ESPN and they would have
TVs up all over the office and one day I just

looked at the televisions and I always saw
men and looking around the office I always

saw men and I looked at my co-worker and I
said Kelly I'm fed up we need more women whether

it's any office on a TV I don't care where
it is but we just need more and hence outnumbered

was born because we were outnumbered and that
is very much kind of the feel in sports although

I will say there has been a very nice outtake
and like woman empowerment groups and support

situations whether it's social media or outings
whatever it is for women in sports which has

been really cool to kind of see but always
remember we were the first aside from Wise

they technically they were the first but I
will say we were the first podcast um but

we always like to say we're making a mistake
so you don't have to so if we did something

in our career Journey that worked please apply
it to yours and I wish you the best in getting

your dream job but if we did something in
our journey that did not work please do not

apply that to your career and I hope you get
to your dream job faster because you can learn

from my mistakes and so throughout the episodes
we just kind of share personal stories lessons

thoughts theories everything that we've learned
throughout the years but then we also bring

in other amazing women that are able to kind
of share their stories but then also share

positions that people don't really think about
because I think when you're in college you

have your business majors your Communications
majors and then probably Sports Science but

that's all they really talk about you don't
talk about how you can be a writer for a TV

series or that there's a major in that you
don't talk about how television stations need

commercial traffic control and how that's
a whole position you know so having those

conversations so that people really understand
all of their options and maybe you don't see

that class or a good fit at your University
but there is actually a job that fits your

personality traits and what you're good at
perfectly so it's like what path did this

person take to get where they are now and
how can maybe you either apply it if that

seems like it aligns with the journey that
you want to take or maybe tweak it so that

way you can get there or to get somewhere
else so really just kind of leveraging the

job pool and you know getting more women up
in the front office because we need them no

I loved um I've I've also had some experience
um in a male dominated industry and I loved

listening to some of the episodes and it um
like even though I'm not in the sports industry

it was still very much uh relatable and I
loved the um the interview episodes that you

did I listened to those and I really loved
them and they were very much applicable um

uh to people in other Industries as well so
it's um so just just letting my listeners

know go check it out go check it out I appreciate
that and you know it really is like right

now we're actually going through rebranding
so it may still be called outnumbered it may

not I don't know we'll see how I feel but
it is very applicable to anyone that's either

in a male dominated industry or even if you're
just looking for a job because honestly we're

sharing resume and career tips some things
are probably a little more specific to women

but overall our goal is to help you get a
job because realistically I didn't get my

first full-time big girl paying job especially
in sports because I think that as another

level since it is very difficult to get a
job in sports but I did not get my first big

girl job until last year after the pandemic
before I was doing either freelance or contract

or just fitting in where I could get in and
so I really want to make that process more

seamless for other people and is that what
you're currently doing are you still in that

in that position actually I am still with
the same company the Milwaukee Bucks but I

got a promotion congratulations so when I
started thank you thank you so when I started

I was actually in a sales role but now I work
more in a corporate partnership side so more

in partner strategy and management which was
ultimately my dream job and my end goal and

I actually talk about this in one of the episodes
where when I was interviewing for the sales

position I was very transparent and I don't
recommend this for everyone this takes the

right employer for you to do this but I was
very transparent and was like yes I am open

to this opportunity but I want you to know
that my end goal as corporate Partnerships

so I love it if I can because they honestly
have very much transferable skills so it's

like if I can work on accounts that will help
prepare me for corporate Partnerships that's

what I would like to do and there were surprisingly
very receptive of that nice oh like yeah like

you said it probably doesn't translate to
every interview or every situation but like

I could think that yeah that could be a great
thing to show like that you're hungry that

you're motivated you have goals correct I
do not advise everybody to go in an interview

and tell them that you actually want a different
job well said sometimes it works but maybe

not depends yeah fill it out first

do you ever have people make assumptions about
you because you're into pageantry like because

you've been doing that work uh do people ever
make assumptions about you because you're

Miss Wisconsin and how do you deal with that
what kind of assumptions do they make oh I'm

not sure exactly what assumptions they make
but I know they're there based on just conversations

with people and I think one of the biggest
well I'm gonna say too of the biggest assumptions

that I think I get because one is related
to pageants but then one is also related to

my job so I'll start with the job I can wrap
that one up pretty quickly but for that one

people always assume that I either know a
lot about sports or I'm there to like date

an athlete it's the weirdest thing which I
am yeah I I have gotten that before fortunately

I have not gotten that recently within the
last two years but when I was first starting

off I did get that and that was actually very
annoying yeah um because that is not why I'm

here at all I could care less but I get that
or people think I am like a sports fanatic

when I actually have no idea what's going
on during the game I have a passion for sports

business not necessarily Sports although I
have learned a lot I have learned a lot about

the game of basketball can I quote you stats
from last year no I cannot can I tell you

who won the NBA Championship

I can say last year because it was the bucks
but the year before then no I cannot I cannot

so that tells you my level of sports knowledge
but again I'm learning and then the other

assumption I think with pageantry is just
what I mentioned earlier is how we're very

superficial or we're there to take pictures
or just be pretty and that is not the case

for me I have dedicated my year to very much
being Community focused and even if you go

on the Instagram that I have from Miss Wisconsin
USA you notice majority of the pictures are

me actually out in the community and there's
very few headshots or like modely pictures

just because I really want to use this year
to be out in the community and make sure people

see me and activate I even got one time where
I forget what the event it was it was either

a walk or some kind of fundraiser I forget
off the top of my head but they were like

when you come do you want to actually participate
or do you want to just like stand and take

pictures and I was just like why would I want
to stand and I was like no I'm I have on my

sneakers like I'm coming to play even this
past weekend I did an event with Big Brothers

Big Sisters and it was a whole basketball
game and at first I had on my crown and they

were like oh are you coming to play and I
was like yeah I have on my sneakers I can

take this Crown off I'm here to get down and
dirty I'm not here to just stand here and

look cute like no right so I think those are
probably the biggest assumptions that I get

and when really no I'm using this platform
to activate all the things that I want to

do and even one of my co-workers he said when
you go to Miss USA you're absolutely going

to win and I always remind them I was like
yes if that's what God has in the plan for

me he was like no you got to speak it into
existence and I was like yeah I am obviously

everyone that goes wants to win but if that's
what God has aligned for me then it will happen

if it's not what he has a line for me then
unfortunately it won't but either way I'm

gonna be successful and if things are going
to happen whether I have this title or not

like it's great that I miss Wisconsin USA
and hopefully the next Miss USA but either

way I'm still going to be out here talking
about Sexual Assault Awareness I'm still going

to be out here doing my podcast advocating
for women in Middle dominated Industries so

it's like either way I'm still going to be
talking and doing these things hopefully again

I could do them as Miss USA but the things
are going to get done regardless so I'm just

grateful for this platform

and I wanted to ask there's there's going
to be a lot of little girls watching Miss

USA and I wanted to know if there were one
message that you hope that they receive watching

what would that be

I would want them to know that one you can
do anything that you set your mind to and

you work hard for it I think sometimes people
think things fall into your lap which luck

does play a part into it because you can be
the best in the world but it just not be in

your cards but if you work and prepare for
a situation you're ready for anything that

comes and I think that's ultimately what pageantry
teaches you is how to elevate your best self

so that way you're ready for anything that
comes your way whether you get the opportunity

or not because yes there's only one Miss USA
but there's a million other opportunities

in this world that are still going to get
you to your end goal so make sure that you're

always elevating make sure that you're always
presenting your best self but also make sure

you're having fun and enjoying the moment
you worked hard so like enjoy the time I think

sometimes we get so stuck in social media
and looking perfect and posting and doing

all these things but it's like it's okay to
put the phone down and just really enjoy the

fruits of your labor um well I hadn't I had
been focusing so much I love that you said

that I had been focusing so much and thinking
about like the upcoming pageant as like this

this big stressful like hard-working event
and so like that makes me think I should also

say like not just good luck but also like
I hope you have fun like yes that it is like

an exciting event that's coming up for you
so yeah thank you I love that you just reframed

that for me oh yes at first I was stressed
I'm not gonna lie but with me adapting like

enjoying this moment because God already has
everything lined up I'm very religious so

it's like God already has it all lined out
all you can do is go be you be your best self

Miss USA happens every year but you only have
this one moment to go so why would I waste

I'm not me I'm not gonna say waste but why
would I use the whole week focused on me being

stressed to be perfect when Perfection doesn't
exist when I can really just enjoy the moment

that I've worked so hard for yeah so in the
work that you do I'm very aware that you must

do a lot of interviews and I kind of just
wanted to ask is there a question that and

this doesn't have to be specific to the subject
that we're talking about but in all your interviews

that you do is there ever a question that
you're like wow I wish they'd ask this

oh

honestly I'm gonna say not in this instance
an instance just because I literally went

through my whole life story basically so I
feel like actually appreciate it yeah I feel

like I touched on anything that probably would
have been a question because this has been

a great conversation so I think anything that
I hoped you would have asked we were able

to already talk through it is there any special
way that you're taking care of yourself before

the pageant um any self-care that you're focused
on like really specifically at this time yeah

so for me I've really tried to focus on unplugging
and that means truly unplugging because I

have my nine to five my work time but then
I also have my what is it they say you're

five to ten which is like your passion projects
and everything else and so that was the pageant

outnumbered all of the things that I wanted
to do and I think for me just being a little

more intentional of carving out that time
where it's like okay shut off your computer

now and go to bed or have that time to relax
I started a new morning routine which has

been amazing I'm only like a weekend but so
far that's been the best week I've had in

a very long time where now I wake up at 5am
I take my dog for a walk I go for a run I

do my actual workout I come back eat breakfast
watch The Today Show and then I go to work

which is also funny because I was not a morning
person before and so it's like now I've already

been up and had a whole morning before people
have even waken up and showered so it's been

it's been pretty nice so far wow congratulations
that's a big shift especially if you're not

naturally a morning person so yeah yeah thank
you before I would do like a workout at um

six or at like wake up and go straight to
the workout which I still work out around

that time which workout I do that fluctuates
but having that extra hour before I think

that's been a game changer for me

I usually um it it also just really helps
during the summer to um I start waking up

and having earlier Mornings in the summer
because if you have a dog to walk with the

heat oh my oh my goodness um that's a good
point it's also just a really beautiful special

time of day I've always loved like I'm not
a morning person either but if the stars align

and I happen to be there when the sun is starting
to come up like I love blue o'clock when the

I call it blue o'clock when the um the sun
is like not there yet but the sky lights up

and that very specific color of blue and like
seeing it come through the trees like I'm

on East Coast as well so I've got like forests
around me and um yeah yeah that's my favorite

thing and it's just such exactly what you're
talking about peaceful like beautiful and

um yeah and deeply like spiritual time of
day for me so it's um you feel like you're

alone with the worlds and it um makes you
very very present it's it's hard not to be

present um it sort of calls that out of you
it's beautiful yeah I agree it really sets

the tone for the day yeah yeah

um yeah and my final question is do you have
anything that you'd like to say to the survivors

who are listening oh yes I I would like to
say keep going

keep going because you are going to have good
moments you're gonna have bad moments you're

gonna have great moments you're gonna have
hard moments but then you're gonna have amazing

moments that just kind of trump everything
and it makes it all worth it and I would also

say work on your own pace don't let anyone
try to rush you into therapy into resources

into whatever it may be if right now you just
feel like piece coloring I'm gonna need you

to just keep coloring if you feel at peace
watching Netflix keep on watching Netflix

do things on your own pace but also acknowledge
that it's okay to seek help and to have that

extra voice because I was not ready but it
probably could have helped a lot in the early

stages of my journey but just know that it's
okay and as they're saying now that I'm sure

you've heard of it because it's everywhere
but it's okay to not be okay and please know

that this path is not linear and so one way
may not be the end-all be-all it may be good

for a month and you may have to switch it
up but continue working on yourself because

everything will get better and you will be
in a great space

beautifully said thank you all right that
was all the things and I oh my God I loved

when you were like I'm gonna need you to keep
coloring that was so great sometimes we just

gotta color I feel like as an adult the things
that make me feel better bring me peace are

all the things I like to do when I was five

there yeah there's so much healing present
in some of the the just the simple Joys that

you hold yourself away from because you thought
you had to in order to be an adult and it's

like oh this was this was actually all right
I need current I need this back correct adults

color we watch High School Musical we eat
Lunchables yeah it's okay we call it balance

it's important always what did you let go
of that you should bring back you know what

I think I'm gonna start taking dance classes
again nice it's been a while but I did it

for 18 years yeah I did take ballet and tap
and all of that but I think I'm gonna look

back into it after I Miss USA once my schedule
kind of like calms down a little bit I I can't

imagine how much you must be doing like you
just talking about your schedule I was like

wow yeah I when I was looking and scheduling
with you I had that suspicion I was like I

feel like she's working a nine to five and
then doing a podcast and also doing Miss USA

that's the vibe I'm getting and I cannot imagine
so all the recipes

none of them small I know I'm very much a
go bigger go home person and even when I try

to do something small like I can say oh I
think I'm gonna color and then maybe by the

end of the week I'm like I think I'm gonna
make a coloring book and publish it so it

just always elevates that's what I do too
I can never do something simple the world

needs like go big or go home people so thank
you for for being one of those glorious people

of course if someone's here to fill the void
I'm your girl laughs thank you so much for

for coming for sharing so much of your story
and so much of yourself and thank you so much

for talking about the work that you're doing
in the world uh with the the advocacy advocacy

program that you're working with um and I
will be sharing uh all of that information

in episode notes so that people can can learn
more about that and learn how to get involved

and maybe see about how can how can they get
their state to be a to be a believing state

so yeah yeah oh thank you so much this has
been amazing to share my story speaking with

you today and hopefully if I just helped one
person that's all I can ask for so thank you

for allowing me to share my story on your
platform it's it's an honor and I know that

you have helped more than one person so thank
you yeah

keep on pointed and hold on and hold on hold
on for your life for your life for your life

[Music]

[Music]

thank you

Hollis Brown Profile Photo

Hollis Brown

Miss Wisconsin 2022

Originally from Savannah, Georgia and now residing in Milwaukee, Hollis Brown is a 26-year-old sports marketer, podcast host, mentor, public speaker, model, youth educator, nonprofit founder and Miss Wisconsin USA 2022. For the past year she has worked with the Milwaukee Bucks where she began as a Sales Associate and was promoted to Coordinator of Partner Strategy and Management November 2021. As a podcast host, she is able to empower young women pursuing careers and as a nonprofit founder, she provides resources to help support sexual assault victims through their journey to healing. Hollis is a high school graduate of Savannah Arts Academy and college graduate of Virginia Tech. For over 18 years, she trained nationally in ballet, contemporary and tap dance. For fun, Hollis enjoys hot yoga, solving escape rooms, and kickboxing. Hollis will compete for the coveted title of Miss USA during the national broadcast later this year and if she wins, will advance to the internationally televised 2022 Miss Universe competition.