WACO, Texas (KWTX) Miss Texas 2019, Chandler Foreman is spending Thursday and Friday speaking to local elementary school students and youth at Mission Waco about the importance of embracing their authentic self and dreaming big.
Miss Texas 2019, Chandler Foreman is spending Thursday and Friday speaking to local elementary school students and youth at Mission Waco about the importance of embracing their authentic self and dreaming big. (Photo by John Carroll)
It’s something the 23-year-old crown holder knows a thing or two about after growing up in inner city Houston with physical differences she says made her stand out.
“I have so many stories that I share with the kids that we’re able to connect on from the gap in my teeth to the color of my skin to me having this poufy hair,” she said.
Foreman’s stop at five Midway ISD elementary schools and Mission Waco’s youth center comes amidst her 12-month tour, which includes more than 250 appearances.
She says growing up in Houston, she never dreamed she would be crowned Miss Texas and now she wants to share her story with other young children in hopes of inspiring them.
“I didn't. These weren't images that I saw as a child,” she said.
“I didn't really see pageants at all let alone an afroed black woman to represent a title. So to know that this is the job that I’m living and I’m feeling my dreams of encouraging youth it’s still unreal to me.”
Forman focuses in her talks on “The Leader Within.”
She says she talks to children about the importance of embracing themselves no matter how different or flawed they may feel.
She shares the story of how she’s been teased for everything from the gap in her front teeth to the way she wears her natural hair, a topic which has since landed her in People online and become the topic of national news.
“First of all it’s the hair on my head that's given so why should I feel less than for it,” Foreman said.
“Sometimes when I get praised for it. I’m like ‘you know I don't think I should be praised for just wearing the hair that I was given’ and I think that just shows how it's not normalized enough, that natural hair still is not viewed as a traditional beauty and the thing is, it is because it's our nature and it's who we are.”
Foreman spoke at Speegleville Elementary, South Bosque Elementary and to the children at the Mission Waco youth center Thursday.
She’ll visit Spring Valley Elementary, Hewitt Elementary, and Castleman Creek Elementary Friday.
Foreman is visiting primarily Midway schools because her invitation was sponsored by Midway alum and businessman as well as international speaker Brian Townley, who was a judge at the Miss Texas competition in 2018.