After the pageant, Ilde was proud but subdued. After two previous attempts, she knew her daughter was finally ready to claim the state title and face the challenges of public life. It was apparent on Friday that Julianna has matured and fine-tuned her vocal talent and stage presence.
Julianna is building her community involvement with a personal platform to promote the arts in education. She has passed on her creative skills and training to aspiring young dancers- her students recently performed for Artown.
"They (pageant contestants) have a platform- a cause they show support for," said Dali Wiederhoft, publicist and co-executive director of the Miss Nevada Scholarship Program."Julianna's cause is healing through the arts- like art therapy. Her passion is helping people overcome tragedy with any kind of art expression."
"Now she has a couple weeks of paperwork ahead of her – contracts to sign," Ilde said. For the next year, the pageant "organization" will take over Julianna's life, according to Ilde, with a schedule of public appearances and preparation for competition at the national level- the Miss America pageant on January 24, 2009 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
After hugging the pageant judges, competitors, and stagehands, Julianna was escorted to a private party upstairs at the Grand Sierra Resort.
"Now I can eat pizza."
On Sunday, Julianna highlighted some of her upcoming public appearances and community service events. In August, she'll attend the Miss America Outstanding Teens Pageant in Orlando, Florida. Alexis Hilts, a Las Vegas resident, will represent Nevada in the event.
Julianna will appear in The Learning Channel's Miss America Reality Check to air in December. The show will explain the Miss America Organization in depth reaching out to a younger audience.
During the Miss Nevada school tour, Julianna will speak to students about the pageant program and the arts. She intends to continue as a dance teacher in a local studio.
Julianna thanked the pageant's board of directors, former Miss Nevada Teresa Benitez and Wiederhoft for their past and future guidance.
"I can't wait. I'm so excited- I have an amazing team behind me."
Wiederhoft clarified that the Miss Nevada and Miss America pageants are separate from and in competition with the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe pageant organization.
"Miss America is all about scholastic accomplishment and talent," said Wiederhoft. "We are preparing future community leaders."