Miss Iowa Works To Help Others
Oskaloosa, Iowa – The third time is a charm, or so the saying goes, and for Oskaloosa’s Jessica VerSteeg, it proved to be true.
VerSteeg recently was crowned Miss Iowa United States at a competition in February 2014, and will be representing the state at the Miss United States pageant on July 1st and 2nd in Washington D.C. She had faced disappointment in the past, but after switching systems she found that victory she had worked so hard for.
The Miss USA system is typically a glamorous setting, but Miss United States has a platform. So at Saturday’s Relay for Life, the current Miss Iowa had an opportunity to be a part of the Miss United States platform, which is Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
“Miss United States works on a platform basis, so it’s not just a crown and a sash, and it’s not just about being glamorous.” says VerSteeg. “You actually are very involved with your community and very involved with other charities.”
With being Miss Iowa and being able to help represent Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society as part of the pageant platform, will allow VerSteeg to help raise awareness for an illness that she says has impacted her life. “My mom is a breast cancer survivor and my mom is my queen. She’s the one who should be wearing this crown and sash.”
VerSteeg says that cancer impacting lives helps people “not take anything for granted, especially somebody’s life”.
For her personal platform, VerSteeg has chosen ‘Best Buddies’. ‘Best Buddies’ is a program similar to ‘Big Brothers and Big Sisters’, except with special needs children. VerSteeg along with her boyfriend, NFL Superbowl Champion Tyler Sash, both participate in the program.
VerSteeg’s buddy is Abby, and she’s from the Des Moines area. “I’ve fallin’ in love with my buddy Abby”, who just recently celebrated another birthday. The two celebrated the day with a trip to the Cheesecake Factory.
“I love being a part of ‘Best Buddies’, it’s why I chose it to be one of my platforms as Miss Iowa”, VerSteeg added.
VerSteeg’s full-time job has her traveling often as a model. Some recent work includes a ‘Devious Maids’ music video and upcoming work in London and Miami. VerSteeg has been a model for several years now, and she will be the first to admit it’s a lot of work, but she loves it.
Many may wonder VerSteeg’s connection to Oskaloosa, but she grew up spending Christmas and summers in town. Her father, grandparents and great-grandparents all call Oskaloosa home. VerSteeg and Sash actually grew up together, with Sash sitting behind VerSteeg in 7th grade math.
So why would the couple decide to stay and live in Oskaloosa after traveling the world? “Homegrown. Nothing beats it” says VerSteeg of Oskaloosa. “The people here are so good.”