My Week in Jacksonville!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My experience with nationals was quite amazing! The week didn't start off as planned! Maybe some of you saw my Facebook post about this, but it's one interesting story I would love to share. I decided to road trip to Florida.

With everything that you need to bring it becomes way more than you can fit into one or two suitcases. We had made it so far without a hitch, when suddenly everything went downhill. My truck stopped working in the middle of the highway! Luckily I had enough momentum to pull over. So, I was stuck the side of the highway, but let me tell you I was determined. I popped open the hood and started working on my truck heels and all. By the time I showed up to the hotel I was covered in grease. My hair was flat and my makeup might as well have been gone! However it reminded me of something important. A big part of being a title holder is being adaptable, you have to be able to make the best out of every situation. That is also one key thing I teach during my Dancing Through the Pain Classes.

The rest of the week was extremely busy from touring the Jaguars stadium to late night rehearsals. At the end of the week it is worth it! You meet so many new friends from all over the world. We still have a group chat going and everyone talks almost every day. I could tell so many great stories about pageant week, but I am going to save some to share with everyone later! 

Going into finals night my goal was top eleven, my mom wasn't able to come to prelims due to her health. She made it to finals so all I wanted was for her to see me compete. When they called my name in the top eleven, it was truly a rush of emotions. I was ecstatic but I knew it was going to be a challenge! We all helped each other backstage, from zipping dresses to pep talks we all had each other's backs. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who helped me during the week.

Amanda and I knew each other through social media before pageant week. We had always just clicked! As soon as we met at the beginning of the week we became so close. She was like my big sister, in fact I remember turning around and seeing her face when they called my name as Miss Teen International. She was screaming, the pictures are actually pretty funny! When they called Amanda's name... My reaction was priceless. I was already crying and a mess, but once they called her name I started yelling so loud (you could probably hear it from the back of the theatre)! Amanda, I cannot wait to see what other crazy adventures we have this year! 

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

My Home State- AZ

When people ask where I am from and I say Yuma, they typically have no idea where that is. Yuma is a small town in Arizona right next to the California and Mexico borders! The population varies depending on the season. The majority of our population is made up of couples and families staying during the winter. Yuma's climate is just plain hot, all of the time, even in the winter. I love living in the desert though!

The foothills in Yuma are really fun, Even though they can be scary to fly over at night. Personally my favorite activity is to go on a hike up “telegraph”. There is about an 8 mile hiking path… and let me tell you it is steep! It is a long hike, and it will push you to your limits but, the view from the top is worth it!

Arizona as a whole is filled with so many great things, one of those being the Halle Heart Children's Museum. As Miss Teen International I have the honor of being a spokesperson for the American Heart Association! The museum is the only one of its kind. “We create an educational, interactive, and contemporary museum experience for children of all ages to increase awareness and prevent cardiovascular diseases. The Halle Heart Children’s Museum experience empowers children to make lifestyle choices that will create a new generation of healthy kids.” I feel that heart disease prevention starts with our youth! It is important to reach people of all ages. The good thing about the museum is that it reaches the children as well as the adults that bring them.

I have been able to visit the museum multiple times. There are so many different aspects of the museum. Some of them include a fake grocery store, a theater, and even a mini golfing game that teaches about the harmful effects of smoking. If you are ever in Phoenix I encourage you to check out the museum! While you are in Phoenix, my fellow music lovers should stop by the musical instrument museum as well.

Arizona is actually a very diverse state. Even though it stays warm in Yuma year round, Flagstaff is snowy and cold in the winter. From the cities to the forest there is something for everyone in the Grand Canyon State! Speaking of the Grand Canyon, Arizona houses one of the seven wonders of the world! People come from around the world to experience the vastness of Gods creation.. The beauty that is withheld in this region of Arizona is definitely recommended while you’re in Arizona.

For more information about the Halle Heart Children's Museum please visit:

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

My Plan of Action

Hello everyone! My plan of action is really divided up into three sections: American Heart Association- Go Red for Women, Dancing Through  the Pain, and the U.S. Pain Foundation!

First let's start with Go Red for Women! Pricilla, Amanda, and I recently had our first meeting at the American Heart Association headquarters. It was so amazing to learn even more about this organization. We are determined to make the most out of the opportunities they are giving us to be involved in many campaigns, and even take a special trip later in the year. I don't want to share too much information since we are still finalizing all the details! I will let everyone know as soon as I can!

My program Dancing Through the Pain has grown significantly in the past couple of months. My plan is to continue what I have been doing! Encouraging people to download the free Pain Patient Resource App I created and use its resources! I also plan to develop even more YouTube videos to grow my channel and my audience. With the power of social media and volunteers, I am excited to see how many people I can reach over this next year!

The U.S. Pain Foundation is working on many new campaigns as well! I am excited to be a part of them. Also we have two big months coming up! September is Pain Awareness Month and November kicks off the foundations KNOWvember campaign. These months are all about spreading the word about chronic pain and pain patients! Again, we are still finalizing details, but I will let you know how you can get involved. After all, pain effects everyone at some point in their life!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Thank you for the oppertunity of being Miss Teen International 2016... for those who do not know me here is a quick summary!

Hello Everyone! I would first like to say thank you for this life changing opportunity! My name is Garin Harris, Miss Teen International 2016, it still sounds funny saying that. My parents would say that I am a very creative person, and I give that credit to my mom. I had my first dance class at the age of two and have been a ballet dancer ever since! I am also an electric violinist who believe it or not has been playing since I was eighteen months old. Even though it sounds crazy, I promise you it's true! I also have a passion for making youtube videos, and even developed my own app to help those who experience pain on a daily basis!

It is quite amazing how everything in my life ties together, and I thank God for that everyday! It was through volunteerism and my own program Dancing Through the Pain where I learned what my dream job would be. Throughout the years of me teaching my program I have been able to work hand and hand with Child Life Specialists. So, I will be attending Olivet Nazarene University to major in Social Work, to become a Child Life Specialist in a Children’s Hospital. I believe it will be a very difficult but rewarding job. Seeing the children's smiling faces after visiting them is one moment I will never forget.

I am passionate and dedicated to all of the things I do! With a positive attitude and perseverance I believe you can do anything! I plan to use every opportunity I am given this year to to serve the American Heart Association, U.S. Pain Foundation, and everyone that I come in contact with. Here is one thing I would like all of us to remember: “Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” - Orison Swett Marden