Grissom Airman wins Ms. Indianapolis, Ms. Indiana titles

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jami K. Lancette
Stepping outside the box and into the spotlight is allowing one Airman to make a difference in the lives of others.

By stepping outside of her box, Tech Sgt. Charlene Howard, 434th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO, recently won the title of Ms. Indianapolis and Ms. Indiana, sweeping the competition.

“A friend I went to school with told me about the competition, so after giving it some thought I submitted paperwork online to get the process started,” said Howard. “Once they approved it, I went through a process that consisted of an interview panel, formal attire, questions and various categories.”

I was excited, but also very nervous.” added Howard.

After the crown was awarded it was time to roll up her sleeves and get down to business, as being a queen is not all about the glitz and glamour.

“The focus is on community service,” she said. “We do a lot of community service, outreach programs and scheduled events; with the Ms. Indiana program, we do about 100 hours of community service.”

Meeting people in the local community and in the pageant community is something that Howard has valued.

“The pageants that I have done so far are very close knitted, the women encourage each other, laugh and joke around,” she said. “I’m glad I did this, I have met some awesome women so far and to be able to go out into the communities has been very inspiring.”

Howard, a preschool teacher by day, has also seen inspiration in the eyes of her students as a role model.

“As a preschool teacher, it’s fun to hear students say ‘My teacher is a
princess,’ and see the excitement,” she laughed.

Howard’s inspiration to step out of her comfort zone and pursue something that was not ordinary for her came from two places.

“My inspiration was a friend I went to school with, she encouraged me to get out of my box and try it,” said Howard. “I was second guessing on trying out because I was really nervous but I took her advice and I’m so glad I did.

“God has given me one life and many opportunities,” she continued. “If you have this one life just go out and explore opportunities because you may never have the chance to do it again.

“I want to look back on my life and be like I actually accomplished something that I thought I would never be able to do if I didn’t try,” added Howard.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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