She’s named “Chance” for a reason. Chances find the meeting point of hard work and opportunity. They create where others may have seen nothingness. They have a desire to make the impossible possible. In every way, that’s Chance Cessna. The Chicago native is the Founder and CEO of It’s By Chance LLC, a Chicago-based arts and entertainment blog. Obtaining her undergraduate degree in Washington, D.C., she has now decided to pursue another calling: pageantry. The beauty is making a run for the title of Miss Illinois USA 2013 at the end of the month. This week, “5 Questions” finds out Chance’s passion for pageantry as she counts down to the crown.
1) Good luck on your journey towards Miss Illinois USA 2013! When will the competition take place and how have you been preparing?
I will be competing for the title of Miss Illinois USA 2013 at the end of this month at McCormick Place. I am super excited about the journey and so humbled that I am in a place in my life where I can participate! I have a passion to do this pageant because my mother passed away in 2009 when I was away at college. Prior to that, she had been sick for a very long time and was not able to be a part of my childhood like I would have loved for her to be. However, the desire to fill that void is being manifested through my platform, “Pretty Strong: Building Healthy Self-Esteem through Self-Discovery.” My platform will include hosting monthly workshops for girls between the ages of 12-18 where they will engage in artistic and civic activities to discover what they like and who they want to become. It would be my sincere pleasure to provide that outlet for them, and it would make me feel more connected to my mother.
For the second part of your question, I have been preparing for the competition by eating Hostess honey buns and Portillo’s cheeseburgers (laughs). I’m just kidding. I have a routine workout that I do every morning when I wake up and before I go to bed. I am also staying up to date on all current news. I haven’t been getting too much sleep, but hey, you have to do what you have to do. Essentially, I’ve just been getting mentally and physically prepared.
2)    What sparked your interest in pageants and how did you break into the industry?
I competed in my first pageant (Miss D.C. International) last year and had a phenomenal experience. I placed second runner- up, made some amazing friends, and did some awesome community service work. It was really an opportunity to put my best foot forward and see how gracefully I can perform under pressure. I live for a challenge, and that’s why I did it. When you are challenged, your character is revealed to you and the people around you. Going into pageantry also allowed me to employ my talents and gifts, and use them to serve in the community.
3)    What was the best piece of advice someone ever gave you, and what advice do you have for any girls getting into pageantry?
The best advice someone ever gave me would be: “Perform or you’re fired.” My father told me that all throughout my childhood whether it applied to passing that midterm in school, or actually performing in front of a group of people. When the opportunity presents itself, you HAVE to be ready. If not, you miss out on it. My advice to young girls competing in pageantry is, be honest with yourself and be honest with others. Let truth rule in your heart because people will always respect you for your honesty and transparency. You also want to be kind, understanding and open-minded, not jealous or envious! I know we women can get gossipy, but I say stay FAR away from gossip and people who engage in it. Just be confident and comfortable with the person you were created to be.
4)    With the holiday season quickly approaching, what is your go-to beauty secret?
Moisturizing! I know my skin gets really dry. Nice, glowing, smooth skin during the winter holiday season is always flattering.  

5)    What has been the best showing of support toward your run for the crown thus far and how can supporters help you on your journey?

My good friend Caroline Adegun, an amazing professional photographer, is donating 50% of her proceeds up until my deadline, to go toward the pageant. I didn’t even know she was doing it until she put a flyer on my Facebook wall advertising it to her customers! That was really nice of her and I truly appreciate that. And of course friends and family have been super supportive on this journey. I am still raising money however, so if people are interested in donating they can donate online HERE at my gofundme.com page up until November 20th.  I definitely need everyone’s support!

Quick Facts!
Name: Chance Cessna
 Age: 22
 Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Education: George Washington University- Journalism and Mass Communication 2012
Organizations: American Red Cross and various inner-city youth organizations
 Contact: Ccjackson808@gmail.com

Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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