Miss Douglas staying busy | RecordCourier.com

Miss Douglas staying busy

by Caryn Haller
challer@recordcourier.com

Since winning the Miss Douglas County title in March, 18-year-old Jessika Wass hasn’t missed a step.

Running on the platform of fighting childhood obesity, Wass has appeared at venues around the Valley and in Reno promoting health and nutrition.

“I’ve always valued health. Our children are our future and we want people who are leading our country to be healthy,” she said. “I’m passionate about that.”

Wass teaches nutrition and physical education regularly at the Boys and Girls Club of Carson Valley doing dancing, relay games, crossfit activities and in-class lessons.

“They love it. It’s a lot of fun, and I got to know a lot of the kids,” she said. “When they’re smiling they’re also sweaty, and that’s how I know I did my job right.”

As a DARE graduate herself, Wass was able to connect with the fifth graders at the Zephyr Cove, Minden and Meneley elementary school’s graduations.

“It helped show them I can relate to them. I brought my essay with me that I signed,” Wass said. “When I took my DARE class in fifth grade I remember asking myself why would anyone want to put that stuff in their body. I made the pledge to not use drugs.”

The highlight of her Miss Douglas County duties so far was presenting medals to the athletes in the Special Olympics in Reno.

“That meant a lot to me because the people I met changed my perspective on life,” she said. “They were so happy about life, and showed that it was just being with the ones you love that’s important.”

Wearing her crown and sash, Wass also appeared at the opening ceremony of the Carson Valley Little League in May where her younger brother, Jakota, played for the A’s.

“He thought it was cool to have his sister out there in my crown and sash,” Wass said. “I loved walking the kids out at opening ceremony and being with the young kids in the community.”

In four short months, Wass has also helped out with Pop Warner Football sign ups, the Fishing Derby, Big Mama’s car show and Douglas County Center for Hope and Healing.

“It’s been one of the busiest summers I’ve had,” she said. “I love it. I’ve met a lot of people and been able to advocate my platform and spread the things I’m passionate about like giving back to my community.”

Wass doesn’t just talk fitness though, she lives it as well.

On July 21 she ran her first 5K race in Reno.

“That was definitely a challenge for me, but I did it without stopping. I felt amazing afterwards. I broke 30 minutes, but I know I can do better in the future,” she said. “My inspiration was Jocelyn Fisher. She ran it in 24 minutes. I’m sure people have seen her running around Gardnerville.”

Wass is also responsible for mentoring four little princesses.

“I get to mentor and teach them about good manners, good etiquette and how to be good people,” she said.

In between her appearances, Wass competed in the Miss Nevada Pageant earlier this month in Mesquite, where she won an award in the interview portion.

“The experience alone was enough to make it all worth it,” she said. “I’d like to thank Rommy Cronin for helping me prepare for my interview.”

Even beauty queens need an education, however, and Wass is pursuing hers at Santa Barbara City College where she is majoring in business.

“I’m interested in entrepreneurship and managing my own business some day,” she said. “Something to do with health and fitness.”

Before leaving, Wass is collecting school supplies with her princesses to distribute to needy children.

She will also return home for the Nevada Day Parade and for winter break where she has projects planned for her princesses then, too.

“It’s a good opportunity for my princesses to give back as well,” she said.