Mr. and Miss UCF discuss platforms for reigning year
Video: Mr. and Miss UCF pageants. Video by Juan David Romero Video by Juan David Romero, Central Florida Future
Mirror, mirror on the wall … who's the Knightest of them all?
Dominique Harris and Brittany Vasile, Mr. and Miss UCF 2015, are heading into their new reign as top Knights with big ideas and even bigger hearts for their platforms.
Harris' platform, "Mirror, mirror on the wall," focuses on promoting high self-esteem and confidence in youth as well as college students.
"We all strive for success, and the best way to do anything, whether it's to have a successful job or prosperity, is to like yourself," Harris said. "And it starts with the mirror."
Harris plans on hosting events over the upcoming year to increase self-esteem throughout the UCF community. He wants to have an event that serves as a personal pep rally where students could join in on an atmosphere with positive energy, good music, tasty food and a speaker to pump up the crowd.
Harris said he wants to help Knights realize how amazing they are as UCF students, going to one of the greatest universities in the United States.
Vasile's platform hones in on encouraging youth to achieve a higher education. She specifically wants to work with the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. AVID trains educators to use effective practices to prepare students for success in high school, college and a career, especially students who are underrepresented in higher education, according to its website.
After speaking at an AVID school in spring 2014, Vasile realized that was where her true passion was.
Vasile is a UCF athlete on the KnightMoves Dance team, and she plans on using that connection to advance her platform.
She said she wants to team up with UCF Athletics to create camps — specifically involving KnightMoves, as well as possibly baseball, softball and soccer — where underprivileged kids from the Central Florida area could have positive experiences playing these sports, in addition to being able to see UCF's campus and get excited about college in their future.
Harris said his personality and platform are going to mesh well with Vasile's, as they both want to focus on how students feel about themselves and their future.
During the on-stage question portion of the UCF 2015 Scholarship Pageant on Saturday night, Vasile was asked which part of the UCF Creed she felt was most important; she chose creativity.
"I believe the most successful people in life are the most creative," Vasile said.
After being crowned Miss UCF 2015, Vasile is now focusing her energy on the Miss Florida competition this summer.
Vasile said that being a member of KnightMoves has allowed her to gain leadership positions, learn how to be a team player and get involved in the community.
Harris was the 2013-14 Leadership Excellence Board Executive Director in the UCF LEAD Scholars Academy. He said that being on LEB has helped him learn how to put on events, which will come in handy as he and Vasile host a variety of events for UCF the community and the Campus Activities Board throughout the year.
Vasile said it's very important for Mr. and Miss UCF to help next year's contestants who will be competing for their positions. She desires to be a part of the interview process by going to every dance rehearsal she can.
Harris said that his position as Mr. UCF is what you make of it. He wants to get as much out of this experience as possible, while still having fun over the next year.
Vasile and Harris had both competed in previous Mr. and Miss UCF Scholarship Pageants, Vasile in 2014 and Harris in 2013.
As the new faces of UCF, Harris and Vasile came back from their previous competitions to take the crowns this year, and both said they are excited for what lies ahead.
Paige Wilson is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @paigeshortstackor email her at PaigeW@CentralFloridaFuture.com.