College is a busy time. Studying, classes and late nights often leave little time for other activities. Somehow 22-year-old Madelaine Jones is able to juggle the stringent practice hours of pageantry with her college life. Currently, she is working on obtaining her Bachelor of Education degree with the intent to become a primary school teacher. In addition to her schooling, Madelaine is also a dancer and cheerleader for the NRL Sharks. She is also the 2019 Miss Australia Continents.
Madelaine is not the only person in her family with pageant experience. Her older sister was also involved during her teen years when she competed in the Miss Earth pageant. The desire to help her mother who was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, prompted her to enter pageants. She hopes that not only will she be able to raise prize money to pay for medical expenses, but also use her platform to grow awareness. Mom and sister have been her biggest cheerleaders through her experience thus far supporting her through all her ups and downs, chauffeuring her around and helping with all her needs.
As a contestant, Madelaine believes most of her experiences have overall been positive. She sees that the biggest pitfall to beauty competitions is the negative perception of the public. Peers have a certain stigma that they associate with the industry. Lack of awareness leads them to see constestants being judged solely on outer beauty. She would like to expose the importance of community involvement. Contestants spend hours serving their communities and charities through fundraising. Over the 3 years, she has been involved in the industry, Madelaine has raised over $28,000 for charity as well as spearheaded her own nonprofit organization- The Hearts of Hope Project. As a queen, she has been able to not only help others but meet other inspirational figures. She has worked with local hospitals and the Ronald McDonald house. The adversity the sick children and their families go through reflect determination, strength, and survival.
Pageants have allowed Madelaine to develop and grow as a woman. Prior to competing she was a shy introverted young woman. Training has broken her out of her shell and allowed her to transform into a self-confident and self-aware young woman. No longer does she compare herself to others. She has been able to realize her own value.
While she is still working on her degree in education, Madelaine is also a student learning support officer for special needs children. She intends to use her industry skills and influence to mentor children. Through her experiences, she believes she can set as a positive example of the importance of education. Following her graduation, she will continue working in the special needs school as a support officer. She also intends to continue The Hearts of Hope Project. Through her nonprofit, she intends to continue to support the less fortunate of her community.