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The Ms.America Pageant Selects Ms.California Terri McDonald to Participate in the 2022 Competition

By Jessica Ross

Ms. California Terri McDonald is honored to announce that she will be running for Ms. America at the Ms. America Pageant live streaming from the Curtis Theatre in Brea, California on October 29th. Terri McDonald is a Nurse, Philanthropist, and Model. Terri demonstrates her compassion for others through her work as a Nurse and her platform in helping others who are experiencing heart disease. In 2016, Terri received a Presidential Gold Award for her volunteer efforts to help the homeless. In our interview, she talks about pageants, why her platform is so important , and much more!

Ms. California, Terri McDonald

What led you to begin competing in beauty pageants?

While beauty pageants around the world are primarily about putting idealized versions of femininity on a competitive stage and awarding a "title and crown” to the winner, they are also about using femininity to represent other issues, making a change, inspiring others and most of all using our crown to make a difference. I wanted to be that woman.

Terri McDonald, photo by: Jaime Lim

Can you tell us more about the Ms. America pageant?

The Ms. America® Pageant is for women 26 years of age and up who are single, divorced, married, widowed, with or without children.The Ms. America pageant is based on four areas of competition: Evening Gown, Interview, Sportswear and Finalist On-Stage Question. Ms. America®Internationalis for women 40 years of age and up. The pageant this year will be held on Oct 29, 2022 , Red Carpet 6:30 pm; Pageant door opens at 6:30 pm; Pageant starts at 7:30 pm; Where: Curtis Theater, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, California 92821

Your platform is Heart Awareness. What influenced you to choose this platform?

I chose congenital heart defect and heart awareness because I recently found out I was born with a congenital heart defect and didn’t know about it until September 2022.

Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is an abnormality in the heart that develops before birth.

Congenital heart defects are one of the most common types of birth defects, however rare. Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year are born with a CHD and most people are unaware of it. Types of defects can include Defective vessels, Leaky Valve, hole in the heart. I have lived a very healthy lifestyle and on September 19th I went in for a double cardiac catheter ablation. I still need to watch my heart rate but before it would go up from 150-200. Really high. Please keep an eye on your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen even if you think you are healthy. I was.

Photo by: Jaime Lim

What are some simple things that can someone do everyday to maintain a healthy heart?

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

• Eat healthy

• Quit smoking & stay away from secondhand smoke.

• Control your cholesterol & blood pressure.

• Drink alcohol only in moderation

• Get active every week. ...

• Shed excess weight. ...

• Get a good night's rest every night. ...

• Reduce stress. ...

• Improve dental hygiene. ...

• Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are packed with important nutrients that play a central role in heart health.

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It takes a lot of time and effort to do what you do. How do you balance having a full-time career as a Nurse while preparing for the Ms. America Pageant?

I’ve always been the type of person who has to be ‘doing something’, I’m not one to just sit about waiting for something amazing to happen, because I know nothing worth having comes easy, and dreams don’t work unless I do. Being older and wiser now, I know and believe it is so important to make time for yourself, spending at least 30 minutes alone a day in the quiet to gather your thoughts and find peace within yourself is so important for your mind, body and soul. We often get so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget to look after ourselves. By taking time out to refresh yourself, and understand yourself, means you can be more focused to do purposeful work. Life for me now can get pretty demanding and hectic at times, especially with the demands of social media, emails, text messages and phone calls, it can sometimes feel like there is no escape. I work a full time job Monday to Friday, I volunteer for various community groups, which I’m often at meetings for during the week nights, as well as replying to messages and emails as well as all my fundraising work for the charities that I’m passionate about While attending events as Ms. California America 2022 and doing the day to day life chores such as cleaning my house, going grocery shopping, washing, and then spending time with my loved ones and catching up with friends.

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson

Pageants are not only fun and inspirational, they also teach valuable lessons. How has your life changed since you became a part of the pageant world ?

You will fail, For years, I have competed and not won the title I desired. However, I realize that along the journey, I met the most amazing people, learned more about myself and cultivated more confidence by continuing to get back out there. Instead of getting so cozy with success, try being a little more comfortable with failure. Then as a result, you won’t be afraid of failure, not back down from. Its just a sign that I’m on the playing field of life, learning and growing.

If someone has never been in a pageant before and wants to be a part of one, what advice would you give them? Is there anything you wish you had known that you would like to share?

I had no idea what I was doing when I first competed and I made countless mistakes. As I continue to compete, I get better and learned new things about myself. Right now, your main focus might be on winning that next beauty pageant. But the skills that you’ll learn and self-awareness that you’ll develop will enrich your life long after you stop competing. One thing I wish I would have known or done during my first pageant was get a coach. I highly suggest this being anyone's first pageant.

To purchase tickets to the Ms. America pageant, visit or watch the live stream on

Follow Terri McDonald at

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Jessica Ross is an award-winning actress and reporter, appearing on television and in films; she has also written for several fashion blogs, and been on reality TV.

Jessica has been featured on Indie Activity, Action Magazine, Heart of Hollywood, JAMO Magazine, The Actors 2020 Podcast, Entertainment Network Live, Voyage LA, Flicks Daily, Juwai, It Can By You, Livin Style Magazine, Buzzfeed, CBS, and many more.

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