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Q&A: Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih on Serving Others

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Rima Fakih, who is representing our fine state as Miss Michigan USA 2010. And she is a lovely person, inside and out.

She graduated St. John's High School in New York, where she was raised. She moved to Michigan permanently in 2003, where she attended the University of Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration. At the conclusion of her reign, she plans to begin law school with hopes of joining the Service Nation campaign, an initiative that aims to inspire a new era of voluntary citizen service in America.

She also is a Lebanese America and a resident of Dearborn, which has the largest population of Arab Americans in Michigan. I'm proud to have someone of her beauty, intelligence and kindness spread the good word about Michigan. Check her out:

Q:  How did you get into pageants?

A: I grew up watching pageants with my father, but never knew I can really do it. Possibly because I was picked on a lot in school, and had a very shy personality. I can proudly say that I don't think I would have reached so high and come such a long way had I not went through the pain I did growing up. I entered my first pageant at 19 for Miss Wayne County America and placed 4th runner up and it was a perfect experience to help me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.

I went on to enter three more pageants overseas, where I meet people from all over the world. After I graduated from University of Michigan (Go Blue!), I had saved enough money to enter Miss Michigan USA, not to mention I also sold my Ford Taurus.

Q:  How great was it to win Miss Michigan USA?

A: Words cannot explain that amazing moment when I heard “Rima Fakih, you are the new crowned Miss Michigan USA 2010.” I remember waking up at night just to check and make sure I have the crown on the pillow by my bed and I wasn't dreaming. Since the night I won, Sept.19, 2009, I have felt that I have been granted something that so many young ladies dream of, and treating everyday like a mission to give back to my community, organizations, and representing the Miss USA committee with pride.

Q:  How does it feel to represent the Lebanese community in such a way?

A: My father always told me “you don't know who you are until you know where you came from” and I am proud to say that it's an honor to represent my Lebanese community just as every contestant should feel representing her community and background. I also want to thank the Lebanese community for their recognition and appreciation, as well as the city of Dearborn and the heart of Detroit. It's not every day that a young lady like myself receives a letter of recognition from the Mayor of Dearborn. I feel like I have the Key to the City!

Q:  What do you want people to know about Michigan or Dearborn that they might not know?

A: There is so much to know and so little space to write it, however the important contents that I would love people to know about Michigan and Dearborn would include the fact that Wayne County where Dearborn is located is the oldest county since 1815. Also, and this is the most important fact, University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states in 1817, and it was first located in Detroit and was named Cathelepistemian. Dearborn, is the heart of Ford motor company, and the home of so many ethnicities that blend in like the great melting-pot. One last thing about Michigan that I find so interesting is you can go through four seasons in one day.

Q:  What else do you want people to know about your hopes for the future?

A: While Miss Michigan USA, I will be an advocate for breast and ovarian cancer awareness, the official causes of the pageant, and also those that happen to be very dear to her heart. Demonstrably, I am an active member of the Pink Fund, a financial assistance organization dedicated to removing the short-term financial burden from breast cancer patients, and instead directing their energies toward healing. As Miss Michigan USA 2010, I will serve as one of the first official pageant ambassadors for women's self-defense awareness, educating women on the importance of taking the necessary precautionary measures to best protect and prepare themselves from unwanted situations.

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    [...] I get to show contestants in Detroit our free suite of tools that give them a leg up and help them connect to their customers and help people find local businesses that they feel passionate about the Lions football [...]

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