Meet our Miss Oshkosh 2015

Hi everyone! My name is MeKenzie Lund, and I am currently a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am a double major in International Studies and French, and am also working on obtaining certificates in African Studies, Global Health, and Leadership. I plan to graduate in May 2016. Upon graduation I would love to start working professionally with the American Cancer Society. Though I live and go to school in Madison, Oshkosh is the place I have called home for the past 21 years. I enjoy frequent trips home to visit family and friends, spend time in our beautiful city, and return to my job at Tamara's the Cake Guru whenever I have the chance! I am thrilled to represent Oshkosh this year as Miss Oshkosh 2015, and have the chance to promote my platform: Finish the Fight: Supporting the American Cancer Society.

The 2015 Miss Oshkosh Scholarship Pageant was my seventh local pageant. I had competed for the title of Miss Oshkosh 2012 (fourth runner-up); in 2014 (first runner-up); and in a few other local pageants throughout the state. However, this is my first title and I am so honored to represent my hometown! Throughout the past three years, the Miss America Organization has taught me many life skills including interview practice and skill-building, confidence and commitment in everything that I do, and perseverance. The Miss America Organization supports and encourages strong bonds between young women. I have absolutely made many lifelong relationships and friendships through this organization.

I am deeply rooted in my personal platform, Finish the Fight: Supporting the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society was founded just over 100 years ago. Since then, they have contributed to many breakthroughs in cancer research, helped patients and their families cope with diagnosis, spread their mission of staying well, getting well, finding cures, and fighting back, attributed to lower cancer death rates, and have provided countless resources and support to those fighting back. Everyone has a connection to cancer- whether directly or indirectly. My goal is to be able to share my knowledge of ACS, as well as resources, successes, and programs within the Society.

My involvement with the American Cancer Society started in 2006, shortly after my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I found comfort in the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life in Oshkosh. I have been Relaying since then in Oshkosh and at UW. My mom was declared cancer-free in November 2006, after minor surgeries and radiation therapy. My grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer shortly after, and she also emerged victorious after rigorous chemotherapy and hormonal treatments. In August 2011, my great grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Shortly after his diagnosis, he passed away. In December 2014, my nine-year old cousin Isaiah was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His endless smiles and positive energy have helped him push through treatment and its side effects. My Relay For Life team in 2015 is named in his honor- Isaiah has a love for Legos, so we are Isaiah's Lego League. Many more close family friends, co-workers, and relatives have had to hear those three dreadful words- "you have cancer" and I am determined to finish the fight against cancer so that no one will hear those words again.

I currently serve at the President of our Colleges Against Cancer Chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am also currently the American Cancer Society North Regional Campus Leadership Team's Relay For Life Co-Chair. I have previously served on the American Cancer Society Midwest Youth Advisory Team, attended national campus conferences in Atlanta, served as a mentor for four different colleges in Wisconsin, and serve on the District Two Team with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network-Wisconsin. To say I like to keep busy is 100% accurate! And I am honored to add the title of Miss Oshkosh 2015 to my list of responsibilities and privileges.

I would like to give a special thank you to the Miss Oshkosh Organization and the Women's Division of the Oshkosh Area for allowing me this opportunity of a lifetime. I take pride in knowing that so many members of the community are investing their time and talents to ensure young women like myself are provided with opportunities to further their life skills and education via scholarships received by the Women's Division.

Lastly, I'd like to thank two of the most important and influential people in my life- my parents. I am extremely grateful to have such amazing, supportive parents. I would not be the woman I am today without their influence and constant reminder to stay humble, stay grounded, and chase after my dreams. Thank you also to the rest of my family and friends who have supported and continue to support me on this journey. I have a wonderful, loving support system, and for that I am truly blessed.

Fun Facts:

  • My dream job is to work for Global Relay For Life- tying my passion, platform, and studies together.
  • I have many life goals: one of them is to learn all five romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian) and Latin. I've already got French and Italian checked off. 1/3 of the way there!
  • I love to travel! In 2011 I took a trip to France and Monaco, and hope to go back soon
  • My favorite color is purple
  • Next year, I am planning to volunteer abroad in Ghana

 

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