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Contestant Alysa NortonAlysa Norton

Home Town:   Otis Orchards, Washington
Year of Birth: 1992


What activities / organizations are you involved in?

Simply put, I love to be involved with the Spokane community. One of my favorite places to volunteer is at Habitat for Humanity. While spending Saturdays over the last eight months, I'm able to contribute to building a house for a family in need and I have an opportunity to get to know them and their story. Through the rain, wind, freezing temperatures or sunny days, it is always a blessing to work with some of the most humble individuals, families and people I've ever met. I've been involved with horses since I was born and in 4-H since I was 10 years old. While growing up, I had the opportunity to participate in horse shows; not only in western games, but western pleasure, trail, jumping and dressage. 4-H gave me the opportunity to learn about leadership. 4-H gave me the opportunity to learn about leadership. In becoming the treasurer, then secretary and finally vice president of the 4-H horse club named Spanish Spurs, I learned to be timely, manage projects, and to communicate effectively. These traits helped me in starting Spokane County's first 4-H Photography Club called Paparazzi. Within the first year, we had 15 members and it has continued to grow. As a student at Gonzaga University, I participate in several groups, the first of which is called Bulldog Investment Group (BIG) of which I'm the secretary. This organization provides hands on experience in buying, selling and trading stocks on the open market. I've used by knowledge of the stock market to help teach new members the basics of smart investing. The second group I'm involved with is the New Venture Lab. This organization allows a group of students to consult a local Spokane business that might need help in rebranding or finances. This past semester, I was a project manager for working with Morning Star Boy's Ranch and we developed ways to get Gonzaga involved in leadership retreats and created a marketing strategy for their equine program. This project taught me a significant amount about how to manage my time, people, and how to successfully reach target goals. All of my involvement has transitioned into a position of leadership within the organizations I've been involved with. I truly enjoy volunteering and the opportunity to aid the community in any way that I can.

Have you been a contestant in any other royalty contests?

Yes, I held the title of a Fair Ambassador for the Spokane COunty Interstate Fair for the 2010 diamond jubilee. As a Fair Ambassador, I represented the fair in many ways such as media events, attending various events such as the rodeo, concerts, the hypnotist show, and much more. I also had a wonderful experience interacting with fair goers of all ages! By taking time and talking or sitting to have a meal with a family, I really understood how much the fair meant to them. As an Ambassador, it created an opportunity to meet the volunteers who make such an incredible event happen each year. Throughout this experience I made wonderful connections at the fair that I still have. It was truly an amazing experience!

What are your future goals?

I will be graduating from Gonzaga University in May with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and concentrations in Finance and Marketing. Numbers have always been a passion of mine, along with the drive to serve others. As I tried to find a way to combine the two, I found what I've been looking for, to become a financial planner. I've always had a love for photography and one day I hope to open a photography studio. Speaking of challenges, horses have always created a few, but they've been great learning experiences. They've always been a part of my life and always will be. Their unwavering compassion and patience is something everyone can learn from. TO give people an opportunity to see the freedom a horse can bring to any life would be a true honor. When I retire, I would love either to open a stable or work at a barn that gives anyone the opportunity to learn about horses. By sharing my knowledge about a beautiful majestic animal, I hope to help others see the beauty in the world where sometimes it can be difficult to find. In all of my passions and goals in life, I want to lead one of service to others. A true skill of mine is to teach, and by teaching through my passions and serving others I feel as though I can make a difference. We're always changing throughout our entire life and although these are the dreams I have today, they may change tomorrow. But, at the end of the day we are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Why would you like to become Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo?

Growing up, my roots were firmly planted in Western soil. From my first 4-H competition to my western-themed photography, the values and traditions of the old west have shaped my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a dream to meet new people, see new faces and experience new traditions from every rodeo town. The relationships a queen builds, both on the road and in her own home town, are extraordinary. I remember getting my first pair of Justin boots and couldn't wait to go to the rodeo to see the horses. As dust filled the air and the horses thundered in from the grand entry, it was then that I knew that I wanted to be a cowgirl when I grew up! That little girl inside of me still has the dream to become a true cowgirl and put on a crown. Rodeo at the Spokane Interstate Fair has been a part of my life since I was but a wee child. I've been taught and learned much from such a proud sport. As dust fills the air, bulls snort, and the sound of horses hooves thunder through the arena, the Spokane Interstate Rodeo is truly one of Spokane's gems. It would be an honor to be Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo, for it is a way to carry on the heritage of the west and give back to the community that has given so much to me. In sharing my knowledge and love for the sport, I hope to inspire a new generation of cowboys and cowgirls to saddle up and head for the arena. My passion for rodeo and my relationships within the community will help bring the sport of rodeo to more families and a wider audience than ever before. It would truly be an honor and a magnificent opportunity to represent Spokane and those members of the community who help make the Spokane rodeo such a success each year.