Miss North Dakota brings ‘Beyond the B Word’ to Center-Stanton schools
By Annette Tait
From the way Miss North Dakota Delanie Wiedrich connects with her audiences and the fluid and powerful delivery of her message, it appears she was destined to become pageant royalty and carry her “Beyond the B Word” anti-bullying presentations to kindergarten through 12th grade students throughout the state.
But the path that led Wiedrich to spreading her message of courage, kindness, and empathy actually started with a bit of courage of her own – the courage to try something she’d never before considered.
“I was not originally interested in pageants,” Wiedrich said. “A friend told me about a ‘talent contest’ in Dickinson, and convinced me to enter.”
She won the pageant and was named Miss Dickinson. However, the Miss North Dakota contest conflicted with her contract with the Medora Musical, so she was unable to progress further. But the scholarship opportunities were an incentive to later enter the Miss Grand Forks pageant, which she also won. That title began a year of responsibility to reach out to the community.
“I realized there’s a lot more to it than a crown,” said Wiedrich of the outreach efforts that are a part of the program. “I was able to touch the lives of children in Grand Forks – it was so rewarding in a way that I didn’t expect.”
Addressing the subject of bullying opened old wounds for Wiedrich, making her take a hard look at what she had gone through.
“I’d never talked about my bullying experience until that year,” she said. “Until then, had you asked me, ‘Delanie, were you ever bullied?’ I would have said “No – high school was great!’ because it’s hard to talk about.”