On January 19, 2019, Amanda Enz was crowned Miss Auburn. Since that night, she has spent a whirlwind year representing the City of Auburn in a role a year ago she called “a dream come true.”
Enz has experienced everything from judging dogs, competing at the Miss Washington competition, walking in parades, speaking to students about managing stress, to running a Turkey Trot in her crown. Now she is helping prepare the current class of contestants for Saturday night’s competition, where she will crown the 2020 Miss Auburn.
Video by Josh Headley, for the Auburn Examiner
A Year as Miss Auburn
Auburn Examiner: It’s been a year since you were crowned Miss Auburn, how has it been?
Amanda Enz: This year has been a whirlwind, and the fact that a year has passed since I was crowned is astonishing to me. I got to be so involved and serve this city that I love so much throughout the year. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to do so.
Auburn Examiner: What’s your favorite memory of the year as Miss Auburn?
Amanda Enz: My favorite memory – wow, that is tough to choose. I think my favorite memory is from the arrival ceremony at Miss Washington. After I was announced as a finalist for the Women in Business scholarship, the three of us stood on the stairs for pictures.
Afterward, I went to walk down the stairs to greet my family; but my heel caught on the stair. I slipped and fell hard. I was so embarrassed I got up so quickly, straightened out my dress, and looked to see that no one noticed. The Miss Washington director, Peggy, came up to me and asked if I was okay, and I said my ankle hurt, and my ego was bruised. She looked at me and said, “it isn’t about the fall, it’s about how you get up from it.” I will never forget that moment of clarity.
Auburn Examiner: After being crowned, you said you were most excited for all the community events. Which was your favorite this year?
Amanda Enz: I would have to say the Veteran’s Day parade was my favorite community event this year. This parade we do is known across the country as one of the biggest events for Veteran’s Day. Getting to be a part of it was fantastic. The best part? I got to meet a WWII veteran – who was the sweetest man!
Auburn Examiner: Is there anything you wish you’d done while Miss Auburn that you didn’t get the chance to?
Amanda Enz: There is always more to do. As a full-time student with another job, scheduling events can be hard! There were definitely a few events I missed out on, like reading to elementary students on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, etc. Otherwise, though, I am really happy with all of the events in the community I got to go to!
Auburn Examiner: How was having Austin as your Miss Auburn Outstanding Teen?
Amanda Enz: Having Austin as my Miss Auburn Outstanding Teen was such a dream. She is such a mature young woman who amazes me every day. I may have been the Miss, but I often find myself looking up to her. She is a powerhouse and is going to change the world with her passion and drive. We may no longer be sister titleholders any longer (after January 25th), but she will forever be my sister and friend.
Helping to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Auburn Examiner: Your social impact initiative is to stress less and reduce anxiety. Tell me a bit about how you promoted Stress Less during your time as Miss Auburn.
Amanda Enz: The cool thing about my social impact initiative is that it can apply to any and all situations. I got to go to elementary, middle, and high schools in the area to talk about reducing stress. I was involved with the Residential Hall Association at PLU. I also promoted multiple “Stress Less” events on campus during finals week. I worked with competitive dancers and cheerleaders in the city to help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with a competitive sport like those. I also got to use the skills I learned on myself at Miss Washington to help me relax!
Auburn Examiner: Will you continue to work on your Stress Less platform now that you’re no longer Miss Auburn?
Amanda Enz: I will always continue to work on my platform for reducing stress. I have learned so much about coping with stress and anxiety in healthy ways that I feel as though I have to share it with people. I will continue to work around my college campus to help college students stress less. I will continue to mentor the high school students at Auburn Mountainview High School on the Stress Less DECA project. I will find new and exciting ways to continue to have a conversation about healthy levels of stress and coping.
Miss Washington 2019
Auburn Examiner: You were nervous for Miss Washington. Tell me about the competition and how the experience was for you.
Amanda Enz: I was nervous for Miss Washington when we initially talked. However, with the preparation, I had with the Miss Auburn board and my family, I went into that competition with my head held high and confident in myself.
At arrival, I was announced as a Woman in Business finalist, which was a pleasant surprise. Throughout the week, the other contestants and I got to visit Boeing and see some incredible airplanes, go to the Renton Farmer’s Market, visited Seattle Children’s Hospital. We practiced day in and day out for the production.
The interview was surreal. I got to interview before two former Miss America’s (I was so starstruck!!), a former Miss Washington, a prominent doctor from Washington whose research helped cure a form of cancer, and the CEO of the Churchill Downs Foundation. It was incredible!
I felt so confident with how I did that day, I went into the competition feeling good! I nailed my talent, which was so exciting, I had an on-stage question I was passionate about, and I got to talk about reducing stress. Finals night, I was called into the Top 11, and I got to do it all over again. I could not have been prouder of myself. I didn’t place in the top 5, but I didn’t care. I put my heart out on that stage, and I was so happy I got to represent my city at the state level. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Auburn Examiner: What advice would you give for 2020’s Miss Auburn going into the 2020 Miss Washington competition?
Amanda Enz: My best advice for Miss Auburn 2020, especially with all of the changes to Miss America, is to be flexible and stay true to you. Who knows what Miss Washington 2020 will look like. That is something that we, as titleholders, cannot control. What we can control is how we act as a local titleholder and competitor to the Miss Washington crown. Be yourself and be understanding of whatever is to come.
Auburn Examiner: There have been a lot of changes in the Miss America program. How do you feel about Miss American 2.0?
Amanda Enz: This has been quite a controversial topic this year! I am excited about some of the changes. The on-stage “Shark Tank”-like presentation of social impact initiatives is really cool as it is something local, state, and national titleholders do on the job. I also don’t mind the removal of the swimsuit competition. I just think that there should be some aspect of physical fitness in the competition.
There are other things, though, like the removal of the evening gown competition, which makes me a little sad. Regardless of the competition, I will still always support this organization as long as it continues to empower women through scholarships, interview training, and confidence-building.
The Miss Auburn Program
Auburn Examiner: You have held the title of Miss Auburn and Miss Auburn Outstanding Teen, what is your biggest take away from the program?
Amanda Enz: My biggest takeaway from this program is that there is truly no place like Auburn. The community of people we have is unmatched throughout the state. Getting to serve this city not once but twice has been a dream come true.
Auburn Examiner: How do you feel being Miss Auburn has shaped your future?
Amanda Enz: This last year, especially, I gained so much more confidence in myself. Whether that be speaking in front of a large group of people or being confident in the tough decisions I had to make throughout the year, I really came into my own. I learned so much about myself. I feel much more confident in who I am heading into the last year of college and into a career. This will help me insurmountably with presenting my senior capstone, a job/career search, and much more. I am so thankful for this experience.
Auburn Examiner: If a girl was considering joining the program but was uncertain, what would you tell her?
Amanda Enz: Go for it! Everybody wins when they compete in the Miss Auburn program. Whether that be speaking skills, a newfound sense of self, scholarship money, or the crown, there is always something to gain through this organization.
Auburn Examiner: If your crown granted you one wish for Auburn, what would it be?
Amanda Enz: My wish would be for funding and supplies for the new “one-stop-shop” our Food Bank is working on developing. I got to learn a lot from Debbie [Christian] about the new space that will be a food bank, homeless shelter, and place to help homeless people get cleaned up to get an ID or a job. It is such an incredible initiative, and the fact that it was passed by the city council was amazing. But my crown giving them all the money they need to make it last for years would be my dream.
Auburn Examiner: What advice do you have for the incoming Miss Auburn?
Amanda Enz: Don’t forget to breathe! The year flies by so fast, so it is important to stop, take a deep breath, and be thankful for where you are in that moment, no matter where that may be.
Auburn Examiner: Where can we find you after Miss Auburn?
Amanda Enz: After Miss Auburn, you can find me at PLU giving tours to prospective students and studying hard to complete my degree next spring!
Enz crowns the new Miss Auburn this Saturday, January 25th, at 6:00pm at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased online or at the door.