It has been a whirlwind four weeks for Angela Venditti, the former Miss St. Clair Shores and current Miss Michigan.
Venditti, of Shelby Township, has been traveling the state since being crowned at the Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts in Muskegon.
Her travels, in a Chevy Volt donated by various Chevrolet dealers across the state, brought her to Rojo Mexican Bistro in St. Clair Shores for a homecoming celebration with family, friends and her fellow pageant contestants from across the region.
The 24-year-old Oakland University graduate took a few minutes from the celebration to speak with Patch:
Q. What has it been like the past four weeks being Miss Michigan?
A. "It has been very busy. It has been a lot of fun traveling the state for all different types of appearances and meeting different people."
Q. How has being crowned Miss Michigan helped you share your platform "Above the Influence, Keeping Kids Drug Free"?
A. "It has already opened so many doors. People have been calling us after seeing articles in the paper about my platform and wanted me to speak to different groups. I am only beginning to see how many doors it can open."
Q. How has being part of the Miss American Pageant been beneficial to you?
A. “Besides the actual scholarship money I have won, the relationships I have made, the skills I have gained and the public speaking skills. It has brought so many positive things to my life.”
Q. What is it about young women from St. Clair Shores who have done so well in recent pageants? From Miss Oakland County, to the Miss Michigan and Miss New Mexico pageants, they have done quite well in recent weeks.
A. “Maybe its in the water. We are taking the pageant world by storm.”
For attendees, the homecoming was an opportunity to celebrate Venditti's achievement. It was also an opportunity to see how she was living the motto she signs on every photo, "Dream Big."
"I am very proud of her resilience and her ability to continue," said Vita Venditti, Miss Michigan's mom. "I am proud that she really went after her goal."
Venditti is also preparing for the Miss American Pageant this January in Las Vegas.