MISS NATIONWIDE 2014: LISA OPIE, FLORIDA
Miss Nationwide 2014 is Lisa Opie, who represented Florida in the national competition. She is the co-founder of Vizcaya Swimwear and is a 2013 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Her platform was Bullying Prevention.
Although I was born in Denver, Colorado, I do not know what to say when people ask me where I am from. I was blessed to be born into a bi-lingual, multicultural family. My mother is Japanese and my father is from Texas, therefore I am fluent in English and Japanese. I was home schooled and given the opportunity to travel across the country and internationally while completing my elementary education. I have traveled to 48 of the 50 states (I have yet to visit Alaska and Maine), traveled to 28 countries, and I have lived in Colorado, California, Illinois, Virginia, Texas, Delaware, and North Dakota, as well as Japan, Barbados, and Spain.
I completed my undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in history. During my undergraduate studies I spent a semester abroad at the University of Barcelona studying the politics of the European Union, and another semester at the University of the West Indies where I studied Caribbean perspectives of the African Diaspora.
Being homeschooled, I was raised to be an independent thinker. I became passionate about politics at a young age and accompanied my grandfather and father to the Constitutional Party National Convention in 2004 and the Republican National Convention in 2008. Although I was not old enough to vote, I learned the process of federal elections and was interested in learning more. As a freshman in college originally majoring in Art, I became more and more involved in politics. I joined Young Americans for Liberty, Young Democrats, and College Republicans (this may seem like a strange mix but I became involved in all three political organizations so that I would learn as much as possible about the roots of each political party). I earned two scholarships to attend seminars at the Leadership Institute in Washington DC. After spending my spring break volunteering for the successful campaign of Senator Rand Paul in 2010, I was given the opportunity to be a delegate to the Southern Republican Leadership Convention in 2010 where I met Michael Steele, Mike Pence, and Ron Paul. Although most of my involvement may seem to be with the Republican party, I do not claim to be associated with any political party. Each party has its errors. I enjoy studying politics therefore I approach it with an open mind.
During all four years of my time at VCU, I held leadership positions. In 2009, I ran a successful campaign for Vice President of my Hall Council in my residential building. That semester, I also ran for Senator in the VCU Student Government Association. As an SGA Senator, I served as Chair of the Student Dining Services Subcommittee, Applicant Liason and Treasurer of the SGA Appointments Committee, and a member of the Student Life committee. I was then appointed to be an Executive Aide of the VCU Student Government Association during my senior year.
As a junior, I was selected to participate in the prestigious Capital Semester Program where I interned for Senator Frank Wagner and Delegate Christopher Peace. During that time, I also founded my own organization, the Japanese Student Association. I was also a founding member of Zeta Tau Alpha’s Lambda Eta chapter and served as the first appointed Director of Academics for Zeta Tau Alpha.
In spring of 2012, I stumbled into my career. I have been modeling since the age of 14 and decided to use my network that I had established in the fashion industry to incorporate a swimwear line. I named my line Vizcaya Swimwear after the street that I lived on in Barcelona, Carrer De Vizcaya. Through the help and support of my network and friends in the industry, I have been able to show my designs on the runways of New York, Atlanta, Richmond, and Miami. Although my original plan was to become a foreign consulate or earn my Juris Doctor, I am very pleased with the way things have turned out for my business.
The LadyCode was created by my best friend and I, with the goal of promoting wellness. Passionate about putting an end to bullying, we are working together to provide those who are bullied with the support and inspiration to live a healthy, fit, and confident lifestyle.
I was home schooled for elementary school, attended a private Christian school for middle school and attended public schools for high school. Throughout middle school and high school, I was bullied by my peers for the way that I looked and acted. I was able to overcome my struggle with bullying through pageantry. Being a contestant in a pageant required me to be healthy, fit, confident, and philanthropic. I have held the titles of Miss Teen Williamsburg, Miss American Samoa, Miss North Dakota, and Miss Virgin Islands. I placed in the top 8 at Miss Virginia United States, top 5 at Miss United States 2012, and top 15 at Miss United States 2013. I believe that pageants are not about winning that sash and crown, but it is about who you become in the process.
You can contact Miss Nationwide 2014, Lisa Opie directly via Email!