Left: Kujat, right, with her cousin, Sarah Casnovasky, at the July Detroit Color Vibe 5K. Photos courtesy Aubrey Kujat.
September 04, 2014Aubrey Kujat of Grosse Pointe Woods has aspirations.
She would like to be the 2015 Miss Michigan USA. The pageant, produced by the Miss Universe Organization, takes place Sept. 26 and 27 at the McMorran Place Sports and Events Center Theatre in Port Huron.
Though this is her first pageant, Kujat has been on stage having been a model for more than a year, including modeling an outfit designed for a Detroit Institute of Arts contest inspired by the recent samurai exhibit.
"I did a little modeling for 1 1/2 years," she began, "I knew a few girls (who had been contestants) and said it was a good experience for them."
She, too, believes it will be a positive experience for her, despite her being a pageant novice.
"I'm a bit nervous," Kujat said. "It will be a great growing experience for me."
The Grosse Pointe North High School 2008 graduate said the entry process included an application explaining what she likes to do and her hobbies. Included in her profile, Kujat spelled out three accomplishments and her favorite charity.
The first goal she has achieved is the completion of her associate's degree from Macomb Community College in general studies. Completing 50 hours of community service by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and through MCC's Life and Leadership club working at various nonprofits, was her second accomplishment. The final goal she fulfilled was sky diving.
"I'm scared of heights," she said.
Kujat chose sky diving because she thought it would be awesome and found out, "it was liberating." However, Kujat admitted she won't do it again. "Only once was enough for me."
To Write Love on Her Arms is her chosen charity. Based in Melbourne, Fla., the organization helps provide hope and help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self injury and suicidal thoughts.
She said it ties in with the social work curriculum she is pursuing at Wayne State University.
"I've always wanted to help people. I didn't know what I wanted to do (following high school). I wanted to explore and be sure."
She considered a teaching career or social work. After taking a social work class at MCC she said, "I fell in love with social work.
"My charity of choice ties in with my career choice, because I'm a firm believer in helping delicate cultures," she said. "I have known some amazing people who have struggled with addiction, depression and anxiety, and still know people who struggle with these sicknesses. That is why I'm such a big supporter of this organization. I believe people need to have their voice heard, and to know they're not alone in what they're going through, and that there is help available for them if they choose."
While attending WSU classes and working in the floral department of the Kroger on Mack and Vernier, Kujat is practicing everything, researching potential questions and topics she will be discussing with judges, applying makeup, trying different hair styles, working out and searching for the right dresses.
As one of 100 contestants from across the state, Kujat will be interviewed by the judges. She will be judged in evening gown and a bikini categories. Kujat said she is searching for a peach or coral evening gown, colors complementing her skin tone. Pageant rules require her to wear either a lavender or purple bikini.
All contestants must be their own hairdressers and apply their own make up.
To prepare for her interview and conversation with the judges, Kujat watches the news daily and has a CNN app on her phone for timely updates.
"I can't be over prepared. (The answers) must be natural," she explained.
Though she may not win because this is her first pageant, Kujat said it won't be her last.
"This is an affirmation, to believe in yourself," she said.