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  • Writer's picturesaraamandapeterson

Never Let Anyone or Anything Dull Your Sparkle!

This amazing woman that I am about to introduce you to gives so much for others to shine. Dedicated to supporting our young women and leaders of tomorrow, she also carves out time for herself and her dreams.

Katie Carden is your reigning Ms. Woman Alabama United States. She is from a small town in Walker County, Alabama, and she has degrees in education from The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a high school teacher and a varsity cheerleading coach, she strives to keep her students focused, often on competition, “which keeps my schedule busy,” she added. As a cheer coach for 21 years.

Everyone needs a support system, and Katie has just that. She comes from a very large family. Her mother is the youngest of 10 children. “My parents and my sister are great blessings. I have an amazing church family, great friends, and a fur baby named Baxter,” she said.

Amongst that support system where friends that happen to be United States Pageant queens. One, Mrs. Alabama United States 2016, Joeletta Barrentine who is now a Circuit Judge in Walker County, inspired Katie to pursue her dreams of competing once again after being away for some time. Katie competed in her first pageant around the age of four.

Being a cheer coach is a big part of Katie’s life. A story she shared with me touched my soul. It was about a beautiful young woman who was an inspiration to all, from peers in school and faculty to everyone that interacted with her. In December of 2015, she lost a student and former member of my team. “It was through this tragic loss of such a beautiful soul that I realized,” she said, “that I should not wait to chase a new dream or make a greater impact.”

Katie shared a reminder that life is short, and we must shine our light and live life to its fullest. “Your impact has no expiration date,” she remarked.

Recently, Katie, her team, and her co-coach returned from cheer camp. “It’s so rewarding to see these young ladies learn, grow, and be successful in something they love to do.” As for Katie, she enjoys spending time at Orange Beach & Smith Lake, Alabama, which is two of her favorite places.

I asked, “How do you balance it all and ensure you take time for yourself?” She replied, “Balance is a great word. I am VERY dedicated to my planner!”

Katie went on to share, “I’ve always loved and been in awe of pageantry since I was young. I have learned that being your true authentic self is so important. Comparison is the thief of joy. YOUR light is so important, and someone needs to see it!

My advice to women about allowing themselves to go after their dreams would be that strength and beauty have no expiration date. You have a light to shine in this world and whether you know it or not, someone needs to see it. Never let anyone or anything dull your sparkle!

Thank you Katie for supporting our young woman of tomorrow, being an inspiration for all women and being a shining light!

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