Listen to KID NewsRadio’s interview with 2018 Miss Idaho title holder, Nina Forest
POCATELLO, Idaho — If you ask Nina Forest if there’s any merit to the adage, “third time’s the charm,” she’d probably wholeheartedly agree.
Forest, who previously held the title of Miss Pocatello before claiming the state title, Miss Idaho, said it’s taken years for her to get to the state and national levels of the Miss America Organization.
“When I started my freshman year of college, I started competing in the Miss America organization and it took me three years before I became Miss Idaho,” Nina Forest, Miss Idaho 2018, told KID NewsRadio.
The southeast Idaho native is now on her way to the national stage in September, the first to represent the region since 2012 Miss Idaho and Idaho Falls native, Whitney Wood. But, in addition to preparing for the larger competition ahead of her, Forest is also embarking in a yearlong focus on community service and promoting her platform, Leaving Childhood Hunger Behind.
“I’m a current college student, but as Miss Idaho I take a full year off of school and my number one priority as Miss Idaho, in addition to preparing for the Miss America competition on September 9, is serving the community,” Forest said. “My platform as Miss Pocatello and my platform now is called Leave Childhood Hunger Behind, and as Miss Idaho I’m really trying to make it a priority to work with different organizations in our state, connect with different people and different groups to decrease food insecurity.”
According to Feeding America, over 221,000 Idahoans lack access to enough food for a healthy life. Among the counties identified as more food insecure than others included Bannock County and Madison County.
“I think in America, overall, food insecurity is more of a struggle that we don’t hear as much about in the news,” Forest said. “Nationally speaking, one in six children are food insecure and in Idaho, one in five children are food insecure and with my work as Miss Pocatello and now, Miss Idaho, I’ve really been working on all age groups. You know, working with Meals on Wheels, with elderly people, working with [the] Idaho Food Bank that deals with more family units. Food insecurity really is in every population, in every community, regardless of your age or your background or your socioeconomic status and it’s something that I’m really working towards combating as Miss Idaho.”
As for any young girls who find themselves wanting to compete in programs like the Miss America organization, Forest said it’s important to simply try.
“In reality you lose if you don’t even try,” Forest said. “It took me three tries before I won my very first local competition and now I’m Miss Idaho. So, I just think it goes to show if you want to try something, do it! You’re the only person holding yourself back. Life is short and you can be surprised at the outcome if you just continue and persist for your dreams.”