Azucena: Your reaction when you won was priceless, I loved it.
Mackenzie: So competing 4 times was something I always wanted to do. Everybody comes to Miss California because they want to win right? You wouldn’t put in the time and you wouldn’t put in the effort if you didn’t want to win and feel like you could. But just because you want to and think that you’re capable doesn’t mean that it will actually happen, and then it does. I had no idea how to process that in my brain. And I remember thinking when they called my name that-when you’re watching a movie and there’s an explosion and there’s this ringing and muffled sounds of screaming or whatever’s going on, that’s exactly how I felt.
Azucena: You’ve won Miss California and you’ve gone to Miss America, you’ve experienced it all: What’s next for you?
Mackenzie: I’m heading to law school, hopefully in the fall of 2019, and I have to say that I have always known that I wanted to be an attorney but without the help of the professors that were here at California Baptist University I don’t think I would be as well set up to do that. I originally came in to CBU as just a communications major. I didn’t really think I needed anything else, I knew I didn’t want to do politics, so I didn’t want to do political science so I thought that communications was going to be a good general think because attorney’s talk a lot, they do a lot of research, they speak in public, they write a lot of speeches, if you will. Then I remember one of my very first courses my freshman year the head of the philosophy department was the teacher and as you do on the first day of classes, you go around in a circle say what your major is and what you want to do with it when you grow up. When I told him I wanted to be an attorney, he said “Oh ok, we need to have a talk.” So he invited me into his office and laid out the entire philosophy program for me and said, “I went to law school, I have my law degree. This is going to help you.”
Azucena: What would you tell the girls here at CBU that are maybe double majoring or just trying to get through college but are also aspiring Miss California’s?
Mackenzie: Never stop dreaming. Like I said, you never think it will actually happen because you’re trying to be as realistic as possible, and in reality, any of the top 7 that were standing up there with at Miss California would have made a fantastic Miss California. It just so happened that that was my moment. But that wouldn’t have been my moment if I hadn’t competed in the years prior. So despite the fact that you might have setbacks, I will not call them failures I will call them setbacks, you may setbacks on the road to reach your dreams but please don’t ever give because you will make it happen. So my platform is called From Classroom to Boardroom: Overcoming Workplace Bias. It’s really about educating women of all ages about the obstacles they will face when entering the workforce and giving them practical tips and tools in order to navigate that. It’s really interesting, when you have a crown, everyone wants to talk to you, and that wouldn’t be the case if you didn’t have it. Especially being a young woman so many people underestimate you but when you have the name of the Miss California organization or you have the banner or you have the crown people stand up and take notice. It’s given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise to speak this important message to so many women across the state of California.