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August 13, 2013

Former Miss Alabama calls Argo home

ARGO — Newly married Argo resident Courtney Orazine takes her titles seriously.

Proud to have earned the titles of wife and Miss Alabama 2011, her latest moniker is an accomplishment she felt called to do.

Being the Relationship Manager for United Way of Central Alabama means letting the real Courtney shine.

Her journey began when she got the chance to live out a year of dreams and goals as Miss Alabama 2011, which she says couldn’t have happened without the support of the Leeds community.

“Whether or not you knew you were helping me, you were,” Orazine told the Leeds/Moody business women’s group—LadyBUGS.

Competing in the last pageant her mother saw her in, Orazine secured the sash displaying the name—Miss Leeds Area.

Sadly her angel, Michelle Porter, lost her battle with cancer, but her mom is with her everyday as she wears a bracelet in her mother’s honor that reads, “What would Michelle say?”

“You know that book, ‘Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?’ well, everything I needed to know I learned from a kindergarten teacher,” Courntey said.

Porter showed her daughter what a life of teaching can do for the soul.

“She retired from Centerpoint Elementary where I was able to help put artwork back on the walls after the school was devastated by a tornado,” said Courtney.

Feeling lucky to have the opportunity to help build up the place that once meant so much to someone who means so much to her, Courtney says she knows her mother is everywhere.

Embracing the love of teaching, Orazine’s platform as Miss Alabama was working with at risk kids from The Boys and Girls Club.

Coming into her own as Miss Alabama, Orazine gained confidence from something her mom taught her years before.

“She said you should be yourself or else who are going to be,” said Orazine. “Sharing who the real Courtney was by living out our dream of being Miss Alabama allowed me to go on a journey of a lifetime. I’m proud of that.”

As the reign of carrying out the duties as Miss Alabama comes to its end, Orazine says the next step is to get a “big girl job.”

“As a former Miss Alabama you’re expected to do something big, ‘no pressure,’” Orazine joked. “When I found out about United Way my heart just leapt. It’s such a perfect fit.”

From collaborative staff meetings to speaking at events throughout St. Clair, Blount, Walker, Jefferson and Shelby counties, Courtney says it’s an honor for her to share United Way’s message.

Recently settling down in Argo, the Orazines, Scott and Courtney, consider themselves lucky to be St. Clair County residents.

“People in this area have welcomed us with open arms,” she said.

Having the opportunity to leave her hand and footprints on the great state of Alabama as a former titleholder, Courtney Orazine continues leaving impressions statewide with her words of wisdom about creating a United Way where the vision is to “build a great community by bringing people together to help others.”

 

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