STERLING HEIGHTS — The Heights’ own Laura Zdravkovski was crowned Mrs. Michigan America 2013 March 9, setting the stage for her to compete in the Mrs. America pageant in August.
“This position is very surreal to me,” Zdravkovski said recently. “I’m very honored, and I’m very humbled.”
Zdravkovski, who represented Macomb County in the pageant, said she initially didn’t realize she was named first place.
“I was so caught up in the moment of the process that I actually started clapping when they announced the first runner-up without realizing that meant I won,” she said.
She competed against 15 other delegates from across the state. In addition to the crown, Zdravkovski won the Community Service Award, the Interview Award, the Photogenic Award and an expenses-paid trip to compete for the title of Mrs. America in Arizona, according to a press release. She will compete against 50 other delegates, including one from Washington, D.C.
Mrs. America Pageant is a 36-year-old competition designed to promote the contemporary married woman, the press release said.
Zdravkovski has been married to her husband, Kristifor, for five years, and they have one daughter. Zdravkovski attended the Michigan School of Professional Psychology and received a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in counseling psychology. Her therapy focuses on childhood development and the therapeutic treatment of autism. In fact, her sole reason for entering the pageant was to better broadcast the Play Project therapy program for autism that she uses.
Zdravkovski said she already has heard from families, both in metro Detroit and across the state, interested in finding therapists who use Play Project. In fact, the Monday after winning the pageant, she had 12 voicemails, 70 text messages and more emails than she could count from families looking for help.
“We are hitting the ground and running,” she said.
She will also be the spokeswoman for a smartphone and tablet application that treats autism.
Jody Bernhardt, the Mrs. Michigan America executive director, said Mrs. Michigan has never won the Mrs. American pageant.
“We did have a first runner-up, but that’s as close as we’ve gotten,” Bernhardt said. “So I’m really excited about Laura because she’s everything Mrs. America embodies.”
In order to change that streak, Zdravkovski said former Mrs. Michigans have stepped up to help her prepare for the Mrs. America competition. But as in the pageant she just won, Zdravkovski doesn’t want to rehearse too much and lose her authenticity.
“I live that platform,” she said. “So I know it.”
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