Meet Stacie McBride-Cox...
Nominated by Kathy Shellum
At the age of 16, Stacie was met with a rude awakening. On a cold February morning, in 1995, she was woken to learn that her sister, Tracie, had been abducted
from an Air Force base in Texas, and two weeks later she was woken to learn that her sister's body had been found. Devastation is the only appropriate word to
describe what this teenager and her entire family were feeling in the wake of the tragic news.
Never in a million years would Stacie have thought that her life would present such a painful experience, but it became clear that time could not be turned back so now
it was time to look forward. The questions she asked herself, "what would Tracie want her to do, what now?" Some strong inspiration clearly came at that point because
in the 16 years since Stacie lost Tracie she hasn't stopped pursuing the missions that were laid on her heart in honor of her dearly loved sister.
It started with the Miss America Organization where she championed a violence prevention platform for seven years. She traveled the state speaking to thousands of
people - young and old - about violence prevention, capital punishment, and the pivotal role that respect plays in keeping our young people safe. During her competition
years, Stacie developed a heart for the Miss America Organization, specifically for helping other young women to achieve and to use their own life experiences to be a
force in the world.
While I remember watching Stacie compete years ago, my first encounter with her was actually through my daughter who was seeking consulting services. As she spoke
about the important platform component of the MAO, she showed us the very thick album she had created to showcase her strong commitment to her personal platform while she
was a titleholder.
It was at that time I realized I was meeting somebody with a passion, a deep faith, and the most forgiving heart in a person I had ever met. Prior to our meeting with
Stacie, I did not know that the woman I was about to meet had lost a sister to murder while serving in our Nation's military. Listening to Stacie talk about her platform
and her passion, it became very apparent to me that she was taking the most horrific experience any person could humanly suffer and turning it into something good.
Knowing firsthand that life is so short and that every experience, good or bad, can be used to make positive change in those around us, Stacie has worked with countless
young women to encourage them in their own pursuits while challenging them to live life fully as they were uniquely designed to do and to use their life experiences to
make a difference. The scripture she relies upon and encourages her clients to do the same as they prepare and/or go through adversity is: "I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.
With a deep commitment to community service and living a life of integrity much like she felt her sister did in her short 19 years of life, Stacie's family wanted to
further honor her sister's memory and the remarkable women in the Miss America Organization through a scholarship fund. She honors all that was good in the life of her
sister--a Christ driven woman, a servant leader, using God's gifts to bless others, and started the Tracie Joy McBride Scholarship fund awarding the "Tracie Joy McBride
Quality of Life" Award and the "Tracie Joy McBride Talent" Award each year at the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant (Miss Minnesota is part of the Miss America Organization -
the largest scholarship program for young women in America). To date, Stacie's family has raised thousands of dollars in her sister's name - and turns this into educational
funds for young women from Minnesota.
While Stacie seeks to honor those who have been wholly committed to community service, she also models that commitment in her own life. This is a woman who really and
truly cares about producing value, opportunity, and excellence for our young people. She coordinates a Wednesday night girls program for K-6th graders at her church also
providing them with a Royal Experience extravaganza every year to give the girls an experience they will never forget and taps into the youth audience by coordinating
purity/integrity focused events to challenge our youth to pursue excellence.
Stacie honors the life of her sister every single day - not only in how she lives her life as a servant of God, a loving wife and mother; but also by living her life as an
example to others. Everyone who meets Stacie can see the genuine person she truly is.
I have never met anyone who lost a loved one quite so tragically. Our God is a forgiving God. But as a human being, how do you move forward in your life after experiencing
something so horrific in your own life? Stacie is a testament that God does take care of us - God shows us a path to follow - it's up to us, no matter how much we experience in
our lives, good or bad, to choose the path that God has intended for us.
Stacie chose the path God laid out for her. She has been and always will be a true inspiration to me.
Nominated by Kathy Shellum