Fish looks back on her year as Miss Kansas, a year filled with emotional rewards from serving the disabled and promoting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Krystian Fish, Miss Kansas 2017, will soon be a "Forever," and true to her compassionate nature, she will likely cry as she crowns the new Miss Kansas in Pratt on Saturday, June 9. But these will be happy tears, excited tears and thankful tears, mixed with just a few sad tears because she has enjoyed her year with the crown so very much.
“I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, just about anything really. This is going to be an emotional week,” Fish said. “But I am so excited to soon say I’m a ‘Forever.’ It will be strange not be competing anymore, but former title holders have already reached out to me to welcome me to the other side. I have so much respect for them and it’s a great group to belong to - former Miss Kansas title holders.”
After a year of serving as Miss Kansas 2017, Fish said the title, the position, was so much more than just wearing a crown and looking pretty.
“It’s a full-time job,” she said. “From the moment you win, you go right into preparing for the Miss America contest and after that you have appearances to make all across the state, sometimes two or three each day.”
Fish, like other Miss Kansas crown holders does a lot of driving during her as the title-holder, but she said meeting all the children in schools and others is her favorite
part of the job. She spoke for people with disabilities, her pageant platform, and made many special friends along the way.
“At one school I was speaking and I asked a question,” Fish said. “One little boy with Downs Syndrome was jumping up and down in the back with his hand in the air saying ‘pick me, pick me.’ Of course, I had to chose him. He yelled out, ‘I love you Miss Kansas, because you love me.’ That just melted me heart.”
Fish grew up around people with disabilities and noticed that not everyone loved them. It became her passion to make sure they knew they were loved, and she worked alongside her father and the Arc of the United States to that end. The Arc of the United States is an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization was founded in the 1950s by parents of people with developmental disabilities.
“As Miss Kansas, it was very special for me to be able to speak at the Arc’s national convention in November,” Fish said. “That has always been a dream for me.”
A surprise for Fish at an Arc awards night event was that she was named the 2018 Ambassador Winner for Arc of Sedgwick County.
“The Miss Kansas network has opened up so many doors for me,” Fish said. “I’ve already been offered some job opportunities working with the disabled because of my speaking engagements.”
After Fish hands over the Miss Kansas crown this Saturday in Pratt, she plans to spend time with family and friends relaxing and reflecting.
“It’s been a great year,” she said. “It’s really gone fast. It goes so fast. It makes me cry.”
Fish’s advice to 2018 Miss Kansas candidates is to enjoy every moment.
“Be very passionate about something. Let yourself feel everything,” she said. “I would much rather err on the side of passion, than be able to hold it all together.”
Preliminary rounds take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at PCC’s Lesh Arena, with the finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday.