- - Thursday, September 29, 2016

The stage lights burned brightly. An audience of thousands stretched out into the dark recesses of the arena. I was standing on the Miss USA stage, a dream come true for so many young women and an incredible memory that I will treasure for years to come.  But, an even greater experience that stemmed from my time at Miss USA was my time with Donald Trump.

I briefly met Mr. Trump for the first time the night before the Miss USA telecast. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I had always looked up to Mr. Trump for his business acumen and career successes. I had read his books when I was in college preparing to apply to law school and found him to be a fascinating leader.

Mr. Trump was very gracious. He shook my hand and we briefly discussed the Miss USA pageant and the upcoming 2014 elections. Of course, he smiled when I mentioned the failures of Obamacare. Before we could finish our conversation, I was rushed backstage to continue rehearsals.

A day later, Miss USA ended and I went on with my life. Little did I know, Mr. Trump and I would cross paths again, this time in a very different setting; CPAC 2015. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Conservative Political Action Conference (popularly known as CPAC), it is put on by The American Conservative Union each year and is an event where conservatives from all over the country come together for education, leadership and advancement.

In 2015, I was attending CPAC as a guest of The Washington Times, the wonderful newspaper where I now write a weekly opinion column. During my time at CPAC that year, I tagged along with one of the reporters for some interviews. From Senator Ted Cruz to Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, the reporter had a jam-packed day and I was thrilled to be along for the ride.

The last interview she had that day was with Mr. Trump. I was excited to hear what he had to say (and secretly had hoped he would admit that he was getting ready for a Presidential run, which he hinted at but did not say). To my pleasant surprise, Mr. Trump remembered me from Miss USA.

Mr. Trump was a complete gentleman. He took the time to talk to me about law school. I was close to finishing my first year at the time. He also asked me about my plans and goals after graduation, wishing me the best of luck in my future and complimenting me on my accomplishments up to that time. He even offered to let me interview him, despite the fact that his schedule was packed and he was already running behind.

I found Mr. Trump’s respectful behavior and sincere interest in what I had to say to be very refreshing, considering the ‘better than the little people’ mentality that many others in his position have been known to exhibit. He was respectful, kind and encouraging. Before leaving that day, we snapped a photo and he told me to “think big and never give up,” which is the same thing my parents had always told me.

Inspired by these words, my journey did not stop there. Following CPAC 2015, my desire start my own small business was reignited. Just over a year later, I officially opened my doors to pageant contestants nationwide with Pageant Precision, a company dedicated to helping young women ace their interviews, expand their knowledge of current events and prepare for their future careers. In less than 6 months, I have already had multiple local, state and national winners. On top of running Pageant Precision, I am preparing to graduate from law school in May and am busy providing political commentary in my weekly Washington Times column as well as on Fox News, TheBlaze and other television and radio networks.

I am proud to have had the opportunity to have met and been inspired by such an incredible leader following my time at Miss USA. Of course, I do not speak for everyone and can only speak from my own personal experiences. But, as a young conservative and a woman of God, I feel that our country needs Mr. Trump. I am confident that he will bring us back to economic prosperity and defend us from the evils that our nation continues to face.

I believe that Mr. Trump has the courage, integrity and respect that we have been missing in the oval office. I hope you will consider Mr. Trump’s policies and plans along with my personal testament to his character. Avoid listening to the rhetoric used against him for ratings. Join me in voting for Mr. Trump. It is time to Make America Great Again!

Madison Gesiotto is a conservative writer and commentator who appears on Fox News Channel. She is currently in the final year of pursuing her J.D. at The Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. You can reach her by email at contact@madisongesiotto.com or follow her on Twitter: @madisongesiotto.


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