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Social Impact Heroes: Miriah Jo Ludtke, Miss Missouri USA 2019 helps inspire teens to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters

A true leader is someone who can share their failures (and insecurities) with those who look up to them. By doing this, we teach those around us to have courage, to have strength, and this helps them overcome any issue they face. I grew up with a single mother, who was a foster child herself. […]


A true leader is someone who can share their failures (and insecurities) with those who look up to them. By doing this, we teach those around us to have courage, to have strength, and this helps them overcome any issue they face. I grew up with a single mother, who was a foster child herself. After years of hard work, she was able to overcome her early disadvantages, and now has built a successful home construction company. She is an amazing leader that I try to emulate on a daily basis.


As a part of our series of interviews featuring prominent female leaders, as well as an opportunity to reflect on Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, I had the pleasure to interview Miriah Jo Ludtke, Miss Missouri USA 2019. Miriah Jo Ludtke is a businesswoman and world traveler who visited both Europe and Africa last year. Miriah Jo also enjoys urban exploration and testing out the latest food craze. As a daughter of a foster child and a sister of a physical assault victim, Miriah Jo advocates for the importance of teen mentorship, particularly through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Miriah Jo also represents her state of Missouri in the Miss USA pageant system.

Thank you so much for joining us Miriah Jo. You are in a position of great influence. What would you do to encourage the community, society, or politicians to help form a more gender balanced world?

It’s time to leave the social constructs of gender in the 20th century. Instead, we should make an active effort to view people as individuals, each with unique skillsets and capabilities. As individuals, we are a collection of a lifetime of experiences, accomplishments, and knowledge. This is far more important than any gender others may try to assign us at birth.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

A true leader is someone who can share their failures (and insecurities) with those who look up to them. By doing this, we teach those around us to have courage, to have strength, and this helps them overcome any issue they face. I grew up with a single mother, who was a foster child herself. After years of hard work, she was able to overcome her early disadvantages, and now has built a successful home construction company. She is an amazing leader that I try to emulate on a daily basis.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Take risks and do not second-guess! I picked my university two weeks before classes started (one of the best decisions of my life). I decided to work for my current company based on a single, brief conversation with my boss (not one ounce of regret). I frequently take trips based on my mood (ask me about being stranded in the Portuguese countryside). As long as you trust in your decision making ability, taking risks is one of the strongest assets anyone can possess.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Joanna Hoffman, personal advisor to the late Steve Jobs. She is often credited with being one of the few individuals capable of truly communicating with one of the most brilliant and difficult business leaders of all time.As a businessperson myself, I’d love to hear how her raw communication style was able to cut straight to the heart of the greatest entrepreneur this county has ever created. I’d also love to hear about her wild adventures with the father of Apple.

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