I met MacKenzie sophomore year of high school, and it has been amazing to watch her journey unfold over the years to where she is now. After dedicating her entire life to swimming, on the path to be in the Olympics, life took a surprising turn, and she was asked to surrender those plans. After taking some time to grieve what she thought her life would be, she created a new dream.
Before she knew it she was participating in her very first pageant to be Miss District of Columbia, and to her surprise, she won. She went on to compete in Miss USA and soon after graduated from Columbia University with an MBA.
In our conversation we also talk about MacKenzie's life growing up ~ what she learned from her father, Ernest Green, who faced extreme adversity and racism in his life when he became the first black man to graduate from what was one of the nation's largest all-white high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.
MacKenzie's story reminds us to stay strong in the face of adversity, always remember our dreams and reminds us we are often so much more capable than we could ever imagine.
"You don't get a testimony without a test. When you are in those storms, when it feels like everything around is falling apart, or that it is too much to handle - know that whatever you believe in wouldn't give you more than you can handle. Look at it like 'wow, this is one heck of a storm, and it will be one heck of rainbow.' "
In this episode we discussed:
- MacKenzie's reflections on Beyonce’s epic performance at Coachella
- How letting go of an identity ~ dreams of being an Olympic swimmer ~ allowed MacKenzie to open to new opportunities and growth
- MacKenzie's journey of becoming Miss DC and a top participant in Miss USA
- The impact MacKenzie's father, Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine & the first black man to graduate from the one of the nation's largest all-white high schools impacted her life
- Cyber bullying and the vulnerability that comes with being in the public eye
- MacKenzie's journey to body positive thinking
- How the fear of success can often hold us back more than our fear of failure
- The gifts in our challenges
Stay in touch with MacKenzie:
MacKenzie Green is a graduate of Columbia Business School with a concentration in entertainment and marketing. MacKenzie is the Vice President of the Media Management Association conference, member of Hermes Society, a Lord Laidlaw Scholar, and social media ambassador for Columbia Business School. Previously she interned with Harper’s Bazaar Magazine as an assistant to the Editor In Chief, Paramount Pictures (Worldwide and Domestic Market Research), and spent the fall with NBCU Ad Sales on Lifestyle brands
She is a graduate of the University of Miami, with a double major in broadcast journalism and sports administration and on the Provost Honor Roll. While at UM she was named station manager at UMTV, the first African American and first female to hold this position in the 29-year history of the station. She also held duties as UMTV-News Vision Lead Sports Anchor (Emmy-nominated); Sports Desk Commentator; Feature Reporter for which she won two SunCoast Emmys. She was also a UM Alumni Association Ambassador; and EDGE Reporter for the Miami Hurricane campus newspaper.
She serves as a board member for the University of Miami Young Alumni Council. She served on the National board for the National Council of Negro Women, serving as Young Adult Vice Chair. Additionally she was a UCLA Riordan MBA Fellow, served as the 2013 Class Chair and Riordan Gala Co-manager. To commemorate the 57th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Ms. Green was awarded the Legacy Award by the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute, cited as a “Legend in the Making.”
Some of her charitable services have included: The Links Inc., Capital City Chapter; The Sisterhood LA; Relay For Life, team captain; Georgetown University Hospital, patient advocate; Washington Hospital Center, physical therapy volunteer; Reading Is Fundamental Book Drive; Juvenile Diabetes Association; Television Advocacy; and Metropolitan AME Church, Junior Stewardess, WDC.
At 21, she graced the runway for the very first time as a beauty pageant contestant, winning the swimsuit and evening gown categories on her way to the premier top honor—Miss DC USA 2010, and competing on the Miss USA stage on NBC. She has championed teen self-esteem and health and fitness for low income families, all under the umbrella of education and inclusion.