From the moment she was crowned as the 2009 Walker County Fair Queen, Makenzie Hayman started to become a different person, spending the last year as a proud ambassador for the Walker County Fair.
“Being queen opened up a whole new reign of opportunity for me,” Hayman said in reflecting on the last year. “I became an immediate role model for youth of Walker County.
“Having little girls watch you, and have them hang on your leg — there is no feeling like it.”
The 2009 New Waverly High School graduate was the first girl from New Waverly in more than 10 years to become fair queen. Now 18, she is currently a freshman at Texas State University in San Marcos studying Speech Pathology.
“That experience itself has been challenging for me — being away from home, dealing with the stresses of college, doing my own laundry and paying bills has taken a lot of getting used to,” she said. “But I did well in my first semester and this semester looks to be going just as well.”
Because she has been away at school, Hayman has faced some challenges in fulfilling her duties as queen. But she looks forward to wrapping up her reign this week by riding in the fair parade on Thursday, attending the special kids rodeo on Friday and crowning the 2010 Walker County Fair Queen on Saturday.
“The best part of being queen, for me, has probably been seeing and having an influence on kids,” she said. “Being able to interact with them has just been a big honor for me.
“So many kids young and old just want a little love and attention,” she added. “Just five minutes with them can make a positive difference in their lives.”
Hayman has learned much from her experience as queen and carries what she has learned with her as she begins life as an adult.
“Being queen does not always have to do with how much money you have or the clothes you wear, but about the person you are on the inside,” she said. “One of the most important things I have learned is to be respectable and to maintain a positive attitude in everything.
“When I have faced a challenge and felt like giving up, someone would say to me, ‘You are fair queen, you can do this,’” she added. “Just trying to keep that positive attitude has helped me through so much.”
In looking to her final days as the reigning Walker County Fair Queen, Hayman offered some wise words to her successor — one of the seven candidates waiting to be crowned this weekend.
“Wear your crown proudly,” she said. “People may talk, or be cruel, but it is important to remember that the person you are on the inside is worth far more than the person on the outside.
“Remember that there is at least one little girl out there who wishes she could be just like you.”
Hayman is the daughter of Lisa Hayman and James and Kristi Hayman.