Isabella Rubenstein

Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen

Hometown:    Ocean Springs

Hobbies:        Remaking dresses, Piano, Dancing, Tennis and Cheer

School:           Ocean Springs High School

Scholastic Ambition: Attend college with emphasis in Pharmacy

Scholastic Honors: First Place in State Science Fair, OSHS Representative for Singing River Electric Youth Leadership, Hugh O’ Brian Youth Leadership program, Principal’s List, AP CurriculumCampus Representative

Talent:            Rhythmic Dance

Platform:        “The Missing Peace” (Making the pieces fit to lead a successful life)

What makes you special and unique? What makes me special and unique is that I am real inside and out.Treating everyone the same and never passing judgement on others or their circumstances are important pieces of my life.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Most people would not know is that I am super athletic.Not only do I play tennis and cheer but I love snow skiing and riding bikes; when you enjoy the sport it makes it fun.

Best advice you have ever received? My grandmother says, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.”

What can’t you live without? Not sure what I would do if I didn’t have a good dose of my sister’s laugh and her hilarious personality.She cracks me up on a daily basis and always makes me smile by keeping my life upbeat.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure? My biggest guilty pleasure would have to be just enjoying a lazy day in my pajamas and watching my favorite childhood television show “Girl Meets World.”

What is your favorite movie genre and why? My favorite movie genre would have to be classic family dramalike Pollyanna.  I just love the positive and cheerful message movies like this deliver and the life lessons that they teach.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I will be finishing a degree in medicine and entering a job in Pharmacy. Successfully balancing a family, career and community service will be key to my success in life. “Gemilut Chasidim” means acts of compassion or acts of kindness.  “Tikkun Olam” means “repairing the world”.  These two Hebrew phrases govern my future.

Most valuable lesson learned? Post Hurricane Katrina the most valuable lesson I learned was how precious life and family are and how material things are not so very important. As terrible as Katrina was, the unity it taught was a gift.Resilience is the hallmark of Mississippians.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? Just this year I met Samantha, who is a special needs student at my high school and is part of my cheer squad as a Sparkle cheer team member. When I met her I knew I could make a difference in her life but she ended up impacting mine.She showed me that everyone is the same we all just want unconditional love.

What motivates you? Competition is a large motivator for me since it pushes me out of my comfort zone. Whether it is dance, public speaking, piano or science fair competition,competition teaches me to have no regrets and to never give up.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? My Bat mitzvah would have to be my greatest non-academic accomplishment. Since I was four years old I have been learning to speak and read Hebrew in preparation for assuming my religious responsibilities as a Jewish young lady. This difficult and time honored process has molded me to be the person I am today and has instilled in me the values I uphold.

Best compliment you have ever received? I was one of three students, out of 1800 in my school,to be chosen by my principal and counselor committee to be the Advanced Placement curriculum representative for my high school. What an honor to be able to work with administrators to better our school academic environment! According to my principal, I was the all-around role model,since I could balance a 4.0 GPA,contribute to five leadership groups,and hold positions on varsity cheer and tennis team-all in an 8-hour day.It is always nice to be praised by your school’s leadership but this distinction really resonated with me because my peers now look to me for leadership as well.

Secret wish or dream? My dream is to be on Shark Tank since it is my favorite show. I love this television showcase because it proves that if you have passion for a small invention you can gain a worldwide fame. I would tell you my invention ideas but I don’t have a patent yet!

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? My Wedding Trunk incident comes to mind. My grandfather was dropping my family off at valet for a big wedding.He told me when I got out of the car that he would pop the trunk to retrieve our bags. In my new shoes I leaned into the trunk to get the purses and he forgot that I was there and took off and I fell into the trunk. The tips of my shoes were worn off while he drove off in front of the wedding party.

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? Normally, I drive really slow and cautiously.If given the opportunity I would love to turn it up a bit and drive a real racecar at the Indianapolis 500. I can hear the announcer “Isabella, start your engine!”

What is your superpower? My superpower is that I have the courage and determination to be me.  I am proud of the person I am becoming, as I master the jigsaw puzzle of life.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss MississippiProgram? Like everything else in life, you have to work hard to achieve what you desire. Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program has taught me to be optimistic and courageous.

Describe yourself in one word. LOYAL

A Fun Family Fact? A reality TV network could make a lot of money with “Keeping Up with the Rubensteins!”

Please write a short essay describing yourself to the people viewing the website. Let people know who you really are

Call me Bella.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast is my home and I am a junior at Ocean Springs High School.  A healthy body is crucial to me since I plan on having a career in the medical field and in the future will be encouraging others to do the same.  By participating in the Treasure Oaks National Championship Tennis Team and OSHS competition cheer teams, I keep physically fit. I believe staying in shape allows you to do more and helps you maintain a busy schedule.  I like to be involved!

On any given night the Rubenstein household could double as a television reality show. Home means fun times with my sister Elaina, my golden doodle dog Loxley, and my parents, Jay and Eden Rubenstein.  My dad is in the healthcare industry. Mom works in the clothing business. (It secretly kills her that I would rather watch grass grow than shop – I just tell her to bring home the cute stuff!) Elaina, 11 going on 30, gives me advice on makeup, great hairstyles, and keeps me posted on who’s dating whom in Ocean Springs. She reminds me daily to stay active on social media.  She will surely be CEO of Facebook as soon as she finishes middle school!  And of course Loxley really runs the Rubenstein show.  In the summer months we all love boating and waterskiing.  Did I say how much I love living on the water’s edge?! (LOL!)

Academics are really important to me too. I am honored to be included in Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and National Society of High School Scholars.  They don’t always predict success in life but I believe that grades are certainly one indicator of a person’s work ethic.  On the civic side, I love, love, love working with others. Through Youth Activation Committee, Cotillion Sorority, Student-to-Student, Sparkle Effect, Junior Civitan, Nursing Assistance, and The Mayor’s Youth Council, I am gaining experience now in anticipation of a career and lifetime of helping others.

Dance classes, piano guild, teaching Hebrew and redesigning dresses complete the major pieces of Bella’s life. Although I have received my certificate of approval from Little Sister Elaina’s School of Popularity and Social Acclaim, please know that my biggest accomplishment to date is that my friends entrust me with their personal thoughts and ideas because I really care about others.  I think our biggest undertaking in life is just to be there when a friend needs you.

Please write a short essay explaining your passion for your platform and your stance on the subject

Platform Name:  The Missing “PEACE”

Life can sometimes resemble a jigsaw puzzle.  In order to make the complex pieces of our existence fit, to be at peace within ourselves, and in order to lead successful lives, there are certain pieces of the life puzzle we must possess.  I call those three pieces: Sparkle, Spirit and Shine. Being Jewish and making that whole “faith thing” work at school and in social settings with my friends has made me stand on the principle that everybody deserves a place to fit in.  Leading the only Mississippi-based chapter of a national movement called “The Sparkle Effect,” I use my local celebrity as a varsity cheerleader to involve special needs girls in cheer routines, game performances and national camps.  I want every person I meet to find a group where they can be productive and help those around them SPARKLE.

Like the movie title suggests, everyone needs a “Leap of Faith!” Studying to read, write and speak Hebrew motivated me.  Everybody on the planet needs to find their own passionate commitment to some SPIRIT that gives them zest for life.  When others can see and feel that energy, the force is with you! Once you have mastered Sparkle and Spirit, it is now time to SHINE.  Setgoals that incentivize you to achieve.  A rigorous academic track in Physics, science fairs, and Advanced Placement (AP) Classes all remind me that we can always be better than we are.

Tzedakah is a Hebrew phrase that underscores the importance of giving to others and the peace that it brings to our individual lives. When I visit schools, speak at civic clubs, and engage the media, I invite everyone I meet to become a Tzedakah Soldier.  When we discover the Missing PEACE in our lives, we can neutralize ISIS, solve immigration problems, heal racial divides and even take a stab at solving world peace!  By finding the Missing PEACE, an Army of Caring can rise up and conquer the world.