In this series of posts, we are asking Lakelanders to share what is inspiring them in the world of art and media. We hope sharing these recommendations will help you find your next great read or the perfect flick to add a little something extra to your week.

This week we are featuring Gracie Westerfield. Gracie is currently a local titleholder in the Miss Florida Scholarship Competition seeking to represent Polk County at the next Miss Florida pageant. The state pageant will take place in June 2020 in Lakeland. As a titleholder, she promotes her platform, “No Excuse For Abuse: Domestic Violence Advocacy.” When Gracie is not preparing for the Miss Florida pageant, she has a few things she is drawn to for inspiration. 

Song| “Rise Up” by Andra Day


This song is really special to me because it’s a reminder to keep your motivation high, even if your energy is low. It is okay to be exhausted; we are human. This song encourages me to keep going strong and don’t let anything get you down. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to! The music video is inspiring and shows that if we help each other through the struggles out of our control, we can take care of one another and lift one another up. The Miss America Organization has national philanthropy for Children’s Miracle Network. CMN Hospitals help to care for families and raise donations for medical bills and procedures to support the children. This song brings out the inner fighter in us.  

Podcast| “Crime Junkie” by Audiochuck on Spotify

When I need something to listen to while driving around for appearances, I love to listen to podcasts. I have a career goal of going to law school for intellectual property in the entertainment industry shortly after graduation. Although “Crime Junkie” deals with criminal law, it fuels me to educate myself on how to prevent violence in relationships and to speak on it … specifically, the “EXPERT ON: Domestic Violence” episode that discusses what you can do to help a friend stuck in a toxic relationship or what to look for to prevent the situation. Give it a listen!

Book| Be A Mermaid & be independent, be powerful, be free by Sarah Ford

This book was gifted to me by my friend Taylor and I fell in love with this quick read. The concept of a mermaid is that she is devoted to nature and land, strong to her morals and independence, a representation of passion, self-worth, and headstrong nature. If you are in need of a girl power reminder, this is the perfect book for you.

Movie| Legally Blonde 

Elle Woods is the ultimate inspiration in this movie. She faces hardships of being dumped, revamping her ambitions, and struggling with harassment in the presence of her case law work. Elle Woods rises above the stereotypical popular blonde sorority girl and makes a name for herself in her Harvard Law graduate school. She does not change for a man’s approval, she improves herself, and doesn’t let a relationship get in her way. Since I am pursuing a future degree in law, she is my guide of positive attitude and well-rounded involvement. 

Fitness | Youtube Channels: “The Fitness Marshall” and “Yoga with Adriene” 

These two workout channels inspire me for days I need to center myself or fit in a quick workout during a busy day. If I can’t make it to the gym, at-home workouts are key to feeling great and lowering stress levels. Morning meditation is great for beginner’s yoga in Adriene’s videos and helps me to start off my day feeling centered and present. For a more upbeat workout, I love participating in the Fitness Marshall’s workouts to pop artist Ariana Grande. Staying fit with a busy schedule is very beneficial to a balanced life. A healthy mind and body can create room to serve in other outlets of life.