WILKES-BARRE — Sometimes being the oldest is best.
For Terry Martin, that’s the case.
The 60-year-old Tunkhannock resident was the oldest contestant in the Ms. Pennsylvania East Coast pageant and in the Ms. USA East Coast pageant.
Martin won both.
According to Lauren Handler, East Coast national director, Martin was crowned Ms. East Coast USA on July 24 in Whippany, New Jersey.
“It took courage for me to stand up on that stage at 60 years old and walk in front of all those people and judges,” Martin said. “I won the National Ms. USA East Coast title by taking a chance at a flashing moment of a suggestion and an off-the-wall thought. That is the beginning now of a new journey down the road of life for me.”
Martin said now that her pageants are over, she will embark on a new road — helping as many women as she can.
“Women who have lost hope, people who have lost hope,” she said. “People seem to lose their way and don’t know where to begin again. I want to help them find their path.”
With encouragement from her husband, Wayne, Martin decided to “take a shot” at the Ms. Pennsylvania title, saying the worst that could happen is her pride might “take a hit.” She decided to go for it.
“If you can think it, then you can do it,” she said. “I now know my ‘soul goal’ and purpose in life are attainable, and that is to help people all over the USA.”
Martin will continue to do motivational speaking to high schools, civic groups, businesses — anyone or any group interested.
“We all have a purpose for living or you can call it your ‘soul goal’ — the unique road and journey to follow,” she said. “No two individuals look exactly alike, the same goes for our purpose for living — no two people have the same purpose.”
In June 1998, a tornado swept through Lake Carey, damaging many homes in its path, including Martin’s. She struggled to get her life back together.
A mother of five children, Martin is the CEO/owner/founder of Mederi Cosmetics. She is also a medical esthetician and paramedical makeup artist, lay ministry speaker, author and radio talk-show host.
She is a motivational speaker and her passion and mission in life is to help women become empowered and confident by teaching them what she calls “making a change.”
“I decided that being alive was my top priority,” she said. “After the tornado, I crashed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I really couldn’t do anything.”
Martin went about the task of building her mind and her body.
“I felt like a newborn person,” she said. “Whomever you are, you’re capable of more,” she said. “What got me motivated was my desire to live.”
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.