August 10, 2018
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  • Maryland Yacht Club recently named Pasadena resident Mia Sokol, seen here with Commodore John Kitka, as Queen of the Chesapeake.
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    Maryland Yacht Club recently named Pasadena resident Mia Sokol, seen here with Commodore John Kitka, as Queen of the Chesapeake.

Mia Sokol, Former Princess Of Bodkin Yacht Club, Now Reigns As Queen Of The Chesapeake

Sharon Mager
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July 10, 2018

Like all girls, 16-year-old Mia Sokol fantasized about being a princess, but Mia got to live the dream. She was princess of the Bodkin Yacht Club for two years, and then on June 23, at a pageant at the Maryland Yacht Club, judges chose Mia as the esteemed 2018 Queen of the Chesapeake, which reigns over all of the yacht clubs around the Chesapeake Bay.

“It’s a very formal process,” said Nicole Sokol, Mia’s mother, bursting with pride over her daughter’s achievements. During interviews a week before the contest, contestants discuss their achievements, leadership roles, and their involvement in their schools and community.

“The girls wear professional attire. They look like they’re ready to go on a job interview,” Nicole said. The contestants are judged on essays, the interviews, their commitments as princesses, their achievements, and their poise and presentation, since they will represent more than 30 yacht clubs.

The pageant itself, a 70-year tradition, is graceful and classy, Nicole said. The young women wear floor-length white gowns. Each contestant introduces herself and answers a few final questions.

Mia entered to her chosen song, “Home” by Phillip Phillips, representing her love for the water, boating, and the yacht clubs where she’s been “home” since she was a few years old.

“My father flew in from Florida, and my sister came from Michigan,” Nicole said. It was also a big deal for the Bodkin Yacht Club, too. They haven’t had a queen in 18 years, Nicole said.

“It’s a much bigger role,” acknowledged Mia, a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory School. In addition to attending balls, yacht club openings and other special events, Mia will mentor the yacht club princesses and she’ll continue to champion her chosen charity, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She’ll also be involved in a program giving “wounded warriors” a day on the bay.

All the little girls at the yacht clubs admire the princesses, Mia said. “We’re role models for all the teenage girls in the yacht club community,” she explained.

As a queen, she’ll have the opportunity, and responsibility to be a good influence and model grace, professionalism and kindness.

Giving speeches is part of the role, and she admits being nervous at first as a princess, but she’s gained confidence.

“I’m much more comfortable with public speaking,” she said, adding that that skill has helped her in other areas of her life and at school.

“I share how the year is going, thank the commodores and the people in the clubs, and I always talk about my charity – the Chesapeake Bay Foundation,” she shared.

Her passion for representing the foundation has grown over the past two years as she’s continued researching and learning for her presentations.

“I was reading on Facebook that the bay has improved — sea grass is growing,” she said with enthusiasm.

In 2016, she raised more than $1,000 with fundraisers and discovered that amount was able to remove about 600 pounds of trash from the bay. Last year, she raised more than $1,400. She’s excited that what she does through the fundraisers really matters.

“We still have a long way to go,” she admitted. She enjoys educating people about the bay, encouraging then to have their septic tanks on boats pumped out rather than dumping the waste into the bay, and conserving electricity on the boats.

When she’s not involved with the yacht clubs, she works as a lifeguard at the YMCA. She enjoys playing piano and was inducted into her school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society.

She’s also involved in the group Women in Medicine, and last year, she served as an intern at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in the surgical department.

As queen, Mia was awarded a $2,000 scholarship, to be held for her until she enrolls in college.


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