Alexis Fagan: A Journey of Resilience, Advocacy, and Aspirations

By Mikey Eckstein


Meet Alexis Fagan, a 23-year-old Detroit native and graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Global and Cultural Perspectives. Currently working as a Behavioral Therapist aiding children with autism, Alexis has ambitious plans to apply to medical school after her reign as Miss Michigan USA.

Passionately sharing her story of losing her father to gun violence at the tender age of 8, Alexis is dedicated to inspiring at-risk children in Michigan. Beyond personal outreach, she collaborates with state government officials and organizations, focusing on supporting families affected by gun violence.

An active Best Buddies volunteer since the age of 14, Alexis serves on the Advisory Board for Best Buddies Michigan, working closely with local, state, and national staff to promote inclusion. Her goal as Miss Michigan USA is to create an inclusive and empowering environment for women, fostering a space where they can share their passions and stories.

Reflecting on her pageant experiences, Alexis shares a humorous yet embarrassing moment from her early teens when she blanked during an on-stage introduction. Despite the setback, she has also cherished unforgettable moments, especially walking on stage at the Miss USA pageant for the first time.

In the realm of advice, Alexis advocates for intentional social media use, emphasizing authenticity and mindful consumption. She encourages young girls to be aware that social media often portrays only highlights and suggests taking breaks when needed.


The best advice she's received echoes Maya Angelou's wisdom, urging her to stop striving for perfection and to embrace learning from mistakes. Alexis believes in the continuous journey of self-improvement and making wiser choices as one gains wisdom.

Outside of her advocacy and pageant experiences, Alexis shares her love for sports, particularly football, basketball, and tennis. Additionally, she has a deep connection with the nonprofit organization Best Buddies, appreciating its mission to foster friendships, employment, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

When it comes to music, Alexis's playlist includes tracks like "Karma" by Taylor Swift, "Focus" by Bazzi, "Right Back" by Khalid, "Blazed" by Ariana Grande featuring Pharrell, and "Race My Mind" by Drake.

I recently just a chance to to speak with her, here is a bit of our conversation:

ME.What do you want to achieve as Miss Michigan USA?

AF: I knew before I won the title that I wanted to be an actively involved Miss Michigan USA. My goal is to foster an inclusive and empowering environment where women can share their passions and stories. I collaborate closely with Best Buddies on inclusion and speak openly about losing my father to gun violence at a young age, so other children know they can demonstrate resilience and pursue their dreams despite adversity. I want to achieve a meaningful impact and provide encouragement to all those I encounter during my time as Miss Michigan.

ME: What advice would you give young girls in this social media obsessed era we’re living in?

AF: It's important to be intentional with your social media presence. Your profiles should accurately reflect who you are and showcase your personality, interests, and passions. However, remember that social media often only shows highlights from people's lives, not the full picture. Being mindful of this will also be beneficial when being on social media. It’s easy to fall into a comparison narrative when you’re looking at everyone else’s highlight reel. Social media is not everything, be sure to take time away from it when needed

ME: What are your most embarrassing moments as a pageant contest?

AF: I was 13 years old competing in a pageant that required me to do an stage introduction. I had practiced my introduction repeatedly for months, but when it came time to deliver it, I said the first sentence and then forgot everything else. I immediately said "Thank you, my name is Alexis" and walked off stage. The experience was not only embarrassing for me, since I knew the introduction so well, but also disappointing. We all laugh about it now but it was definitely embarrassing.

ME: What was your most amazing moment at a pageant contest?

AF: I've had many memorable and amazing experiences competing in pageants. Since I started at a young age walking on stage at the Miss USA pageant for the first time stands out.

Stepping into the spotlight on that stage was the culmination of a lifetime of hard work, and it was an unforgettable, cherished moment. It was unforgettable walking on stage at the Miss USA pageant for the first time. After a lifetime of preparation, that long-awaited moment felt incredibly meaningful and is something I will always cherish.


Looking ahead, Alexis Fagan plans to embark on a journey of academic pursuits. She aims to start studying for the MCAT in January, with the goal of taking the test in the summer of 2024.

Her ultimate aspiration is to become a pediatrician, and she intends to apply to medical schools this year, hoping to commence her studies in the fall of 2025. Prior to this, she plans to continue her involvement with Best Buddies, engage in more research, travel extensively, and savor the joys of life.