Mrs. Nevada-America’s Inspiring Journey as a CASA Advocate

From the pageant stage to making a difference in children's lives

Mrs. Nevada-America 2023, Tomilynn Clark, is not your average beauty pageant queen. While she has made an impact in the world of pageantry, it's her unwavering commitment to her role as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) that truly distinguishes her. This native Nevadan's inspiring journey is deeply rooted in her personal experiences and her dedication to making a difference in the lives of children.

After growing up in Ely, Nevada, Tomilynn eventually became a wife and mother of four children. Her career took her through the ranks of mortgage lending. Now, Tomilynn, along with her husband Charles, directs and owns a private equity firm named Infinite Approval LLC, focusing on non-profit housing and projects. However, it's her role as a CASA that takes center stage in her life. Over the past year, she has dedicated over 300 volunteer hours to this essential cause.

Tomilynn's journey into the world of beauty pageants was inspired by her daughter who had been competing for several years. Witnessing the positive impact that pageantry had on her daughter's ability to contribute to the community, Tomilynn decided to use her own voice for a greater purpose.

Raised in foster care for the first seven years of her life, Tomilynn understands the trauma of feeling disposable and abandoned. Her life story is one of resilience, and she feels it's her calling to prevent other children from enduring similar pain or, at the very least, to minimize their suffering.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of my pageant journey has been the platform it provides for me to speak at various events," Tomilynn shares. "Through my platform, I raise awareness about how individuals can make a tangible difference in society from the ground up. I educate people on becoming CASA volunteers, emphasizing that they can change a child's life by being their voice in court — a role driven solely by compassion and volunteerism."

As Mrs. Nevada-America, Tomilynn's primary goal is to recruit and retain as many CASAs as possible, particularly in Clark County, where the need is urgent. Currently, there are only 250-400 CASAs available for cases, while 1000 are required. Research has shown that children with CASAs are more likely to find safe, permanent homes, excel in school, and are less likely to re-enter foster care. CASA/GAL also addresses critical issues, including child sex trafficking, helping victims of the opioid crisis, and advocating for children with incarcerated parents.

Tomilynn's journey serves as a powerful reminder that kindness, friendliness, and compassion can drive meaningful change in the world. Her achievement of winning the Congeniality title and securing a top-six position at Mrs. America exemplifies the values that pageantry should represent — an opportunity to make a positive impact on society.

For Tomilynn Clark, Nevada is more than just a place to reside; it's her home, a symbol of hope, dreams, and enduring memories. Her love for the state's unique charm mirrors her commitment to her community and the people she tirelessly serves. In her, Nevada has found a shining example of what it means to rally behind one another, both in the best of times and the worst of times, creating a place where warmth and hospitality leave a lasting legacy.

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