Monday, June 4, 2012

Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow

I've rarely mentioned it... Actually, for many years, it was a joke and a little bit embarrassing.

In school, I was "the smart one." I was a life member of the National Honor Society, won a couple of scholarships, concentrated hard on the academics, and made outstanding grades. I designed the emblem for our high school’s senior sweater and had my picture in the paper often during my senior year.

So how did I also win the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow contest?

My friend, Marie Mazetta, was a homemaking student. When they announced that there’d be a test for the Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year, I had no intention of entering. But Marie wanted to, and she didn't want to go alone. So I finally agreed to go with her.

It was a multiple-choice test, and I really thought I'd blown off the answers. I was the first one finished, and I left. The part I hadn't counted on was that I'd been doing most of the household tasks for years: cleaning, shopping, budgeting, etc.
No one was more shocked than I when my name was announced as the winner!
I received a cute little gold pin and a certificate. And I thought it was a hoot!
However, about fifteen years ago, I decided to wear the pin to work to show it to someone, and I lost it. I hadn't realized how much that silly thing meant to me until it was gone. After searching for several years, and finding several that looked the same but were a larger size, I finally located another on eBay and purchased it.
The 'new' one is now back in the shadow box where I'd kept my original one, and my world seems complete once more.

Silly, the things that seem to define you. I never recognized that this award, another in the long string of awards I've won over the years, actually mattered to me. Perhaps, it was because it was so unexpected. Perhaps it was because it demonstrated a different skill set than I was normally recognized for. But, for whatever reason, that silly little pin became more precious as the years went by.

I ran across the ‘wrong’ ones one day shortly before Christmas a couple of years ago and realized that I knew women who embodied the values measured by the competition: “family relationships, spiritual and moral values, child development and care, health and safety, utilization and conservation, money management, recreation and use of leisure time, home care and beautification, community participation, and continuing education” (Copied from the Betty Crocker website My sister-in-love and two nieces had truly created homes where friends and family gather, where children are welcome, where nurturing and love can be found.

So I decided that each of them should have one of those little pins to remind them of what a special gift ‘homemaking’ is and how much I loved and admired them for doing so for their families.

Isn’t it strange how things we thought were unimportant take on significance as we get older? Is there anything in your life experience that has become more important in later years?


  1. I came across my 1962 Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow pin this week (12/12/12). No way was I a future homemaker: in homemake class I sewed an apron I was hand stitching to the skirt I had on; and when goofing off and tossing biscuits to a friend in cooking class, had one go awry, stick to the ceiling, and then loosen to fall near the head of our teacher. All of us were surprised when in school assembly it was Linda Gibson's name called as winner. All of us knew it should have been Alice Kirksey winning!!! In today's vernacular - it was a LOL moment.

  2. I know how you felt, Linda. But today we belong to a pretty exclusive club. Congratulations!

  3. Hi, it is now 5 years after you wrote this blog, that I now have come across. I wanted to share with you my Betty Crocker story and also I was curious what year you won your pin in. I am now trying to see if I can figure out what awards where given for different years.
    My story: I won the Betty Crocker test for my high school in 1977, the last year the scholarship program was active. I did not receive a certificate or a charm. I always wondered why. I was proud of winning it. I was a good student and a great test taker and took one class in Home Economics my senior year as a light class to relax in. I learned all the skills I knew for the test from living with my mom my 17 years of life.
    Recently I was once again thinking about this Betty Crocker title I won, since it is my 40th year out of high school. I am a researcher at heart and decided to try to find out more about the Betty Crocker title.
    I found out so much and saw that there were 6 types of awards given. The first year, 1955 a brooch with the year on the back, then the same brooch without a year, then a large heart pin, then a smaller heart pin, then a charm with Homemaker of the Future, then the same charm with Future Leader of America. The last charm was a different named scholarship since boys could take the test also, in the last 3 years of the program.
    I contacted General Mills and asked if they knew if all winners were given the charm in the last year. A wonderful person in the achieves department told me that she could make a certificate for me, if I wanted it. I told her YES, I wanted one! Then she told me that she found the charm I should have received and sent that to me also!
    I then have been looking on the internet to try to purchase the other awards. I now have one from 1955, I have the larger heart pin, a charm with "Homemakers" on the back and the last charm given out - with "Future Leaders", that General Mills sent to me. I also have seem several blogs like yours of women that won the title also. I just wanted to let you know I am honored to be in the same group with you.