Former Miss Michigan to appear on newest season of 'Survivor'
Local fans of the reality show “Survivor” will recognize Wyandotte native and former Miss Michigan USA 2013 Jaclyn Schultz as a contestant on the 29th season of the reality competition, “Survivor: San Juan Del Sur — Blood vs. Water."
Her boyfriend Jon Misch, a Waterford native and former football player at Michigan State University, will appear with her on the show, which pits a group of contestants isolated in the wilderness against each other to compete for a $1 million prize. The couple are one of nine competing on the CBS show, which debuts at 8 p.m. Sept. 24.
Schultz said she decided to take part in the show because it’s the ultimate challenge — physically, mentally and socially — in the most extreme conditions.
“I live by the motto ‘never stop learning and growing as a person,’” she said. “This was definitely an experience that helped me grow a lot and realize more of my strengths and weaknesses as an individual and as Jon's partner. I knew the experience would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
She said she looks forward to watching the show with friends and family every Wednesday, and is both excited and nervous about reliving her time on the island.
“It will be bizarre to watch myself in that environment, stripped of literally everything, no Internet, phone, food, shower, makeup — no one to trust 100 percent but Jon,” she said. “I had a lot of highs and lows. It was hands down the most challenging thing I've ever done.”
Schultz graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2006. She then graduated from Central Michigan University and went on to earn a master’s degree from Michigan State University.
She currently lives in Las Vegas, where she works as a media buyer at SK+G Public Relations.
She is the daughter of Wyandotte City Councilman Donald Schultz.
Her Wyandotte pride continues to shine.
“Just like when I was Miss Michigan, I'm always proud to represent my hometown, Wyandotte,” she said. “It's different this time though. I'm not on a glamorous Miss USA stage, I'm literally living in the jungle stripped of everything.”
But she said she’s confident that she always can count on support from people in her beloved hometown.
“I know everyone in Wyandotte who has supported me from day one will continue to do so, regardless if it's a gown or if I'm covered in mud,” she said. “Love the people! Go Bears!”
During her time on the pageant circuit, Jaclyn Schultz made Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome her cause. The congential condition causes a woman’s uterus to be underdeveloped or absent and affects one in 4,500 women, including Schultz herself.
She has served as spokeswoman for the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation as she works to spread awareness and to provide support to girls and women struggling with acceptance of the diagnosis.
If they win the money on “Survivor,” the couple said they plan to use it to adopt a child or hire a surrogate.
“Survivor: San Juan Del Sur” premieres at 8 p.m. Sept. 24 on CBS.