Crowning accomplishment


Amaze Photography

My most recent win, Americas Ideal Miss Virginia.

Ellen Rosson, Editor-in-Chief

I first began pageantry after one of my close friends, Peyton Chesire, suggested that I give it a shot. During Covid, it seemed like a fun way to keep me occupied. Competing for the first time at Miss Louisa Flame, a local fundraiser pageant for the fire department, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. My pageantry platform gives me an opportunity to create positive change in my community. Through interacting with the contestants and judges it gives you the chance to form connections and network. Many just see the heels, the dress and the jewelry as it sways and sparkles across the stage. However pageantry is much more than just the day of experience, it takes dedication, drive and passion. Having first hand experience at the state, local and soon to be national level I am still no expert, but have learned lessons and ethics that I will carry throughout life. 

Starting off, I competed in locals for the High School America system with dreams of getting to nationals. Placing first runner up at Miss Central Virginia High, I was overjoyed but not satisfied. I then took home the win, competing for Miss Commonwealth High and gaining me a spot competing for Miss Virginia High School America.  It was through this win when I truly fell in love with pageantry and wanted to compete at higher levels. The realization that my dreams could be turned into a reality if I worked hard enough helped transform me into who I am today. When competing at Miss Virginia High School America, my first state competition, my nerves got the best of me and I didn’t perform my best, not making it to a top five placement. Rather than allowing not placing to discourage me I used it to fuel me to do better and try again. Everyone is quick to ask why I do pageantry, but then confused when I explain there is likely no monetary prize, it’s the opportunities and experiences that I value.

July, 2022, I tried for my first chance to get to the big stage at Virginia Association of Fairs through competing at the local level of Miss Louisa County Ag Fair. The morning of the pageant was a whirlwind and took a couple unexpected turns leaving me to do my own hair and makeup. As silly as it may sound, I created obstacles for myself that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. At a time when stress could have overwhelmed me because I am no makeup artist and my interview time was quickly approaching, I had the choice to back out or buck up. With the help of family and friends, I collected myself and was able to bring the title home. Right away I began working, sharing my platform “Reach-out” all over the county. Reach-out focuses on inclusion and forming connections with members of the community, especially isolated individuals such as members in the nursing home. I visited classrooms teaching on the importance of kindness and inclusion and attended events at the local nursing home. Although I am no Picasso, my favorite project was creating 200 homemade Valentines Day Cards for patients at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. 

February arrived and it was time for me to show off all the work I had put in preparing over the past six months. Competing against 27 other strong, empowering women for the title of Miss Virginia Association of fairs was the best experience I could have asked for. A rush of excitement, nerves, and peace flowed through my veins throughout the weekend. I walked away with a top ten placement, the Jensen Hoover Award and many new friends. Jumping out of my comfort zone and trying something new has opened dozens of doors and opportunities for me.

Pageantry takes having a village behind you for support and advice. Chastity Seay, Hester Fletcher, Savannah Marcum and Whitney Smith first started out as my directors/ coaches, but have turned into friends whose bonds will last a lifetime. No matter how much of a mess I am or how many times I am “running on Rosson time” they are always there to help me achieve my goals and gain success. 

Most recently, I competed for the title of America’s Ideal Miss Virginia Teen. I was unsure if I would be able to  compete because of the cost of the entry fee, but the support of the community rallied together and helped me to achieve my dream of going to nationals. Even when the future was foggy on whether I would be able to compete, I would still practice and give everything I had just in case I had the chance to compete. My practice did not go unnoticed as I won the title and the honor of representing the beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia and of course Louisa. I am so excited for what the future holds for me and the chance to compete at Nationals in July!

I encourage you to always be yourself and dance through life to your own music. Jump out of your comfort zone and you may just find a new passion for life.