Eleven of the university’s most dynamic young women will compete in the Miss USM Scholarship Pageant Saturday.
The pageant is an official preliminary to the Miss Mississippi pageant in July 2014. The woman who is named Miss USM 2014 will compete as the representative of The University of Southern Mississippi.
Shonice Musgrove, a junior business administration entrepreneurship major is competing in the pageant this year. She said this has been her goal since she was a freshman.
“Competing for the title of Miss University of Southern Mississippi has been one of my goals to accomplish, and I’m extremely thankful my dream has become a reality,” Musgrove said.
She added that she loves being able to share her platform with the audience. “If you are fortunate enough to win, you will have a louder voice to express what critical issue you are passionate about,” she said.
Arielle Dale, a junior dance performance and choreography major is a second-year contestant. She also said it has been her dream to represent USM.
“My dedication and persistence brought me back to compete this year. It’s always been a dream of mine to represent my university at Miss Mississippi,” Dale said.
Dale said she has been training for Miss USM since the 2013 Miss Mississippi pageant. “I was motivated to try again and find success,” she said. “Preparing for Miss Mississippi is a year round marathon and there is no time to slack off.”
Gavin Snyder, pageant director, said his favorite part is not the pageant itself, but the work behind the scenes.
“I love getting to meet and mingle with each of these incredible young ladies and see how they bond and grow as bright young women on our campus,” he said.
Contestants must be currently enrolled as a full-time student at USM at the time of the application and competition. All contestants must also be between ages 17 and 24, have a minimum 2.25 GPA and be in good standing with the university.
The 69th Annual Miss USM Scholarship Pageant will be Saturday, Oct. 12 at The Saenger Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the pageant will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 general admission.