The Miss Sam Houston pageant will take place Feb. 8 in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom. 12 influential women of Sam Houston State University will compete for the title of “Miss Sam Houston” as well as $1,500 in scholarship funds, and $500 for their respective organization.
Miss Sam Houston hopefuls include Renata Griggs, Celi Burgos, Lesley Garcia, Catherine Tran, Stephanie Lopez, Mikayla Woolhouse, Brianna Beigel, Grace Freeman, Natalie Recio, Katie Gense, Maygan Williams, and Crystal Williams. The pageant will begin at 6 p.m. and will be emceed by Robert Richard and Erica Dotson.
Tickets for the event sold out in about five hours, but the LSC Theater will host a livestream at the time of the pageant for those who were unable to secure a ticket.
“When I first found out, I screamed on the inside, but I felt like I had to keep my composure,” Miss Alpha Kappa Psi Crystal Williams said. “I told all my family and friends, and it kind of hit me that this is a really big thing.”
This pageant is part of the Miss America pageant system, meaning whoever holds the title of Miss Sam Houston then goes on to compete in Miss Texas, who could then even go to Miss America. The first runner-up will be given the title “Miss Piney Woods” and has the opportunity to do the same.
“To me, Miss Sam Houston is not only a representative of this school, but also a representative of the city of Huntsville,” Williams said. “Somebody that is for the people. Somebody who doesn’t necessarily just hold a title, but whenever the community needs them, they’re available.”
Since last fall, the contestants have been practicing their parts in the pageant. In January, they began running the full show, which includes the opening number, spirit wear, swimwear, talent, evening wear and a question-and-answer portion. Each contestant is scored based off her performance in each category.
“Being Miss Sam Houston would mean that I can do anything I set my mind to—especially because I do not know the first thing about pageants,” Miss Alpha Chi Omega Brianna Beigel said. “I would have a greater opportunity to influence Sam Houston State and spread more awareness for domestic violence, which is also my platform for the pageant.”
Beigel is passionate about raising awareness and helping those affected by domestic violence— which is where she wants her award funds to go should she win the coveted title.
“It is important to me that, should I win, the funds go to the SAAFE House, a local shelter for anyone who has been affected by domestic violence,” Beigel said. “With the scholarship, I would get to continue my education at Sam Houston to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Nursing, and eventually become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.”
Each contestant went through an application and interview process before being selected to participate in the pageant. A panel of judges will ultimately decide who takes home the title of Miss Sam Houston, and all the awards and opportunities that come with it.
“Being Miss Sam Houston would mean a lot to me because I would be representing the criminal justice community on campus as well as the minorities here,” Miss Lambda Alpha Epsilon Catherine Tran said. “I’ve never participated in a pageant before so it’s all new to me. It was nothing like I expected. The girls are the friendliest people I’ve ever met and I’m glad to go through this experience with them.”
To experience the sold-out pageant and see who is crowned Miss Sam Houston, anyone can go to the LSC Theater on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. and watch the livestream.
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Best of luck, Crystal!