Sophomore Katelynn Trout, Miss Alpha Chi Omega, earned the title of Miss Sam Houston at the 2020 Miss Sam Houston Scholarship Pageant on Thursday. The pageant offered 12 women an opportunity to raise awareness for their social impact initiatives and make a difference on campus and in their community.
The competition was divided into five categories: personal interview, spirit wear, talent, evening wear and an on-stage interview. Each category counted between 15 and 30 percent of the total score. Trout’s ensembles included an orange business suit with a blue cape, a jazz dance routine and a glittery gold evening gown.
She didn’t pursue this title just to gain confidence; she wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. The focus of her social impact initiative was to empower women and help them overcome domestic violence.
Women aged 16-24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence, with 53% of that group having been abused by a current or former partner according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I would like to implement a hotline or a safe place for students and faculty who have experienced domestic violence so that they can get help and feel safe,” Trout said. “It is important that we encourage healthy relationships on campus.”
Trout had already been making strides toward this goal through her interactions with others, including her peers in the contest. Rather than viewing them as competition, she formed deep and lasting friendships with them.
“I enjoyed being a contestant because [the other contestants] are super cool and really fun to hang out with,” Trout said during the personal interview portion of the pageant. “They all have completely different personalities, so bringing us all together, we have definitely created an awesome bond.”
It was clear by the end of the pageant that her fellow contestants felt the same about her and each other. When Miss Piney Woods and Miss Sam Houston 2019, Alyssa Allen and Caroline Wakefield, crowned their successors, Jordan Johnson and Katelynn Trout, the other competitors cheered and gathered around them for a group hug.
In addition to their titles, the winners received educational awards, a one-semester meal plan from SHSU Dining Services, an award for their sponsoring organizations and a chance to compete in the 2020 Miss Texas America Competition in June. These women will also serve as role models and spokespeople for the university until the 2021 pageant.