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The Road to Miss Louisiana

By Zachary Araki
On June 11, 2018

2018 Miss Southeastern Alyssa Larose rehearses her dance for the talent portion of the upcoming Miss Louisiana Pageant. Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

From a workout regime to talent rehearsal, 2018 Miss Southeastern Alyssa Larose prepares every day to represent the university at the 2018 Miss Louisiana Pageant.

The pageant is scheduled for June 21-23 at the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre. According to the Miss Louisiana Organization’s website, 33 women will compete for the crown.

The winner of the Miss Louisiana Pageant will go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant. To date, no Louisiana representative has won the Miss America Pageant. The last Miss Southeastern competitor to win the Miss Louisiana Pageant was Phyllis Kelly in 1978, and the last winner who attended the university was Lacey Sanchez in 2014, who was the 2010 Miss Southeastern. 

“I’ve grown up watching the Miss Louisiana and Miss America pageants, and I know many women who have and still compete in the organization,” said Larose. “A few years ago, I would not have imagined myself being the person I am today and being a contestant in the Miss America Organization, but here I am, and I’m ready to make Southeastern proud.”

After Larose won the Miss Southeastern pageant in December 2017, Recreational Sports and Wellness provided personal trainer Ian MacKenzie to help her prepare for her next competition. For Larose, preparation for the upcoming pageant includes working out at least three times a week with MacKenzie as well as working out on her own time, sometimes with friends.

Larose said, “Eating healthy and working out daily is important because as Miss Louisiana you are an advocate for healthy living, and I also want to make sure I look and feel my best during the pageant. Besides maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there has been a lot of shopping going on, which is fun but can be hard work too.”

Larose cited her mother as her greatest support in this process.

“We have experienced so much together since being crowned, and I’m so blessed to have her by my side throughout this journey,” said Larose. “I want to do well at Miss Louisiana to make my family, Southeastern and Hammond proud.”

According to Larose, she competed in the Miss Southeastern Pageant to become more involved on campus and leave a legacy. Larose’s activities on campus include joining the Student Government Association, being an ambassador for the college of education and being a Division for Student Affairs leadership ambassador.

“This led me to join more organizations and committees,” said Larose. “My leadership skills and campus involvement had met levels I would have never imagined, but I still wanted to do more.”

Competing in scholarship pageants since she was four years old, Larose made connections in the pageant world that also influenced her decision to compete.

“Through the years, I have met, and made friendships with, many women who have competed in the Miss Louisiana and Miss America Organizations,” said Larose. “These women and their dedication to the organizations and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals influenced me to compete for the title of Miss Southeastern.”

Larose chose educating about and finding a cure for juvenile diabetes as her platform. Larose’s work towards this platform includes holding a fundraiser, “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Giant Jamboree,” on April 23. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 “National Diabetes Statistics Report” states that about 30.3 million people in the United States had diabetes in 2015. The same report estimates that about five percent of those people had Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes.

Whether or not Larose wins, she aims to make a lasting impact.

“I hope that no matter how it goes in Monroe that week that I can come back and expand the Miss Southeastern Pageant to its fullest potential,” said Larose. “I want to get more sponsors and publicity for the pageant and even more opportunities for future title holders.”

Larose compared her participation in the Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2013 to her next competition where she aims to be more prepared.

“I did extremely well for my first time and won non-finalist talent,” said Larose. “However, I did not really know what to expect going into it. I just remember feeling so proud of how my interview with the judges went. It’s important to me to be very organized and not have to do any last minute things so I can go to Monroe without any worries.”

Larose shared her ambition for competing in the Miss Louisiana Pageant.

“I want to advocate for my platform and CMNH on a higher level,” said Larose. “I want to travel the state and make connections with people from all over. One of my goals would be to build a good relationship with the Louisiana legislators and Governor Edwards so I can be a voice for all Louisianians. Also, once crowned as Miss Louisiana, I would get the opportunity to compete at Miss America. That would be a total dream come true.”

2018 Miss Southeastern Alyssa Larose works out at the gym in preparation for the upcoming Miss Louisiana Pageant. Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

 

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