By Heather Greene, a graduate assistant in the Office of Public Relations
On January 18, former Miss JSU Beth Milam crowned Sara Beth Drake as the new Miss JSU 2013.
Eighteen contestants competed for the crown, making it one of the largest preliminary pageants in the state this year.
Drake tap danced her way into first place in the pageant’s talent competition in addition to winning the overall crown.
On expressing her excitement about winning, Drake said, “I didn’t see it coming! I was just content with placing in talent.”
Although this is her first year at JSU, a fast track program at Drake’s high school allowed her to complete 48 credit hours through Wallace State Community College thereby giving her sophomore status.
As all contestants are required to select a charity or cause to represent, Drake’s platform is Improving Literacy Throughout Your Community. Drake explains that she selected this platform after working at her parents’ law firm last summer and having her eyes opened to the reality of illiteracy present today.
“Literacy is just such a huge factor in our state today,” says Drake. “It is not just the adults in our state, but it is also the children and that’s where it needs to start… children need to start learning how to read very early.”
Drake will be partnering with First Book, an organization that raises money for books to give to parents of newborn babies at hospitals to start the learning process early on. She plans to have a book drive and raise money for First Book with the assistance of various organizations around campus such as SGA, the Senate, and Freshman Forum. Drake will also read weekly to children in the community at the Jacksonville Public Library.
Drake is excited about working on campus during the year ahead. “I really want to get more people involved in more organizations around campus. Our campus has so much to offer, and I just want to get every student involved,” she says.
In June, Drake will compete with other young women across the state for the title of Miss Alabama. However, this will not be her first trip to the state competition. Drake won the title of Miss Wallace State 2012 and was a contestant in the 2012 Miss Alabama pageant last June.
Interestingly, Drake had just crowned her successor for Miss Wallace State the Sunday before the Miss JSU pageant.
Drake explained that meeting Beth Milam, former Miss JSU, at the Miss Alabama pageant last year helped draw her to JSU in her college search, in addition to the campus size and community surroundings.
She values the experience she gained from the Miss Alabama pageant last year and feels it has helped her to be better prepared for this year’s competition.
Drake is a member of the Marching Ballerinas, the GoGo basketball dance team, Phi Mu, and Freshman Forum. She describes herself as a “risk-taker” and “outdoorsy” in her hobbies.
“I love to skydive,” said Drake. She also lists rock climbing, hiking, dancing, and reading among her other activities.
Drake looks forward to representing JSU and the Jacksonville community at Miss Alabama.
JSU would like to wish Sara Beth an amazing year as Miss JSU and the best of luck at Miss Alabama!
For more information about the Miss JSU pageant, visit the JSU website.
This article originally appeared in the "Town and Gown" of the Jacksonville News.