**Editor's Update June 30, 2014: Congratulations to Lanie Hudson who has been named 2014 Miss South Carolina. Learn more at Miss-SC.org
Written by Lanie Hudson, Miss Anderson and 2014 Miss South Carolina Contestant
Photos: Lanie Hudson
My involvement in the Miss America Organization (MAO) has truly changed my life. Yes, you may think of it as another “pageant”, and beautiful girls parading on stage—but it is so much more than that. Did you know that the Miss America Organization is the LEADING scholarship provider for women in the world? Last year alone, MAO awarded over 45 million dollars in scholarships to women so they could further their education.
The Miss America Program not only encourages education, but also teaches women valuable life experiences that are hard to teach in a classroom - interviewing before a panel of judges, speaking in front of large audiences, performing a chosen talent onstage, and even gaining confidence in ones self to stand with poise on stage and off.
Most importantly, though, is the driving force behind MAO: its passion for service - something that sets it apart from the rest. With the Four Points of the Miss America crown, “Style, Service, Scholarship, & Success,” I truly believe that the service aspect is what makes this program so life-changing.
The Gift of Life, The Gift of a Lifetime