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Catawba Student Named Miss Rowan County

Lenn Long Photography

Lenn Long Photography

Megan Braun, Writer

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Mary Scott Norris, a senior integrated marketing and communications major at Catawba, was recently crowned Miss Rowan County 2017, disputing the myth that beauty pageants are no longer relevant.

Norris decided to enter the pageant to earn scholarship money. The pageant does not just award prizes to the winner, though, which is why Norris has competed for the past three years. She has previously won the congeniality award, the swimsuit award, and placed as runner-up, each of which awards cash prizes to the winners to be used towards their education. During this year’s pageant, Norris won the talent award for her tap dance to “Hit Me with a Hot Note.” She also received a $1000 cash scholarship, a $1000 in-kind scholarship to Pfeiffer University, and various other prizes.

“I continued to compete because I continued to earn scholarship money,” she said. “Competing has taught me the importance of perseverance and has allowed me to grow and become a better person.”

Miss Rowan County is a preliminary to Miss North Carolina and ultimately Miss America, the nation’s largest scholarship provider to women. Norris will be competing in Miss North Carolina in June. When asked how she is preparing for the upcoming pageant, she said she is working her hardest to prepare for every phase of competition. The contestants will compete in private interview, evening gown, talent, on-stage question, and swimsuit competitions.

“Right now, I am working out for swimsuit, and practicing my talent and interview. I have several wardrobe pieces picked out, too,” she said.

Norris is very passionate about the Miss America Organization, saying that the pageant is not simply a “beauty pageant,” but focuses more on intelligence, physical fitness, and talent. The girls are judged not just on beauty, but on confidence, character, and accomplishments. The organization also places an emphasis on education, explaining the large amount of scholarships awarded each year.

“Today, there is an importance for women to be self-driven and have a mindset for being a servant leader in their communities,” Norris said.

Norris’ year will be spent promoting the Miss America national platform, Children’s Miracle Network, as well as her personal platform, “Go with Your Glow- Skin Cancer Awareness.” She will also log countless hours of community service, which includes serving residents of the homeless shelter, performing at nursing homes, and visiting local schools, to name a few. Norris said that the Miss America Organization has given her self-confidence and the ability to speak in front of people.

To follow Norris’ year as Miss Rowan County and her journey to Miss North Carolina, follow her on Instagram @missrowancounty_nc and on Facebook @missrowancounty2017.

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Catawba Student Named Miss Rowan County