Smith wins Miss Spirit of AmericaPublished 11:37am Thursday, June 26, 2014
Megan Smith was named Miss Spirit of America during the annual pageant this weekend.
As the winner, Smith has qualified to compete in the 2015 Miss Alabama Pageant in June 2015.
Smith, who is a 2012 graduate of Hartselle High School, will is no stranger to the Miss America organization. She was has been a top 10 finalist in the Miss Alabama Pageant in 2013 and 2014 and was the local representative for the Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen program in 2012.
In an interview prior to this weekend’s pageant, she was unsure if she was going to compete in the Miss Spirit of America Pageant. However, she did want to go ahead and win a qualifier early in the pageant season.
“It was so much easier last year after I had won the Miss Center Point Pageant,” Smith said. “The first year, I was just trying to make sure I had a everything ready for the Miss Alabama Pageant. This year, I felt like I was more prepared and it wasn’t as stressful on me.
“I would be great to win the Spirit of America Pageant so I could represent my home, as the local representative.”
That wish came true this weekend for Smith.
Two from Hartselle compete in Miss Alabama for the second straight year
The Miss Alabama Pageant was well represented once again by Hartselle, as Hartselle grads and longtime friends Smith and Elizabeth Wesson competed for the second year in a row.
Smith finished in the top 10 for the second time in as many pageants. This was the fourth and final pageant for Wesson.
“It was a bittersweet experience for me,” Wesson said about her final time. “I have 46 new friends that I didn’t have before this weekend. It has been a rewarding experience for me.”
Smith said she had no idea she was going to be selected again in the top 10.
“After making the top 10 last year, I really had no idea that I was going to make the top 10 again,” Smith said. “After the interview, I really had no idea if I had done a great job. All I did was talk politics with the judge during the interview. I guess I connected with them.
“It was a little bit easier this year,” Smith said. “After doing the Miss America’s Most Outstanding Teen in high school and Miss Alabama last year, I was much more comfortable this year. They change it up a little every year, but it definitely helps to have been a part of Miss Alabama before.”
Wesson learns to embrace herself
Wesson said she is indebted to the organization for everything it has done for her, from the more than $15,000 in scholarship money she has won to the personal development that she has seen through the organization.
“I am grateful for everyone who believed in me,” Wesson said. “It’s amazing when judges, volunteers, organizers and others say they believe in you to the point that they give you a crown, a title and scholarships.
“They have poured so much of themselves into me and they’re all volunteers. No one takes a salary to do what he or she does. They do it because they love it.
“The only regret that I have is that I didn’t join the Miss America organization before the age of 20.”
Wesson said being a part of the pageant has helped her grow and learn who she is as a person.
“The organization helped me embrace who I was as an individual,” Wesson said. “I didn’t have to sing a Whitney (Houston) song during the talent competition. I didn’t have to wear the white dress during the evening gown competition. I didn’t have to be perfect in the interview. I just learned how to try and be myself.”