Allegheny students are constantly finding new ways to involve themselves in the Meadville community, be it through volunteering, jobs, or academic work. Allegheny senior Meredith Semon integrates herself into the Meadville community through pageants.
Semon, a physics major from West Newton, Pa., was crowned Miss Meadville Area on Nov. 28. She is the first person to hold the title since the Miss Meadville Area Scholarship Organization became affiliated with the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.
“I love being a representative of Meadville from Allegheny College. It’s such a great school and it’s great for me to represent where I go to school, which is in Meadville,” said Semon in a statement to The Meadville Tribune.
This was Semon’s first time competing in a pageant in Meadville. However, she is no newcomer to the pageant scene.
Since she began competing four years ago, she has participated in over 30 pageants. She currently holds the title of Miss State Capitol in addition to her newest crown, which she will give up in January when a new winner is named.
Semon wanted to compete in pageants at a young age, but was too involved in competitive dancing to find the time. When she was 18, her local community festival introduced a Fair Queen Pageant. Semon decided to compete and won.
“Winning was one of the greatest times of my life because I thought I had reached my goal and I was done,” Semon said. She is far from done, though, as one of the judges approached her after the pageant and advised her to compete in the Miss America system.
“I absolutely love this system because it is not all about beauty,” Semon said. She explained that the Miss America pageant system highly values the interview and the talent portions of the competition.
Her preparation, which lasted for several weeks, involved brushing up on current events, practicing her talent, and improving her walk for evening wear and swim wear.
The Miss America system also requires that participants have a platform or cause to promote through the competition. Semon’s platform is “Check It Out: Children’s Reading Literacy.”
“The goal of my platform is to get children and families more involved in the excitement of local libraries to see how great they can be in helping a child throughout their early years or their education,” Semon explained.
As part of the initiative, she has created reading programs at local libraries near her hometown that focus on children ages 3-13. With her new title as Miss Meadville Area, Semon hopes to implement this reading program here in Meadville at the local library.
Semon will next represent Meadville in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. She encourages other Allegheny students to participate in pageants, not just for the experience but also for the scholarship opportunities. As Semon put it, “Who wouldn’t want help paying for their tuition?”
Semon’s new title is not only an accomplishment for her, but for the Allegheny community as well. Semon has introduced a new dynamic to the relationship between Allegheny and Meadville, and hopes for others to follow her lead.