Nine UCA students competed in the Miss Arkansas pageant this past weekend, with senior Ashton Purtle finishing the pageant in fifth place.
Purtle was crowned Miss UCA in November of 2015.
Sophomore contestant Kelli Collins chose Make-A-Wish as her platform.
“I am a Wish Granter and an Office-Angel through the Mid-South Chapter. Our mission is to bring hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening illnesses. I have worked closely with five Wish children,” Collins said.
“My goal for my platform is to bring more volunteers and sponsors to our chapter,” she said.
Collins said her favorite phase of the competition is the interview. She said she loves meeting people and sharing her own opinions.
She said she will compete the first week of August in another preliminary to go back to Miss Arkansas.
UCA alumna Alyson Tyler, another Miss Arkansas contestant, will pursue her Master’s of Accountancy in the fall at UCA. Tyler established a unique platform she called “Empowering musical minds.”
“I’ve personally seen what music can do first hand for individuals through language development or children, stress relief and anxiety control for adults and improved memory for the elderly,” she said. “My goal is to inform individuals about ways to incorporate music into their daily routines.”
Tyler said the most challenging thing about competing for Miss Arkansas was not knowing what the judges wanted.
“You prepare to be the best version of yourself possible, but they might be looking for a different personality type of look,” she said.
Tyler said her favorite thing about competing is getting to know the other girls that compete and creating lasting friendships.
“It’s amazing to be able to root for any of the girls at Miss Arkansas because you know they are all genuine, talented and smart,” she said.
She said she plans to compete for Miss UCA in November. Tyler said she has always wanted to represent her alma mater.
University of Arkansas student Savvy Shields won the pageant, followed by University of Arkansas student Savannah Skidmore as the first runner up. Recent Henderson State University graduate Brook Cornelius was the second runner up. Arkansas State University student Bailey Moses was named third runner up and Ashton Purtle was the fourth runner up.
image via missarkansas.org