Mary Beth Moore, Miss Troy University, is among the 48 contestants competing for the crown of Miss Alabama this week on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham.
Preliminary competition began on Wednesday and the pageant will wrap up on Saturday.
During the competition, contestants are judged in five areas including: talent, swimsuit, interview, evening gown and on-stage question. The contestants are also judged on participation with their platform, which is an organization or cause they support.
The Miss Alabama Pageant awards approximately $100,000 in cash scholarships each. In addition, the organization makes available in-kind scholarships from colleges and universities from throughout the state. The pageant winner will represent the state in the Miss America Pageant.
Moore, a sophomore dance major from Alabaster, is the daughter of TROY alumni Willie and Lauren Moore and is a graduate of Thompson High School.
Moore’s platform is “For Greater Bands,” spreading awareness about the benefits of fine arts and music programs.
“I spent my childhood in a household that focused on music, but I would never have expected for it to play such an important role in my life,” Moore said. “Studies have shown involvement in music programs improves people’s academic performances and teaches valuable life skills. Across the country, many fine arts programs are becoming victims of budget cuts and, in some areas, are being disbanded all together. Because of my participation in band programs, I have met so many people that have shaped me in more ways than I can say. I hope to be able to share my experiences with others so that they may, in turn, know firsthand the joy and happiness that comes with making music.”
For the talent portion of the competition, Moore will perform a tap dance to “Sing.” She has 18 years of dance training and 10 years of experience in competitive dance.
Moore credits her parents for her spirit of determination in pursuit of her dreams.
“I come from a loving and supportive family,” Moore said. “My parents have pushed me to dream big and never give up, even if my journey got rough. This has instilled strong sense of dedication within me. Their encouragement has empowered me to pursue my dreams of being a professional dancer and, in the future, becoming a dance studio owner. Also because of the examples set by my parents, I strive every day to positively affect at least one person’s life, because together we can build an efficient and effective community.”
Moore is not the only representation Troy University has at this week’s pageant. Angeline Kendall, a senior dance major from Hershey, Pa., is competing under the title of Miss Friendliest City. Kendall was second runner-up in last October’s Miss Troy University Pageant.
In addition, Yolanda Fernandez, who was the only Miss Troy University to ever win the crown of Miss Alabama, is serving as a judge for this year’s pageant. The TROY alumna went on to finish as the third runner-up in the 1982 Miss America Pageant.
Fernandez became spokeswoman and community awareness manager for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Police Department in 2014, after serving nearly 30 years as a television news reporter and anchor.