Meet Miss Troy University 2024: Sarah Jane Houston

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Sarah Jane Houston can be described in many ways: author, singer, dancer and philanthropist, but she wasn’t always the confident girl she is now.

“I really wish that I could go back and talk to middle school Sarah Jane because we are completely two different people,” Houston said. “I was so insecure and shy and I didn’t have very many friends. So getting up on stage in front of people and putting myself in a position to be judged did not sound like a fun idea.”

However, when an opportunity came up to help her middle school band, Sarah Jane found herself doing something she never thought she would do: walking the stage in her school’s fundraiser pageant.

“I ended up walking away with so much more confidence and learning so much about myself. Overall, it felt incredible to be able to grow in that way instead of what I thought would be a negative experience.”

Even though she did not win her first, or even her second pageant, Sarah Jane kept trying until she finally won the title of Miss Albany’s Outstanding Teen.

“I felt really proud of myself because I had worked really hard to win my first pageant,” Houston told TrojanVision. It didn’t really come easy to me, so I had to put in an effort every single day in order to see the results that I wanted.”

When she moved to TROY for college, she knew that she wanted to represent her school.

“Georgia did raise me, but Alabama, and specifically Troy University, has made me into the person that I am today. I have learned so much about myself, especially living on my own here at Troy University that I don’t think I could have learned anywhere else.”

Sarah Jane Houston, Miss Troy University 2024

It’s not just sashes and crowns for this pageant queen. Her platform, “See it, Be it” advocates for representation in literature, a cause that Houston says it near and dear to her heart.

“I was born with an extreme visual impairment that I still have to this day,” Houston explained. “I was diagnosed as legally blind as an infant and have endured four eye surgeries to correct my vision and I still lacked peripheral vision to this day. Growing up with this extreme visual impairment limited my sight and also the amount of places that I saw people like myself succeed. As the oldest child and an extremely diverse family I also saw the lack of representation that my brother’s face, and how our environment gave me a sense of determination to advocate for those in similar positions.”

Houston is also an accomplished author.

“I’ve been able to launch a children’s book titled ‘Janeybug’s Big Day.’ It’s also become featured school curriculum across the state of Georgia, and it’s just been such a cool experience.”

Houston will now turn her attention this summer’ Miss Alabama competition where she will represent Troy University.