She is poise, she is grace, and she is Miss TAMUK.
The 2014 Miss TAMUK Scholarship pageant at Texas A&M University- Kingsville (TAMUK) was held in Jones Auditorium on April 12 and featured 15 of the campus’ most promising female candidates.
The competition lasted 90 minutes and it was graduate student Sowmya Damidi who earned the crown based on her performance in the pageant and her philanthropic endeavors.
By winning the crown, Damidi became a leader and an ambassador for international students all over the campus.
“First, I am happy to win this title because it has strengthened my faith,” Damidi said. “It’s a message to everyone that the university is an open platform and that we all have equal opportunities.”
Coordinator of student activities, Loreal Robertson, served as a co-chair for the pageant and said she found the experience to be enlightening.
“I think it speaks volumes that our new Miss TAMUK is Indian because this is a predominantly Hispanic institution yet there are so many other cultures here and that’s something to be celebrated,” Robertson said.
Though winning is the main goal of the contestants, there are other prizes that can be just as important as the crown and title. For sophomore agricultural major Georgia Dunn, being first runner-up is an accomplishment that she is proud of, she said.
“I am very honored and humbled to have been chosen as the first runner up,” Dunn said. “The pageant is much more then just winning a crown; it is an experience that allows you to gain friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Dunn, who was emotional from the moment she was announced as being in the top three, was also chosen as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants and considers that to be an honor in itself, she said.
“Being chosen by the other girls is such an incredible feeling because I grew very close to all of the young ladies and it is such a great feeling to have them pick me,” Dunn said.
The pageant had many different categories such as casual wear and an evening gown competition and while these were beautiful to watch it isn’t the main focus of the program.
“We often forget that this is a scholarship pageant and that the emphasis is on academics and professionalism,” Robertson said.
Diversity was one of the main focuses that the contestants had to keep in mind during the competition and was one of the driving forces for Damidi during the competition, she said.
“To all the young girls: there is room for every person in America, no matter where you are from, what country you belong to or what your classification might be. When you believe in yourself you can live your dreams,” Damidi said.