BY JESSICA SCHAEFFER
Waiting for the newly crowned Miss Pierce County to arrive, I feel like I am getting ready to meet a famous person. As she walks in the room, she is full of light and singing a song. The 21-year-old communication major from University of Washington Tacoma greeted me with a hello and a hug.
The Miss Pierce County pageant was held earlier in March of 2013, which is a preliminary pageant to Miss Washington and ultimately the Miss America pageant.
“We do not know who is going to win, it is completely up to our five judges, they pick who they think will best represent our county.” Executive Director, Kenny Hayes, said.
Twelve girls were trying for the title, and Haley was selected out of all of them to represent Pierce County all year long. “Haley was one of the most friendliest girls. I instantly connected with her and her bubbly personality. I am so proud of her.” said Shannon Touy, who competed last year as well, as this year, with Haley.
As we were sitting in the large church auditorium we were interrupted by a few people. A trend that I saw was that everyone single one of them said, “Thank you so much and I love you girl.”
Haley does a lot with her home church at Champion Centre, which has three locations. She has been involved ever since she was born.
“Haley is definitely a great pick, she cares so much about our community, and we like people who care about us and not just their title.” said Haley’s boyfriend Jonathan.
The competition consisted of five different categories; private interview, swimsuit, talent, on-stage question, and evening wear.
“Talent is by far my favorite! I have been singing since the womb. When I sing I feel like people get to see my heart and passion for music!” Haley said.
Her parents, who I was only able to briefly talk to, had nothing but encouraging words about the program. They were beyond proud of their youngest daughter, by watching their reactions to my questions, you could tell where Haley got her “light” from.
Three months from now, Haley will be competing at the Miss Washington pageant which takes a lot of preparation to get ready for. I asked if she felt she was ready for Miss Washington and I was surprised with how confident she was.
“Yes. Everyday I am doing all I can to make sure I am presenting the best ‘Haley’ at state three months from now. I workout everyday and eat healthy. I have to make sure I am up to date on current events, and doing my best to give the community what they need,” Haley said.
Some may ask what does it take to hold a local title. Well, I have an answer. Haley explained to me that she does multiple events during the week. She has learned how to balance school and work as well.
“I represent and serve my community in any way I can! This weekend alone I will be judging the Mr. Curtis pageant at Curtis High School, singing and hosting the Special Olympics, along with speaking engagements that support my platform. It’s busy- but so worth it,” Nicholson said.
She reminded me how rewarding it is to be apart of such a great organization.
She is in a family with one younger brother and an older sister, all of which are attending college at the same time. She explains how important it was that she won because she received almost $8000 dollars in scholarship to pay for her college. At other local pageants winners receive between $1000 and $8000 dollars. “It really helps, because we want the best education for our young women (Contestants). We want them to succeed and have the college experience they deserve.” vice president Cheyel Wolf explained.
I was curious to know some future goals after Miss Pierce County. Whenever I think of Miss America I think of a super model who doesn’t do a whole lot after her reign. She went on to tell me about how she wanted to complete her bachelors in Communications and work within a non-profit organization. She will continue to sing, because it is her passion.