The Valdosta Daily Times
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Miss Valdosta State University Sara Whetsell. “I spent a lot of hours in the dance studio.”
Born and raised in Thomasville, Whetsell, 20, has always dreamed of accomplishing great things since a young age.
A 2010 graduate of Brookwood High School, Whetsell developed an outstanding love for beauty pageants in 2008, when she won Miss Thomasville Outstanding Teen.
The Miss Thomasville Outstanding Teen Pageant is a preliminary pageant for Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant, allowing girls to compete ranging from ages 13 to 17 years old.
In 2009, Whetsell chose to compete for the title of Miss Albany’s Outstanding Teen, another preliminary pageant for Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant.
With hard work, determination and confidence, Whetsell wowed the judges and won, becoming Miss Albany’s Outstanding Teen.
Whetsell incorporated her passion for the performing arts into her competition strategy. Not only is she a graceful individual on stage, she is a talented and driven dancer.
After Sara turned 18, she enrolled at Valdosta State University, and became heavily involved in the VSU Red Hots Dance Team.
“I did not do miss (pageants) after age 18,” Whetsell said. “I decided I wanted to get back into competing.”
Sara did just that and decided to go out for the Miss Valdosta State University Pageant last November, for the 2013 title.
“There hasn’t been a Miss VSU in six years,” Whetsell said. “I decided, why not?”
The role of Miss VSU is to be an ambassador and public-relations representative for the university, the Miss America Organization and Children’s Miracle Network. She is encouraged to be confident and to embrace her outer, as well as inner, beauty.
Familiar with these requirements, Whetsell felt a sense of comfort and brought a unique and commanding presence to the judges. She was acknowledged for her intelligent personality, talent and strong sense of elegance, crowning her Miss Valdosta State University 2013.
“I danced to 'River Deep, Mountain High,'" Whetsell said. “It was a jazz dance. Kelli Fields helped me.”
Since winning her title, Whetsell has become a role model and activist for VSU’s Dance Marathon, an organization that helps raise money for pediatric patients at Shands Hospital for Children. “
“My personal platform is Dance Marathon. We stand for children who can’t,” Whetsell said. “Since I was a freshman, I have been the overall director.”
As Whetsell and several of her peers stand for children who can’t every year, she shares the main reason why she competed for the title of Miss VSU in the first place.
“It was Children’s Miracle Network, visiting all of the hospitals,” Whetsell said.
Now entering her third year of college, Sara continues to be an active member in the VSU College of Nursing, as well as a dedicated dancer for the Red Hots. She continues to focus on school and strives for a higher title, Miss Georgia.
“I definitely want to be Miss Georgia,” Whetsell said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If I won this year, I would definitely accept."
The Miss Georgia Pageant will take place this June, in Columbus, and Whetsell is getting anxious.
“I am really excited,” Whetsell said. “I am honored to be able to represent my university at Miss Georgia.”
As Sara continues working towards Miss Georgia, individuals across Valdosta and Thomasville, will continue to cheer her on. For more information about how to get involved in Miss VSU, visit the Student Life page of Valdosta State University’s website.