The end of a reign

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Miss BPCC’s Share a ‘Sisterhood’

A new Ms. BPCC will be crowned Saturday night, sending one young lady on a year-long journey of a lifetime.

Eight contestants will grace the stage in the annual spring pageant at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) with hopes of taking home the crown. However, there’s more to gain than a rhinestone tiara and satin sash.

The contestants become part of a BPCC tradition. It’s a sisterhood that only a few will experience, but one that lasts well beyond their time on campus.

Sarah Rains, Ms. BPCC 2010, described it as “a common bond that won’t be broken.”

“I’m still friends with the girls I competed with. My best friend won Ms. Congeniality and we’re still best buds,” Rains said. “The previous Ms. BPCC’s and I are still friends as well and I have even been invited to their weddings.”

Like most beauty pageants, the contestants are judged on poise, personality and personal attractiveness in their on-stage performance. Then, their leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, citizenship and service to the College are factored in, which helps the judges determine who the winner will be.

With the title comes great responsibility. Ms. BPCC participates in various on and off campus events, including homecoming activities, attending athletic events, participating in community service projects and serving as a hostess during Cavalier Connection New Student Orientation.

Bailey McMellon, Ms. BPCC 2008, encouraged the next Ms. BPCC to stay very involved in school activities and to set an example for others, with or without her crown and sash.

“I had the honor to meet many students that shared their ideas and concerns for our college, represented our college by going to read children’s books in many elementary schools and sharing with the students exactly what college is,” McMellon said. “I also took part in all of the campus activities that SGA hosted, judged local beauty pageants and supported our athletes by attending sporting events. I was definitely a busy woman.”

Ms. BPCC is also a spokesperson and community ambassador. Tiffany Sandifer, Ms. BPCC 2007, said her favorite part of being crowned as Ms. BPCC was having many opportunities to represent her school.

“I loved representing my school both on campus and in the community. Out of all the opportunities that being Ms. BPCC presented to me, whether it be volunteering to read to children or to meet representatives at the state capitol, I always felt a sense of pride to represent a school that truly cares about it students, and that offers countless opportunities to help them succeed,” Sandifer said. “When I entered the pageant, I knew that I would serve as an ambassador to the community, but what I did not know was that BPCC would become more than just a school to me – it would become family.”

Beauty pageants are often thought to focus on physical beauty, but the Ms. BPCC pageant brings out the strengths of each contestant. The title also opens many doors to new opportunities.

Not only did Rains graduate from BPCC, but she graduated from Louisiana Tech University last fall and plans to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for her master’s degree this year.

“I met so many people that really influenced me to pursue a bachelors degree. I had so much support from my BPCC family long after I left,” Rains said. “Being Ms. BPCC also taught me how to manage my time with school, family and friends, and my obligations as Ms. BPCC. It has also helped me in my professional career. I talk to people all day, every day and being Ms. BPCC taught me how to handle myself professionally.”

Her advice to all of the contestants is simple – enjoy every minute of it, take a lot of pictures and just be yourself.

“Take a deep breath and shine,” Rains said. “I am not a pageant girl by any means, but it so much fun. Just be yourself and stay true to who you are.”

Various prizes are awarded to the titleholder, including a full-tuition scholarship and books. More importantly, McMellon encouraged the new Ms. BPCC to embrace the experience, take the good with the bad and understand that she will always represent the college even after her year is over.

“Being Ms. BPCC was a once in a lifetime experience. Find whatever is meaningful to you and share it with as many people you meet, young or old. You will be an inspiration and a role model to many people in person and on social media,” McMellon said. “Always remember to smile, be a lady, and to continue to better our college for the future of our students.”

In addition to the Ms BPCC pageant, the Miss Tiny Cavalier pageant is held to select a little girl to represent Bossier Parish Community College. Ten contestants this year will be judged on beauty/appearance, personality, projection, and poise. Various prizes are also awarded.

The Ms. BPCC and Miss Tiny Cavalier pageant will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Theater, located on the BPCC campus at 6220 E. Texas St. in Bossier.

General admission is $5 and children 10 & under are free. BPCC students, faculty, and staff are free with an ID.