B&E alum Chelsea Malone named Miss West Virginia 2015
It’s been said that the third time is a charm– and that was the case for West Virginia University student Chelsea Malone, winner of the 2015 Miss West Virginia pageant in July.
A recent graduate of the College of Business Economics with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Malone competed in her third Miss West Virginia pageant and won the title after having placed in the top five for the past two years. She will move on to represent the state in Atlantic City while competing for the title of Miss America in September.
Malone competed in various portions that led to her victory, including eveningwear, swimsuit, private interview, on-stage questions and talent. Within the three nights of preliminary competition that led up to the finale, she won the swimsuit portion as well as talent, for which she sang “How Great Thou Art.”
To hear her name announced as the winner of the weeklong pageant was unlike anything Malone had ever felt, she said.
“It was a rollercoaster; I was so nervous, and my heart was in my stomach when I was standing there with the other contestant, waiting for the results,” Malone said. “When it hit me that I’d finally won, I just lost it. I prepared so much for this year, and it really paid off.”
Malone said that preparation for the Miss West Virginia pageant is much more than finding the right dress, picking a swimsuit and keeping tabs on current events.
“For me this year, it was a lot of mental preparation,” she said. “You can get all the material things you need and put hours of preparation into practice interview questions until you’re blue in the face; but if you’re not in a spot mentally that you know you can do the job, and compete at Miss America, it definitely shows through when you compete.”
“It was important for me to take this past year to do some soul-searching and really think about what this title entailed, and how much responsibility it would take on my part to do the job right,” Malone said. “Also, working in a professional environment as a student worker at B&E helped me to mature and grow as a young professional. That definitely set this year apart from others.”
Staying true to herself throughout the next few months, in preparation for Miss America, is the one thing that is most important to Malone, she said.
“I’m so grateful for all the advice that I’m receiving from previous Miss America contestants, sponsors and more – but at the end of the day, that’s when I have to sift through all the wisdom I’ve received and use what will benefit me and the person that I am, without trying to change who I am,” she said.
Malone has a busy year ahead of her while promoting her platform, “Mental Health Advocacy at the CORE: Community Outreach, Research and Education,” across the state. She will focus on visiting as many elementary, middle and high schools as possible to discuss mental health awareness.
“To talk about my platform across West Virginia, I’ve created presentations that are separated by age group,” Malone said. “I have a toned-down version for elementary school, one that is more detailed for middle school-aged children and an escalated version for the high school students that discusses different mental health disorders in detail as well as the dangers of addiction.”
“West Virginia is number one in accidental overdoses,” she said. “It’s important to inform people when they’re young and help them be aware of some things that might keep them out of harm’s way.”
The 89th Miss America competition will be held on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and will be broadcast on ABC. Malone will compete against 51 other women for the title of Miss America 2016. To support her journey to Miss America, visit http://www.gofundme.com/zegzyw.