Sydney Friar (’11): Miss Missouri 2011
June 23, 2011
Sydney Friar, a 2011 Evangel University graduate, was crowned Miss Missouri 2011 on Saturday, June 11. The Miss Missouri Pageant is held each year in Mexico, Missouri.
The 22-year-old nailed her performance of the Aerosmith classic “Dream On,” and walked away from the pageant with more than $10,000 in scholarship monies. She will compete for a chance to win up to $50,000 in scholarships at the Miss America Pageant in January in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Friar earned her B.S. from Evangel in Advertising and Public Relations.
She recently spoke with Juliana Goodwin of the Springfield News-Leader regarding her big win and how she intends to serve others with her title. The following interview is being reprinted with permission of the Springfield News-Leader.
Q: When did you start entering beauty contests?
A: I’ve been around the local pageants my whole life. I started competing my senior year of high school for the big girl title of Miss Missouri.
Q: Why did you start?
A: My cousin did it and my sister did it, and I grew up watching them and loved it and saw the benefits of it. The Miss America organization is the largest provider of scholarships to young women. I have won over $20,000 in scholarships. The opportunity to do community service. You are an advocate for Children’s Miracle Network. That is our national platform. We also have our own personal platform which is what we want to promote. Mine is reconnecting the family unit, and I work with teaching families how to communicate more effectively.
Q: Why that platform?
A: I grew up with close-knit family and being from a small town, your community is an extension of your family. As I’ve gotten older, I realize the closeness of my family has helped me overcome trials and tribulations. … There are things I could not have done without the support of my family. I feel everyone deserves to experience that.
Q: How do you help families communicate?
A: I really try to promote families eating dinner together on a regular basis. It’s 20 minutes. It’s regular, consistent time where families can sit down, distraction free, and get to know each other.
Q: What will you do as Miss Missouri?
A: Our primary focus is community service. I will speak to a lot of organizations and do leadership development, which was my minor.
Q: Why do you think you won the crown?
A: I’m sure there were a lot of factors. This was my fifth year competing and what changed for me this year, I just graduated college and I knew that regardless of whether I won or not, I was confident that God had big plans for me. I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on myself, and that allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience and do my best.
Q: What will you do to prepare for Miss America?
A: I feel like the best way to prepare is just to try and do the job of Miss America at the state level. I tried to do the job of Miss Missouri at the local level. In the last calendar year, I completed 200 hours of community service.
Q: What was the moment like when you won?
A: Oh, my gosh, indescribable. What was really cool is the first runner-up was Miss Springfield. We are really good friends. When it came down to the two of us, we looked at each other and started screaming. It was overwhelming because we knew it was going to be good either way.
Q: What has your first week been like?
A: Oh, it’s been pleasantly overwhelming. It has been a whirlwind. It’s been a blast. I’m devoting the next two weeks to a media tour. I am traveling across the state doing interviews, getting the word out, introducing myself.
Q: Have you always wanted to be Miss America?
A: Yeah. Isn’t that every little girl’s goal? It’s pretty surreal to be at this moment in my life looking ahead and realizing that could actually happen.
Q: After this year is over, what do you want to do?
A: My degree is in Advertising and Public Relations, and what I’m really interested in is municipality marketing for small and rural communities to get the word out that small towns are great and have a lot of benefits.
Q: What are the fun aspects of being in pageants?
A: Definitely the friendships you make. I have been a bridesmaid in weddings with girls I’ve competed with. The stereotypes of pageant girls are just stereotypes. We are not catty, backstabbing. We all have our platforms. We work hard. It’s a great organization and provides a lot of opportunity. We are not the girls people assume us to be.