A University of Arkansas student is now reigning over the entire state. Sloane Roberts was crowned Miss Arkansas 2012 at the 75th anniversary Miss Arkansas Pageant in Hot Springs on July 14.
Roberts has always dreamed of achieving the title Miss Arkansas; her dreams have now come true and she has the crown to prove it.
This was Roberts’ second year to compete in the pageant. She was the 4th runner up last year, and explains this year's first-place title did not come easy.
"I came back this year after tons of people had told me I was not ready for the job and that I could not do it because I was too young and that I just was not taking it seriously," Roberts said in an interview with 5NEWS reporter Christine Whitten. "It lit a fire underneath me, and I told myself that I could do this and I was ready to take on this job."
Roberts is a senior majoring in communications at the University of Arkansas . Her pageant platform is the Morgan Nick Foundation, named for the 6-year-old Crawford County girl who vanished in 1995.
"I was watching the extreme home makeover of Colleen Nick`s house; it`s in Alma, Arkansas," said Roberts. "It was really local and I said `Hey maybe there`s an Arkansas connection.` It was at that time that I learned of Morgan`s story. Morgan was 6 years old when she was abducted from a little league ball field."
Roberts received more than $20,000 in scholarship money, which will allow her to graduate from college debt-free.
She said she is excited about the opportunity to be the new Miss Arkansas and hopes that she makes the state proud.
“There are 46 other girls that are so deserving of this title, who have worked so hard,” she said. “It's hard to come out with one winner, and I am so fortunate and so blessed that the five people that were on that panel of judges decided to pick me because they thought I was ready for this job, and I am ready for this job."
After being crowned, Roberts was so excited, she slept in her crown.
Roberts hopes her year as the titleholder deflates some misconceptions about pageants.
"There are several little eyes looking up at me because I have a larger crown on my head but even when the crown comes off I want to stay a really positive role model," said Roberts.
Roberts is taking a year off from school to fulfill her Miss Arkansas duties. She said she plans to finish her communications degree in the spring of 2014.
She might pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
The Rison native will now begin preparing to represent Arkansas in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas on Jan. 12, 2013.