More than 40 women from across the state have gathered together in Little Rock to compete for the 2019 Miss Arkansas crown this weekend.
The group arrived earlier this week to begin the preliminary competition. Among them was 2019 Miss University of Central Arkansas Ebony Mitchell.
This will be Mitchell’s third time to compete in the state pageant.
The Log Cabin Democrat asked the contestant about her past experiences, favorite memories and more.
She said in the two previous years, it was a challenge to learn how to take those failures and turn them into lessons but altogether, being able to leave the competition better than when she arrived has made a huge impact on her life.
“It has been such a growing experience for me as a young woman,” Mitchell said. “Getting the chance to share a little piece of who I am with the state is my favorite part.”
In total, the 22-year-old has received more than $15,000 from the Miss Arkansas organization.
Thursday was the group of contestant’s last night of the preliminary competition.
“I am so excited to see what it holds,” Mitchell said. “This has been a great week so far.”
Miss UCA said being able to represent her university has been a dream. “Wearing the title on my sash gives me such confidence in how I perform during the week,” Mitchell said. “ I hope I am making UCA proud.”
Executive Director Susan Setzler — on the board of the Miss University of Central Arkansas Scholarship Pageant — said they are pleased Mitchell is in Little Rock representing the pageant and the university this week.
“In addition to diligently preparing for each phase of competition, Ebony has made over 40 appearances [as Miss UCA],” she said.
Setzler told the LCD that Mitchell was also awarded the The Combs “Caught Ya In the Act of Kindness” Award during the state competition on Wednesday and received a $500 scholarship as a result.
“She is among the kindest and most genuine young women we have had the privilege to work with,” the executive director said.
Mitchell said she’s looking forward to that moment come Saturday — the 2019 Miss Arkansas pageant begins at 7 p.m., held at the Robinson Center in Little Rock — when she gets to walk out onto that stage in her evening gown.
Mitchell gave the LCD a peek into what it will look like backstage prior.
“Before the show every night, we come together in prayer and comfort each other while we are getting ready to compete,” she said. “Each of the girls are so special in their own way, and I am so excited to be a part of it.”
The contestant added that being able to receive the title would be just as incredible.
“It is such a prestigious honor to hold,” Mitchell said. “I hope I have done enough this week to make my mark, and I will continue to do so throughout this organization.”
The Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization and a fundraising entity for the pageant, which has “maintained a tradition of empowering young women to achieve their personal and professional goals while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talents and intelligence,” for decades, according to its website.