Meet the contestants


Zachary Araki

Alyssa Kate Larose 2018 Miss Southeastern Louisiana University Junior Elementary Education and Special Education major Platform: Juvenile Diabetes – Educate and Find a Cure

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

With 13 contestants, the 2019 Miss Southeastern Pageant promises to be larger than those in recent years.

The pageant is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Vonnie Borden Theatre. 2018 Miss Southeastern Alyssa Larose, a junior elementary education and special education major, shared what the position may entail.

“To the future Miss Southeastern, your year is what you make of it, and I hope you realize that this is more than just a title,” said Larose. “The opportunities you receive are more than just what they say when the crown is put on your head. Your year will go by quickly, so be proactive and go to the meeting, go to the last minute appearance request, make the phone call, type the email, participate in everything you can. You will be surprised who you’ll meet along the way and how willing they are to support you.”

Although the Miss America Organization ended the swimsuit competition, this year’s university pageant will include that part of the contest.

Larose encouraged contestants to be themselves and enjoy the experience.

“Do not go into the competition thinking ‘I have to win or I will win,’” said Larose. “Have fun on stage and show the judges how much you love Southeastern. You have to have a passion for this university to compete. Don’t do this for anyone else but yourself. Form a bond in the dressing room and cheer each other on.”

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Madison Kent
Sophomore Accounting major
Platform: Raising Awareness of Depression and Anxiety in Teens and Young Adults

“I would want to become Miss Southeastern so I can be an advocate for my platform, which is about anxiety and depression. It’s ‘#breakthestigma,’ so like the stigma of anxiety is you just shut down, and no one really advocates for it very much.”

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Baylee Smith
Junior Political Science major
Platform: See, Stop, Stand: Bringing an End to Bullying


“I want to be Miss Southeastern because I want to represent the university that’s given back to me so much. I want to be able to give back to this school and to be a representative for this university that honestly I believe is the best in the state, and I think I can do a great job at that.”

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Maya Weber
Sophomore Marketing major
Platform: Awareness of Childhood Cancer

“I decided to participate in Miss Southeastern Pageant because I wanted to experience something. I’ve never done a pageant, and I want to get out of my comfort zone and just promote my platform, and I want people to understand about childhood cancer awareness and different stuff like that.”

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Jacquelyn Walker
Sophomore Athletic Training major
Platform: Mental Health First Aid

“It was at the beginning kind of an idea because my mother did pageants when she was my age, just scholarship opportunities and things like that, and also I saw it as an opportunity to meet new people and just work on my people skills.”

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Kayla Chategnier
Junior Business Administration major
Platform: Childhood Hunger in America

“When I was younger, I wasn’t very confident, and through different activities and through school and organizations, I gained confidence, and I felt like this is a great way to show that and to get out there, experience it.”

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Chelsey Blank
Junior Accounting major
Platform: Down Syndrome Awareness

“I decided to compete in the Miss Southeastern Pageant so I can represent the school I love. Being an orientation leader gave me a deeper appreciation for this amazing university that I consider a second home.”

File Photo
Annie Goodman
Senior Communication major
Platform: Homelessness Prevention and Awareness

“I think being Miss Southeastern would provide me with opportunities to help and impact the lives of others on a much larger scale than anything I could do on my own. I had so much fun when I competed in the pageant last year. It was my first time ever doing anything like this, and I got first runner-up.”

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Alexus Dillon
Senior Biological Sciences major
Platform: Cultural Diversity Awareness

“I want to be Miss Southeastern because it is a great way to let my voice be heard. I have so many effective and empowering words that will influence others in a possible way. I want to represent my school the best way I can and inspire others to keep striving for excellence.”

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Aesha Magee
Senior Health Systems Management major
Platform: Advocating Self-Love and Empowerment for Young Women

“I would always see Miss Southeastern around campus, and she was so involved with the students, and I saw that she got to do a lot of fun things as well as bring attention to her platform. So, I figured I want to be a part of this organization.”

Courtesy of Randy Bergeron
Dezarae Villagomez
Freshman Psychology major
Platform: Academic Success for Homeless Children
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Lily Torbert
Sophomore Biological Sciences and Spanish major
Platform: Supporting Our Military Service Members and Veterans

“From the moment I came on Southeastern’s campus, I was just absolutely in love with it. I love the school. I love the people, and I really like getting to know new people in creative ways.”

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Anna Pias
Freshman Biological Sciences major
Platform: Green Today for a Greener Tomorrow

“I had a perfect platform that I feel like would fit me, and I had the time because I have more time than I thought I would this year, so everything just came together.”

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Bryanna Laviolette
Freshman Communication major
Platform: Autism Awareness

“My platform is autism awareness, and I chose it because I myself am autistic, and I know that a lot of people know nothing about it, and they just don’t know how to understand or deal with it.”

EDITOR’S NOTE – Picture of Dezarae Villagomez was provided by Randy Bergeron, university photographer. Villagomez did not respond to our request for a quote in time for publication. Annie Goodman is on staff with The Lion’s Roar and is currently serving as the editor-in-chief.