Blank leads by inspiration and compassion


Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Shreeja Bhatt, Shreya Bhatt, Xuyen Nguyen and Clarissa Smith, senior chemistry majors, talk to Chelsey Blank, Miss Southeastern Louisiana University. In her leadership position, Blank tries to be a role model for others on campus.

Years of experience prepared Chelsey Blank, Miss Southeastern Louisiana University, to be an influence for other students.

Though Blank grew into the leadership role, she did not abandon every childhood whimsy.

“As I’ve grown up, I kept the young, silly part about me thriving, but I’ve still matured, and I know how to handle serious situations,” said Blank. “I’ve become more of a leader whereas back then, I couldn’t even see myself really, efficiently leading a group. I’ve since then become a dance teacher, and that’s helped me, and from there, I got involved in school with being an orientation leader and then Homecoming committee and the College of Business mentors and now this, Miss Southeastern.”

Being a leader like Miss Southeastern Louisiana University is not what Blank would have predicted at a young age.

“I never thought I would be a mentor to somebody, but I am,” stated Blank. “I’m very outgoing, but I used to be to myself. Just knowing that somebody can gain something from you, that’s my whole thing with the face of the university.”

Before becoming Miss Southeastern, Blank became an orientation leader, a mentor in the College of Business, a member of the Homecoming committee, co-captain on her high school dance team and a chairman of Beta Club.

“Just being a part of those things reminds me that I am capable to be a leader,” shared Blank. “All those experiences reminding myself I am capable to do it is what continuously pushes me to keep helping and leading others.”

While prior experience helped Blank to become a leader, difficulties do arise.

“I feel slightly comfortable because I already know lots of administration on campus, lots of people on campus,” explained Blank. “However, I’m still learning. There are some things I show up to, and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I’m having a great time with it.”

Karley Bordelon, a junior social studies education major, met Blank when they served as orientation leaders and now works with her in the Office of Career Services. Bordelon described Blank as an energetic friend who is always there when people need anything.

“Chelsey has so much compassion for everyone that she talks to,” stated Bordelon. “People trust her, and she makes everyone feel heard and wanted. She really is a role model to so many students and young people that want to be just like her.”

Competing in the Miss Southeastern pageant was a different experience than Blank’s former pageants.

Blank said, “Louisiana fairs and festivals is about poise and about being a role model and just solely focusing on one thing to represent for a year, but stepping into the Miss America Organization, it showed me that I can have my platform and focus on my platform, but that’s not the only thing I’m doing. I’m doing all these other things with all these other organizations, showing up to different events that support different things, and there’s not just one focus. It’s very well-rounded.”

A desire to be a role model motivated Blank to become Miss Southeastern Louisiana University.

“You already get double takes if you have a crown on your head,” said Blank. “You might as well do something with it since people are noticing you, so I think being an influencer on campus to say, ‘Hey, get involved. Step out of your comfort zone,’ ‘cause once people realize that I’m a normal person, a normal college student just like you, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I can do that too. I can put myself out there, get involved with organizations I never would have thought I would be in.’”