Miss Southeastern Q&A: The Path to the Crown


Miss Southeastern 2021 Contestant Composite Image

In anticipation of the 60th annual Miss Southeastern pageant, The Lion’s Roar Newspaper decided to ask all 15 participants questions about the contest. This year the Miss Southeastern pageant will be held on January 22nd at the Columbia Theatre.

The Lion’s Roar asked:

1) Why did you decide to compete in Miss Southeastern?

2) What would being crowned mean to you?

Ashlynn Martell

1) I decided to compete in this pageant mostly because it wasn’t during the school year, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to with my busy schedule, but also because I thought it’d be a fun experience to meet some new people, and I didn’t have a job lined up for break anyway.

2) To me, being crowned would be a very fun experience, and it would just be a good platform to bring awareness to environmental issues.

-Ashlynn Martell

Victoria Rocquin

1) Southeastern is home to me, and it always has been. My mom came here from Alabama to teach and met my dad, and it’s kind of a family legacy, so I would love to represent the school that really is my home.

2) While I’ve been at Southeastern, I’ve always actively strived to be a leader and pursue anything that would give me an opportunity to help others and serve others and be a success in my future, so I would love the opportunity to help other girls succeed as well.

– Victoria Rocquin

Hannah Tribou

1) had a friend competing last year, and it planted a little seed in my head. It was a what-if that I knew I would regret if I didn’t do it. It sounds like an exciting opportunity. I’m excited to work with all these girls

2) To be honest, Southeastern was not my first choice in universities. I surprise myself every day how much I love it now. I wouldn’t change it for the world, so being crowned Miss Southeastern would be a total 180 for me. I’d be so excited to get to utilize all the means that she has to pursue more endeavors like this.

-Hannah Tribou

Gillian Hebert

1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because I know that it’s a great opportunity for empowering a woman, and I think that having a woman represent the Southeastern community is really positive. I think it’s more of a job than it is a pageant title.

2) Being crowned would mean a job, representing my student body, and taking actions to improve students’ lives around campus.

-Gillian Herbert

Jeannette Jackson

1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help others with their mental health because I know how hard it is when you struggle with it.

2) Being crowned would mean the world to me but I believe it would mean even more to my community and everyone the struggles with mental illnesses. Having good mental health is the first step to becoming your best self and I would have the platform and backing to be able to provide others with the opportunity to become their best selves just by helping out with the first step. It would be an honor.

-Jannette Jackson

Mason Burnette

1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because, to me, Southeastern is like another home, and I would definitely love to represent Southeastern as a whole and get it on the map even more by possibly going to Miss Louisiana and winning that too

2) Being crowned would mean the world to me because I’ve grown up doing pageants, and I know what it takes to be a queen. You have this whole other level of confidence, and I just want to make all the other girls in the world feel the same confidence as well.

– Mason Burnette

Sara Cavalier

1)I decided to compete in Ms. Southeastern to challenge stereotypes and show little girls and young women that they can do anything they aspire to do. I decided to compete to represent those with mental health issues and physical disabilities, proving that those with health issues can be as strong and capable as any abled person.

2) Being crowned as Miss Southeastern would mean, frankly, the world to me. Not only would the crown allow me to represent those with health issues; it would also allow me to make changes which I so desperately want to see on campus and in our community.

-Sarah Cavalier

Hannah Henderson

1) I chose to compete in Miss Southeastern because, A, I love this school as a whole, and also because this school means so much to me not just because I love it myself but also because my entire family loves it. I’m fifth generation Southeastern. My grandma actually was in the Miss Southeastern pageant when she was in school, and then my great great grandmother was in the first graduating class. It just meant something so special to me to be a part of something like that and really represent the school.

2) Being crowned would mean a lot to me because, like I said, my entire family loves Southeastern, fifth generation, my family all went there, my mom, my dad. We lived in on-campus housing, and my two sisters go to Southeastern with me at this time. It would be great to be a part of something to where I can give back to the school that gave so much to me.

– Hannah Henderson

Tayla Phillips


1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because I wanted to show my leadership as well as show my platform this year. I competed in Miss Southeastern last year, and I really enjoyed the experience, so to do it again this year and to come much stronger than I did last year, I think it would be a fun opportunity to network with people.

2) Being crowned would give me the honor to do what I believe in. I can spread my word to everyone, which is something that I stick to as far as being positive and I wanted to spread my work again in chronic obesity and kind of helping with that because it is the underdog. If i can be that person to target both kids and adults.

– Tayla Phillips

Lily Gayle

1) Last year I competed, as you know, and I got first runner up. I was one point behind the current Miss Southeastern, Janine Hatcher. That night, I realized how much I wanted to leave a legacy here at Southeastern. Start of quarantine, when everything hit, I had nothing else to do, so what I did do was use all the free time that I did have and start reading articles on how to walk, how to talk, how to be a pageant competitor. I watched hours of videos.

2) With all the effort, preparation, training and practice that I’ve put in, if the crown was put on my head, I’d probably fall to my knees and thank God because I’ve put all this effort in for Him. I keep telling myself, I pray at night, and I say, ‘God, if you don’t want me to win, but you still want me to touch at least one person in the process.

– Lily Gale

Kobi Painting

1)  For me, I have always loved the idea of being in a pageant. Ever since I was little, I always told my mom I’ve always wanted to be in a pageant. I just think it’s such a great opportunity to share what you believe in. It’s an awesome platform. I think Southeastern does a great job with the Miss Southeastern pageant, and I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be in this pageant.

2) Oh my gosh, being crowned would be amazing. I think it would be such an amazing experience. I think it would just be so cool to have that platform to really say what you mean and to share your voice with the world and to help others.

– Kobi Painting

Omaira Romero

1) I competed in the Miss Southeastern pageant last year, and it was a great experience that I never saw myself doing, but glad I did. It was a great way to meet people and have a chance to compete for scholarships.

2) Being crowned to me would mean that I have a chance to represent Southeastern for Miss Louisiana but also have a chance to spread awareness of self-love to so many people and how impactful it is to have.

– Omaria Romero

Angeneka Jacobs

1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because, honestly, after watching Miss Janine walk around campus, an aura of strong-willedness came off of her, and I was like, that’s what I want to do. I want to be someone that gives off that type of aura as well.

2) Being crowned would mean fulfilling what I’m fighting for. My social impact statement is basically about helping young girls with their self image because myself, I’m a plus size girl. A lot of young girls struggle with their looks, so being crowned would mean that I get to fight for them and be there to inspire them.

– Angeneka Jacobs

Catherine Wooton

1) I fell in love with pageantry when I was a freshman in high school. I used to care about getting all dressed up and pretty, but now that I’ve been in college and I’ve been exposed to the real world, it’s more about having a platform to share my voice and make sure that I can be representative for people that need me to be representative for them.

2) It would mean a chance to really make an impact on our campus, whether it’s about my platform, sexual assault on campus, or anything else that would be needed of me on campus.

-Catherin Wooton

Megan Magri

1) I decided to compete because senior year, my father was deployed, so he never got to see me dance for the first or last time, and I saw that this pageant had a talent portion. During the preparation, I really saw what it means to be Miss Southeastern. It’s a wonderful experience.

2) Being crowned would be the most rewarding experience ever. Countless hours, tears have gone into this process, and it would be very rewarding and I hope to make the school proud.

– Megan Magri