Miss Southeastern Q&A: The path to the crown


Candidates for the Miss Southeastern Louisiana University 2022 scholarship competition

In anticipation of the Miss Southeastern 2022 scholarship competition, The Lion’s Roar Newspaper asked each candidate questions about the contest. This year, the Miss Southeastern pageant will be held on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Tickets can be purchased at linktr.ee/southeasternose. The competition will be livestreamed on the Southeastern Channel.


The Lion’s Roar asked:

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

2) What would being crowned mean to you?


Contestant No. 1: Bernadette Tournoux
Junior business management major
Social Impact Initiative: First Generational Dreams


1) I saw Miss Southeastern last year at the Columbia Theatre of Performing Arts in downtown Hammond. My twin and I were helping with the event. I thought, “What if I perform next year?” I was intrigued by the talent section. Singing is a huge passion of mine and to be able to perform in anything to do with singing was a dream. I also love the platform section. I am very passionate about my mission statement which concerns first generational dreamers.

2) I want to fill people with God’s love and passion for their dreams. Being crowned would mean I would be able to help and inspire them with my words and actions. A part of Miss Southeastern is about reaching all people. Being Miss Southeastern opens so many opportunities and endless possibilities that I would love to experience.



Contestant No. 2: Kiera Owens
Junior elementary education major
Social Impact Initiative: Face-to-Face Mentoring

1) My platform is “Face-to-Face Mentoring.” Oftentimes children are put into situations they can not control and need a way out. Mentors are a path that guides children to the road of success. Face-to-Face Mentor Program is an impact on a child’s life that could leave a forever change. I want to spread this program through Miss Southeastern because this gives me a voice louder and wider than the one I had before. 

2) All the girls I am competing against are beautiful, hardworking and positive, but what really sets me apart from them, and the reason why I should win Miss Southeastern is that I recognize that this is a job, and my responsibility for this job requires me to market this pageant as any good spokesperson would.



Contestant No. 3: Lucy Bateman
Freshman art education major
Social Impact Initiative: Body Dysmorphia “See Me As I Am”

1) I decided to compete in the Miss Southeastern competition to increase awareness of gender and body dysphoria, along with increasing the amount of resources on campus for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. My goal is to ensure everyone has an opportunity to feel truly comfortable in his/her/their own skin, because not everyone may have had the luxury of expression in their own home. Here at Southeastern, we all deserve a chance to show who we truly are- everyone’s colors deserve a chance to shine.

2) Being crowned would mean I would have the support and resources of SLU readily available to jumpstart the energy needed to pursue my goal. I have already begun to work on plans, events and resources with the help of SGA and Lavender Lions despite push backs and delays from COVID-19 limitations. I have big plans for the future, and if crowned, I, or another lucky candidate, have pretty big shoes to fill. I wish every other candidate luck.


Contestant No. 4: Kaitlyn Bradford
Senior human sciences major
Social Impact Initiative: “The Lasting Scar” Raising Awareness on Mental Domestic Abuse

1) I met our current Miss Southeastern while taking her photos for the REC and had competed in for titles before, and we spoke about how much they have helped us grow as individuals. She asked me if I planned on competing for Miss SLU and at the time I was not, but I could not forget the way she spoke about how much this school meant to her and how I felt the exact same way. So I decided that I wanted to represent the school I so dearly love. Southeastern is home for me and I cannot think of a better way to show my appreciation for this campus but be a representative. 

2) Being crowned would mean so many things to me. Personally, it would prove to me that I can do it, but ultimately it would mean that I could represent the school that has loved me and shaped me. Being crowned is not just important for personal reasons but can allow me to speak out about my social impact. I want to bring awareness to the realness of mental abuse in domestic abuse situations. Being crowned would give me a platform to be able to speak out for those who hurt in secret.


Contestant No. 5: Megan Magri
Junior kinesiology major
Social Impact Initiative: Operation Wings Over the Homefront


1) I decided to compete because last year I had a wonderful experience. I was able to further go on with another title to Miss Louisiana. It has been placed on my heart that I need to compete again so I can represent our university. The lifelong friendships, scholarship money and being a servant leader are a few of the main reasons. 

2) Being crowned would be a mix of emotions. It is my opportunity to leave my mark on campus and make a difference in people’s lives. I have prepared for over 13 months so I will be so grateful for the opportunity in this life. I am ready to serve and make everybody feel like somebody. I am eager and ready for the job.




Contestant No. 7: Emily Wilson
Junior business management major
Social Impact Initiative: Dreams Come True

1) I initially joined the pageant because I knew it was a great opportunity to be involved not only on campus, but also within the community of Hammond. Since COVID-19, it made me realize just how much I value that connection. The past month has been a journey of finding out more about myself, learning all about the Miss America Organization and spending a lot of time with the other amazing contestants. 

2) By becoming Miss Southeastern 2022, I would use my title to help inspire others and be a role model for students on campus. It is not only a title but a great responsibility. I plan to utilize this platform to encourage our community to give back whenever possible and bring awareness to any concerns that might arise in the future.



Contestant No. 8: Kobi Painting
Sophomore marketing major
Social Impact Initiative: Genetic Diseases


1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern because I competed last year and fell in love with the program. My social impact initiative is another reason why I decided to compete this year. “Test to Know the Rest-Promoting Newborn Screening for Rare Genetic Diseases” is all about advocating for extensive testing at birth. My two sisters lived undiagnosed with a rare disease for over twenty years and this is why my social impact is so important to me. 

2) Being crowned would mean everything to me. I have put in a lot of hard work to become your Miss Southeastern 2022. I feel that Miss Southeastern has helped me grow as a woman. When I competed last year, I was so inspired and it pushed me even harder this year to want this even more. 



Contestant No. 9: Baileigh Picou
Junior general studies major
Social Impact Initiative: Dysautonomia: Advocating for Awareness

1) I decided to compete in Miss Southeastern for a few reasons but I think the most important one was because of how supportive Southeastern has been since I had gotten sick. I want to represent the school that has taken me in and also want to show other girls with disabilities or chronic illnesses that they can still achieve their dreams! 

2) Being crowned Miss Southeastern would mean the world to me, because not only would I get to represent a school I love so much I would also be able to raise awareness for my social impact dysautonomia: advocating for awareness. Being able to do both of those things and making a change on campus as Miss Southeastern is a dream that I thought was lost when I got sick but have been fighting every day since to achieve it.


Contestant No. 10: Sara Cavalier
Junior history and psychology major
Social Impact Initiative: #Not A Burden: Disability Awareness


1) When I found out about Miss Southeastern through CAB, I decided to: a) try something new; b) advocate for a cause I’m close to and feel strongly about (disabilities and mental illnesses); c) hopefully inspire others to do what they’re interested in or to try something different

2) Being crowned would be a dream come true. Not only would the scholarships help me pursue my educational goals, the title of Miss Southeastern would allow me to make a big impact in the community, especially for the disabled and/or mentally ill.