A Miss America State Titleholder Story: Miss Arkansas 2008 Ashlen Batson
The Miss America State Titleholders Association represents Miss America state titleholders who do not win Miss America, but use the quality scholarship assistance they’ve earned in the Miss America program to advance their careers and serve their communities. Ashlen is just one of many state titleholders who continue to inspire service and success while representing the values of the Miss America program.
“After getting a taste of research and teaching, I was wrestling with my desire to pursue a Ph.D. knowing that I was already staring down the debt of a master’s degree. I wished so badly to stifle that aspiration, as I could not see a feasible way to pay for it aside from taking on mounds of student loan debt. The moment that I knew I was the new Miss Arkansas was not only the second I realized that a life-long dream had come true, but it was also the instant when I realized God had created a way for all of my future dreams to come true. The buckling of my knees, the look of utter shock, the tears, they weren’t just about becoming Miss Arkansas; that reaction was also the manifestation of feeling the burden of financially supporting my dreams lifted in an instant. In the years since my time as Miss Arkansas I have finished my bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and will soon complete my doctorate debt-free, thanks to the sponsors and volunteers of Miss Arkansas and the Miss America Scholarship Organizations. My crown is collecting dust. My gowns don’t zip. My flute is enjoying retirement. My education makes my life better every day. That’s how often I think of the people who lovingly donate and volunteer their time: every day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating a way for dreams to come true for so many women like me through the life-long gift of education.”
– Ashlen Batson Thomason, Miss Arkansas 2008
The Miss America Organization provides quality scholarship assistance to young women across the United States. To get involved or to donate, visit www.MissAmerica.org.
About The Miss America Organization
The Miss America Organization, a 501(c)4 non-profit organization, is the nation’s leading advocate for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States, awarding millions of dollars annually. The Miss America Organization is comprised of 52 licensed organizations, including all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Miss America contestants contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $13 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007.
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