Olivia Henson had two main goals for the Miss Missouri pageant 2019. Her first goal was to make it to the “top 5,” and her next goal? To make a new friend. She accomplished both.
Beyond achieving these two goals, Henson, a senior marketing major, won enough scholarship money to pay for her last semester of college at Missouri State University.
“It was really exciting to walk away feeling like I had worked hard enough to be able to receive what I did,” Henson said.
This was the third time Henson qualified for the Miss Missouri pageant. She participated in the pageant her senior year of high school, freshman year of college and took a break until this year.
The pageant was held in June at the Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. The women competed in four categories — talent, evening gown, private interview and on-stage questioning.
Henson’s favorite area of competition is the interview portion.
“I was really honored to receive the highest interview score for my day of competition,” Henson said. “I knew that was the area that I liked the most, so it was exciting to excel in that area.”
The talent portion, Henson said, is the area that makes her the most nervous. For her talent, Henson sang “How Great Thou Art.”
“Talent is worth 50% of your score and so being in the top five, I can only assume that it wasn’t the worst thing they have ever heard,” Henson said laughingly.
Henson intends to continue participating in the Miss Missouri Pageant until she we wins Miss Missouri or becomes ineligible to compete at the age of 25.
“The moment that I was called for top five — I was fourth runner-up — I knew I was doing it again,” Henson said.
Since the pageant ended on June 15, Henson has already begun to prepare for next year.
Henson was one of five women from MSU that competed in the Miss Missouri pageant — senior Jordan Belcher, senior Andi Hudson, freshman Audrianna Hebron and junior Madison Horner also competed.
“It was so honoring to know that our school not only has the best of the best, they wanted to be so prideful of the school they come from,” Henson said. “They all did amazing, I hope they all do it again.”