Royalty crowned: Alyse Horton named Miss Murray 2017
Alyse Horton stands in the center with a crown on her head after being named Miss Murray 2017. Lauren Wells wears her blue dress and was named first runner-up and was the recipient of an $800 scholarship while Abby Johnson holds flowers in her green dress as second runner-up and received a $600 scholarship. (Amanda Parsons/Resident)
By Travis Barton | firstname.lastname@example.org
Murray, Utah - Alyse Horton, 22, was named Miss Murray 2017 on Sept. 17 at Murray High School. The victory comes with a $3,000 scholarship that she plans to use for graduate school. It was Horton’s first pageant she’s ever entered.
Horton, who majored in public health and business at Westminster College, now works for a non-profit called Utah Health Policy Project. The Murray Journal spoke with Horton about winning the pageant and what she plans to do in Murray this year.
What inspired you to enter the pageant in the first place?
A lot of people ask me that and usually I tell them, ‘Oh I kind of did it on a whim, I wanted to see if I could do it, I wanted to try something new.’ But I think what really did it was the ability to be involved in your community and do something. I chose to do it at a time when I just graduated from college and I didn’t have this job yet and I was still trying to figure out what to do. I was frustrated because I had this education behind me but I wasn’t using it to help people like I wanted to so that’s what prompted me to do the pageant.
What kind of preparation did you do for the Miss Murray pageant?
A lot of the prep was with my talent. I sang and played the guitar—which I’ve never taken a voice lesson or a guitar lesson—it’s just something I’ve always done. So that prep was the most difficult part. Then you just have to work out, eat clean and a lot of interview preparation. The biggest percent of your score comes from your interview and onstage questions so it’s a lot of studying on current events in Murray and Utah.
What have you learned about yourself during the process?
Public speaking skills, I feel like I’ve always had pretty strong public speaking but they’ve became more refined. And just the importance of always knowing what’s going on in your community was huge for me. I feel like I stay pretty up to date on what’s going on but I realized I’m not doing as much as I could be to get involved in my community.
Tell me about the experience of being named Miss Murray?
It was really a unique experience. The night went by so fast, it felt like we were only onstage for like 10 minutes…it just goes by so fast and then they’re calling names. Honestly, I just couldn’t believe it. It took me a couple a seconds for it to sink in that I actually won and all that work I had done before actually paid off.
What is your platform as Miss Murray?
The platform I’ve chosen to focus on this year as Miss Murray is the opioid epidemic so my platform is titled, “Use only as directed: the prevention of prescription drug abuse.” I’ve already been going into some of the schools and talking to kids about making healthy choices and I’ll be helping out with Murray High School’s red ribbon week. I’m just trying to get into the schools and just talk about the issue and things we can do to prevent it. I really want to get access to the parents of the Murray community because I think the parents are the number one preventers of the issue. I’ll be hosting a huge event on May 20, where people can come and drop off their old prescription drugs. I’ll also be trying to partner with local organizations that do a lot of work with the issue.
What inspired your choice of platform?
I have a lot of friends, when I was in junior high and high school, who would steal their parents’ prescription drugs and abuse them. I know many people who have died or suffered from prescription drug abuse so for those personal reasons that’s why I chose it. Also as a public health major I know it’s one of the leading causes of death in Utah and we rank fourth in the nation for prescription drug abuse.