Coming into the Miss America Organization as a first-time local title holder, I thought I knew who I was and who I was meant to be. When I graduated college in 2019, I was set on becoming an MD/PhD. I had a 519 on the MCAT, the right resume, the right volunteer service and the right credentials. But something was missing. I was ready to begin a ten-year journey into medicine, and I felt purposeless.
Hello! My name is Melody Stotts, and I hold the title of Miss Southwest Arkansas 2020. I never pictured myself as a pageant girl. I grew up following the Miss Arkansas Competition with my mom. We enjoyed watching the talent portion the most, especially the vocalists.
If you would have asked fourth grade Izzy where she saw herself in five or ten years, I can assure you the Miss Arkansas stage would not have been among the answers. I remember from my childhood, the young women who walked the stage were poised, polished and put together, and as a child I was the purest form of “tom-boy” a young girl could be.