NAPPANEE — Mahala Miller, the 2012 Nappanee Apple Festival Queen, won the Indiana State Festivals Association Scholarship Pageant in November in Indianapolis.
Miller was shocked.
“I did not expect to win,” she said. “I felt incredibly grateful that my family and fiancé came to support me.”
After winning the crown for Nappanee’s 37th annual Apple Festival Queen, she was automatically entered as a contestant of the ISFA Scholarship Pageant. Contestants for the ISFA Scholarship Pageant are from festivals that are current ISFA members and come from all around the state of Indiana. Contestant judging is based on three phases: Festival Spirit Competition, Evening Gown Competition, and On-stage Questions. Miller competed against 16 others for the top prize — a $1,000 scholarship. Miller is a sophomore at Bethel College and a very busy young lady.
“I’m a double-major in English (concentration in writing) and Humanities,” she said. She is also involved in Bethel’s academic honors program, called Bethel Undergraduate Intellectual Leadership Development.
“Which is the long version of what we typically refer to it as, BUILD,” Miller explained. “I am also the executive secretary of Bethel’s Student Council and a mentor at Bethel’s writing center. I am hoping to become an editor and/or writer at a Christian publishing house.”
Adding to her busy schedule, Miller is required to attend various festivals throughout the year as reigning ISFA Queen.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to represent Nappanee throughout the next year,” she said.
Miller said she has no plans of pursuing additional pageants.
“I’m not saying I never would; it’s just not what I’m planning on doing right now,” she explained.
She offers the following advice for young girls looking to follow in her footsteps: “It’s worth it to take risks. You never know what God may have in store for you.
“If it seems scary, it’s probably worth pursuing. With those great risks, you will be amazed by the great rewards. Whether it is a personal growth experience or you gain some sort of external reward, it’s worth it.”