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HPU student wins Miss Hawai'i USA

by Jenny Lundahl, associate editor

An HPU communication major, Juliet Lighter, was crowned Miss Hawai‘i USA on May 27 at the Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom. HPU was well represented at this year’s pageant, a preliminary for the 2002 Miss USA, with five girls out of 12 being HPU students. These young women, from all over Hawai‘i, competed in three categories: swimsuit, interview, and evening gown.
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The interview took place before the pageant, but the Sheraton Waikiki audience had the opportunity to enjoy the two other categories, as well as a fashion show and performances by local entertainer Jordan Segundo.

As winner, Lighter has her choice of an $8,500 scholarship from HPU or a $10,000 scholarship from Johnson & Wales University. She will also compete with 49 other girls for the 2002 Miss USA title, and if she wins, she will go on to compete for Miss Universe.

Lighter is a junior with a minor in public relations. She was raised on Oahu and her pageantry experiences began in 1996. Lighter said that there are many ways to prepare for Miss Hawai‘i USA, but for her it was spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

“Spiritually meaning that I’m a new-born Christian. I put my faith and trust in God,” said Lighter. She also goes to the gym six days a week and is constantly watching the news and reading newspapers in order to keep herself up-to-date with what’s going on in the world.

Lighter is looking forward to representing Hawai‘i in the national Miss USA pageant and hopes to make it to the top 10. Her ultimate goals, she said, are: “I want to work nationally to bring out the awareness of domestic violence, travel around the world, marry my best friend, and start a family of my own.”

Alicia Michioka, a journalism major at HPU minoring in advertising, was the first runner up at the pageant, which was presented by 2 Couture under the direction of Eric Chandler and Takeo. Michioka, who is an award-winning editor of Kalamalama, the university newspaper, has been participating in pageants since 1994. As first runner up, Michioka needs to be prepared to take over the crown if something prevents Lighter from keeping her title.

HPU sponsors the first runner up with a 50 percent scholarship. “I don’t participate in a pageant unless it has an HPU scholarship,” said Michioka. “My schooling here at HPU is paid for from running in pageants.” Second runner up Lauren Nishiki also received a 50 percent HPU scholarship.

Two more scholarship pageants are scheduled this fall: Miss World Hawaii, Sep. 22, and Miss Haleiwa Sea Spree, Oct. 19. Deadline is Aug. 30. Call 520-8119 and for applications.

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Pageant Facts

by Jenny Lundahl, associate editor

Two major pageants are available to young women: Miss USA and Miss America. These two pageants differ from each other in several ways. Miss America is the original beauty pageant that started on the mainland in the 1920s. Originally, the format for the contest was a swimsuit competition. This evolved to include eveningwear, and then an interview. The talent competition was added in 1935. Scholarships were not offered as prizes until 1945 and have grown from $5,000 a year in awards to $25,000.

In today’s Miss America pageant, talent is 40 percent of the overall score. The interview is 30 percent, while evening gown and swimsuit each count for 15 percent. Contestants must be between 18-25, never married and without children, and must have won another beauty pageant in order to enter.

The Miss USA pageant organization grew out of a disagreement between the two creators of Miss America. The creator of Miss USA wanted the pageant to be more beauty oriented. Therefore, this pageant has only three categories: swimsuit, evening gown, and interview, all of equal importance in the judging process.

In Hawai‘i, both pageants require a $500 entry fee, which contestants generally get from sponsors. Both pageants offer winners 100 percent scholarships at HPU, while first and second runners-up receive 50 percent scholarship each. HPU also offers scholarships for Miss Hawaii/Miss Hawaii USA Teen, for a total of six scholarships. Young women, who are considering pageantry as a way to finance their education, should remember that at least nine months of local residence is required.

Source: "Miss America – In pursuit of the crown," by Ann-Marie Bivans.


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