HAMMOND, LA- For Chelsea Blank, a Southeastern senior and current Miss Southeastern, the month of October will serve as a new beginning for her, much like last December.
Last December was the month that Blank began her journey as Miss Southeastern when she won her crown and title.
Since last December, Blank has worked very diligently to uphold her title and crown and to help prepare the university for the next annual Miss Southeastern pageant.
Blank has spent the past ten months working alongside the university in her official capacity to participate in many student organizations as well as university activities. She paired with the Student Government Association, the Southeastern Sustainability Center, and Southeastern’s designated charity organization, the Children’s Hospital.
Blank said in an interview that she wanted to help people with her involvement with her title and not just be a beauty queen. She said that her work helped her see the bigger picture of student involvement in organizations and gave her a better appreciation for her school.
Blank also spent the last few months preparing for the next annual Miss Southeastern pageant.
While Blank worked with these Southeastern organizations, she also partnered with an organization that fit her platform that she ran for during her successful attempt for the Miss Southeastern crown. This partnership would be integral in returning a long-lost event to the university.
The partnership that Blank made was with the Down Syndrome Association of the Greater New Orleans Area, also known as DSAGNO. According to its website, the organization serves as a beacon for those children and teenagers in South Louisiana that are affected by Down Syndrome. In trying to find a fundraising event for the partnership, Blank had the idea to restart the Mr. Southeastern pageant.
The Mr. Southeastern pageant, or the Mr. SLU pageant, for short, was last held in 2007. This year’s pageant will have twelve contestants.
Blank brought back the male counterpart to the Miss Southeastern pageant, as a sole fundraising attempt for her partnership organization. The pageant, much like the female counterpart, will be run on a talent and beauty competition.
The Mr. Southeastern competition will work hand-in-hand, according to Blank, with the DSAGNO Buddy Walk to raise money for the organization.
As current Miss Southeastern, Blank stated that she excited last year to see the interest that was drawn by the Miss Southeastern pageant in which there was not enough space at the Columbia Theatre in Downtown Hammond to handle all of the attendees. She is hoping for the same interest this year in the Miss Southeastern pageant, as well as the new Mr. Southeastern pageant.
Blank is hoping that both pageants will run very smoothly this year and will continue to grow into events that the entire university will want to attend.
Blank will work with the new Miss Southeastern to further both events as she still has a year left at the university.
In a closing statement, Blank gave some advice to future contestants for both pageants. She said that what helped her in her journey as Miss Southeastern was by following her life motto. In that, she stated that one must set goals for oneself and see them through. She said that you must not let people tear you down or let your dream be crushed by their opinion. Her final words were to prove people wrong whenever they tell you that you cannot do something that you want to.
The 2019 Miss Southeastern pageant will be held at the Columbia Theatre on December 6th and the 2019 Mr. Southeastern pageant will be held on October 2nd in the Student Union Theatre.