Sarah Ford, a junior at Union University, is no ordinary young lady. The outstanding young woman placed 2nd runner-up in the Top 3 at the National American Miss competition last week.
Not only is Miss Ford excelling on stage, but off stage.
Ford is double majoring in psychology and family studies and plans to go into counseling and one day be a motivational speaker to empower others to embrace confidence and reach their dreams. And she doesn’t stop there.
The talented Ford is also a Union University cheerleader and has been on the team since freshman year. On campus, she is involved in Chi Omega Fraternity, where she serves in the community, intramurals, and as the Panhellenic Vice President. Ford is a Student Ambassador working in the Psychology Club and Psi Chi National Honor Society and is a mentor at the HUB club in Jackson, TN.
Ford had the opportunity to partner with Soles4Souls and help donated 1095 pairs of shoes, 196 pounds of clothing, and $1250 through her efforts organizing a BBQ plate lunch and 1st Annual Sole Trot.
What made you want to get into doing pageants?
“When I was in 5th grade my homeroom teacher was hosting the annual school pageant. It seemed interesting so I took the form home to my mom only two weeks before the event,” stated Ford. “She had no idea where to find a dress or do my hair and makeup. But, the event came, we had it all together. Although I had no idea I was even being judged I ended up placing 3rd runner up. I was instantly hooked and I continued to do local pageants.”
Ford said years after she started her pageant-journey, she received a letter in the mail inviting her to the National American Miss pageant.
“I had seen the organization in magazines and was really interested. And it seemed like the next step in my pageant career. My mom was a little hesitant so she told me to ask my step-dad. He was all for it. So as I prepared over a few short months the NAM Tennessee pageant came.”
As a shy 13-year old, Ford competed her first year in Pre-Teen and placed in the Top 20.
“I came back year after year. Each year I learned something new from communication skills to stage presents. I even learned how to speak into the microphone,” noted Ford.
Along with new skills, came new life-long friends, in which she says she still keeps in contact with.
After seven years of Top 20 and placing in Top 5, Sarah Ford took home the title of National American Miss Tennessee Teen.
“I never stop trying because I believe in everything this organization encompasses-gaining confidence, setting goals, chasing dreams, and growing life skills.”
What advice do you give to girls who may want to do pageants?
“To any girl wanting to do pageants, GO FOR IT! I have never once regretted doing pageants. I have learned a lot of lessons about others, the world, and most importantly myself. Always stay true to yourself,” noted Ford.
“Don’t make it about a competition, just try to do your ultimate best. Also, make friends and give back to the community. Also, never ever give up! I waited 7 years before I got a state title and attended nationals 3 times before making it into the Top 10 in the nation. Prior to this year, I had never received a trophy at nationals. This year I left with five!! So always practice and never stop trying because good things come to those who wait!”
The National American Miss organization emphasizes growing confidence and unleashing potential, and Ford says her experience has been nothing but less than amazing.
“NAM has shown me how much I love empowering others and motivating them to be the best version of themselves. It has been a great example of how to reach your dreams.”
Ford noted that after each competition she felt confident about her performance because of her preparation before-hand.
“As they started to call out the Top 10 I was in utter shock when they said “Tennessee” that I nearly cried as I walked off stage,” said Ford. “And I thought to myself, if this is as far as I get I am pleased because I have accomplished something not all girls have. Then As I approached the stage again, they called “Tennessee” for TOP 5! WOW!! I was so appreciative and amazed.”
Ford’s favorite time came when she had to present her personal introduction, and for good reason. Having so much for stand for as a contestant on and off the stage was an incredible accomplishment.
As they announced Tennessee for 2nd runner-up, Ford said she was beyond grateful.
“I knew I had done my personal best. I am beyond pleased with my placement, and I think it was a good way to end my time with NAM,” stated Ford.
“I give all the glory to God for this opportunity, and there is no way that without Him I could have done as well as I did.”
Can we see you preparing for any pageant in the future?
I’m not sure at the moment if I will be preparing for any pageants. But, I’m looking forward to experiencing other systems as I have aged out of National American Miss.
Regardless, pageants or no pageants, Miss Sarah Ford is certainly a young woman to be reckoned with. With her inspiring message, community involvement, and dedication to her dreams, Ford certainly has a bright future ahead.
For more information on the National American Miss organization, visit http://www.namiss.com.