What it means to be Queen
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—Two young women won countywide contests last year using platforms aimed at helping young people realize the dangers of overusing social media.
Bellamy Sorensen, Miss Sanpete County 2019, and Nikki Evans, Miss Sanpete County Outstanding Teen 2019, both ran on platforms of helping other teens understand how the use of technology and media can be helpful, but overuse can lead to harmful side effects.
“You have a crown on your head, but that’s not what being Miss Sanpete County is about,” Sorensen says. “It’s being a role model for others, and living as an example. It’s showing kids there are role models for them to emulate.”
Sorensen’s platform was: “Unplug: The effects of technology and media.” She says the “Unplug” initiative had one main goal. She wanted to help youth and children learn how to fight the urge to be connected to a device, and have the willpower to unplug from the addiction of technology and media.
During her year of service, Sorensen sought to practice what her platform taught. While she competed at Miss Utah, Sorensen turned off her cell phone and went social media-free for the entire competition.
Sorensen also used her time teaching piano lessons as another example of doing something else. “By showing my kids that you don’t have to be plugged into social media all the time, I hope to show them they can set their phone down and have fun,” says Sorensen.
Evans’ platform was “Teens behind screens.” According to Evans, her platform “helped the community recognize the part cell phones have in our lives and how the time spent on electronics can create a problem in the way we communicate to one another.”
Evans aimed more at teaching teens about privacy and safety concerns. “By teaching the public about the measures taken by each app to ensure safety, everyone can contribute to a safer online environment by filtering offensive content and reporting dangerous accounts or comments.”
Both Sorensen and Evans competed at the state level, Sorensen at the Miss Utah Pageant and Evans at the Miss Utah Outstanding Teen Pageant.
Although neither won, both agreed it was a wonderful and growing experience. “The Miss Utah competition was truly a life-changing event that makes me want to continue to do better and show others the great examples that the Miss America Organization wants us to be,” said Sorensen.
Evans, a senior at Manti High School this year, plans to compete in the regular Miss Sanpete County Pageant coming up next Friday, Aug. 9.
After high school, Evans hopes to work toward an education in physical therapy. Evans says, “My aunt does it, and she loves it. It looks like a friendly, safe environment.”
Sorensen will be working toward her radiology technician degree at Weber State University.
The Miss Sanpete County and Miss Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Snow College Eccles Center. Tickets will be available at the door, which open at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children aged 4-11. Each adult ticket comes with one pageant program. Additional programs are $1 each.