The Mu Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha held its sixth annual Miss Freshman Pageant at Marvin Center Sunday, showcasing five ladies from the class of 2011.
Tiffany Shaw won the title of Miss Freshman and $1,000 in scholarship money. She also received the top fundraiser award for raising almost $1,500 for the Level Ten Organization, a group that strives to minimize the educational gaps in under-served communities in D.C.
"I originally decided to join the Miss Freshman pageant as a way to broaden my circle of friends," Shaw said. "My favorite part of the entire process was the pageant itself. I felt like we were more than just five beautiful young women in evening gowns...we were united."
The proceeds from ticket sales and fundraising by sorority members went to the Level Ten organization. Participants raised more than $3,000 for the organization.
Shaw and freshmen Lauren French, Lisa Thomas, Angeliqué Israel and Ashley Demby participated in several events as part of their training for the pageant, including dance classes with Capitol Funk, an etiquette workshop and the 2007 AIDS Walk.
Shaw spoke about the positive influence that the pageant winner can have on the world.
"It's so much more than (the money), although it will help with the tuition," she said. "It's about the lasting friends I have made and will continue to have. I want to impact someone's life now. I feel as if I have a bigger outlet to help others than I would have if I had not entered the pageant, much less having won."
Three judges rated each young woman on her "grace, talent and sincerity" as well as "her commitment to workshops, community service and fundraising," according to the event's program. This year's judges were Dean of Freshmen Fred Siegel, Mu Delta alumna Yvette Judge and 2005's Miss Freshman Toochi Ngwangwa.
Siegel said, "This year's pageant was even better than last years. I'd like to see the new Miss Freshman run for (Student Association) president next year."
The night began with a dance routine to Mariah Carey's "Fly like a Bird," followed by a talent exhibition and an eveningwear presentation. The talent exhibition allowed each of the freshmen to show off their abilities. Some girls read monologues and poems, and another sang Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All." After parading around their evening dresses, the contestants entered a brief question-and-answer period, which featured questions on their personal lives and their legacy at GW.
French won the Miss Congeniality award and also placed second runner up, winning $250 in scholarship money. Thomas won first runner-up, receiving $500 in scholarship money.
Israel said, "This was a great experience. I am happy to be here with these four other amazing women."
Thomas added, "I had a great time. I loved all of it.