Straughn graduate crowned USA National Miss Alabama
Published 8:45 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Beauty pageants just seem to come naturally for Kayla Mitchell, who won the 2022 USA National Miss Alabama pageant in Chattanooga last weekend.
“Having this title is so exciting for me because I will have the chance to represent our entire state at a national pageant,” Mitchell said. “I love challenging myself to be better than I was yesterday, so this will be the opportunity of a lifetime to work on myself and meet girls from all across the USA.”
There were 21 girls competing for the title at this year’s event. Mitchell was elated when she found out she was named the winner. “I was extremely proud of myself and could not stop smiling because I knew all my hard work paid off,” she said.
She said the most enjoyable part of the experience was performing in the talent portion. “Despite being very nervous to begin with, I was honored to win the overall talent award.” Mitchell sang “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston for her talent.
Mitchell first became interested in beauty pageants when she was a teenager.
“I was convinced pageants were superficial, and I would never participate until my best friend Santana roped me into our eighth grade pageant. I realized that pageants are about a lot more than how you look. They are about sisterhood, service, and even scholarship. When I compete in pageants now, I strive to show kindness, lend a helping hand, and improve different skills like public speaking,” she said. “Thanks to pageantry, I have gained self-confidence, made friendships, and earned scholarships.”
Mitchell said Élan Formals has helped her pick almost every dress she has. “They help me feel confident and advise me to wear what I feel the most beautiful in. My favorite part of the dress I wore for this competition is the cape.”
She added she would take some life lessons from the competition.
“It was one of the best pageant experiences for me because of how kind and uplifting everyone was. It has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone to always make sure others feel as supported as I did. No act of kindness is ever wasted.”
Mitchell is a 2016 graduate of Straughn High School and 2020 graduate of Troy University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in biology, health science, and civic engagement.
Her next steps will include preparing for the national competition by practicing for interview and talent. In addition, she will be finalizing her application for veterinary school. The national competition will take place July 3-9, 2022, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
She is the daughter of Michael and Joyce Mitchell of the Antioch community and has a younger brother, Ryan, who is a junior at Troy. “I am so grateful to my friends and family for supporting my goals and always being there to cheer me on,” Mitchell said.