Sallie Stowers was born and raised in Dawson County and has lived in the same house her whole life. She graduated from Dawson County High School and is a freshman at UGA with a big dream she will soon accomplish: to represent her hometown in the Miss Georgia pageant in June.
Stowers said she did a few pageants when she was little but was never interested, until one day she decided she wanted to give pageants another try.
“I competed in a pageant and I was approached by someone who watched me clog, which is my talent, and said ‘you need to be doing this’,” Stowers said. “I decided maybe this was something I’m interested in, so I just kind of got thrown into it and I love it.”
During her time as a student at Dawson County High School, Stowers competed in pageants and won the Miss Outstanding Teen title that allowed her to go to the Miss Georgia pageant during her junior year.
Stowers decided to take a year off from pageants during her senior year and was planning on coming back to the competition after she graduated, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit all the pageants shut down. But thanks to the Miss America organization bending the pageant rules to accommodate all the changes that came with Covid, Stowers now has another shot at competing for the title of Miss Georgia.
“Miss America was super generous and actually changed the rules so that I could go,” Stowers said. “It’s called ‘at large’ so that I could go to Miss Georgia and compete.”
Because Stowers had previously won a title as a teen, she was given the opportunity to choose her own local title and join the group of fellow competitors hoping to win the Miss Georgia crown. According to Stowers, the title that she chose is a way of honoring her hometown of Dawson.
“I was given a local title and I decided to make it Miss Amicalola Falls to represent, you know because I’m a Dawson County girl, so that’s how I came up with that title,” Stowers said.
Stowers is now fully in preparation mode for the Miss Georgia pageant, which will be June 15-19 in Columbus. Preparing for the upcoming pageant includes getting specific wardrobe pieces for each phase of the competition and quite a few other behind-the-scenes tasks.
“I do mock interviews sometimes like once a week, so I’ll have someone sit down with me and just throw questions my way so I’m prepared for the private interviews portion,” Stowers said. “And then I have some paperwork, resumes and essays I have to do, so that’s what I’ve been working on recently.”
One very important thing Stowers hopes to accomplish in the Miss Georgia competition is raising awareness for an organization she has been involved with for several years now: Relay for Life.
“My social impact initiative is Relay for Life which is the fundraising arm of the American Cancer Society, so I was involved with the one in Dawsonville and I started one at the high school when I went there, and now that I’m at UGA I’m involved in the one here so I’ve been doing a lot with them,” Stowers said. “So I hope that I can tell the judges about that and inform some people on how awesome an organization Relay is.”
For more information on the Miss Georgia pageant and how to follow Stowers’ journey at the competition in June, go to https://www.missgeorgia.net/miss-georgia.