This week, Dawson County native Sallie Stowers will once again return to the Miss Georgia state to compete for the title of Miss Georgia and the chance to move on and compete for Miss America.
Stowers competed in pageants throughout high school, and as a freshman at the University of Georgia she competed at the Miss Georgia pageant in June of 2021, placing in the top 15 last year under the title “Miss Amicalola Falls”.
Now, Stowers is back with a determination to compete for the Miss Georgia crown again, this year competing under the title of “Miss Atlanta”, which she won back in August.
“I won my title of Miss Atlanta back in August; that was an open local competition so I won my title there,” Stowers said. “From there I’ve just been doing a lot of preparations, a lot of practice interviews, a lot of talent rehearsals and just getting ready.”
Stowers traveled down to Columbus, Ga over this past weekend and has a packed schedule this week with the competition, including participating in a private interview, talent and evening gown, social impact pitch and onstage question.
“I will compete in interview on Tuesday, evening gown on Wednesday, talent Thursday and onstage question and social impact pitch on Friday,” Stowers said. “Saturday will be the finals where they’ll call the top 15, and if I make the top 15 I’ll get to do all of it all over again — it really is nine days of just busy busy busy.”
While at the competition, Stowers will raise awareness for her social impact initiative: Relay for Life. Relay for Life is the fundraising arm of the American Cancer Society, and Stowers, who is heavily involved in UGA’s Relay for Life team, said that it’s an organization that is close to her heart.
“Cancer is something that everyone can relate to unfortunately and Relay is one of those organizations that really makes you feel like you’re making a difference and you can truly see that difference that you’re making,” Stowers said. “They do incredible things like providing rides to treatment and hotel stays and things like that and it’s just such a great organization; I’ve gotten to really develop a super close relationship with my UGA Relay family this year as Miss Atlanta.”
During the Miss Georgia competition, Stowers will be one of over 50 “Miss” candidates competing for the crown. Out of this total, only 15 will be chosen to move on and continue in the competition for the Miss Georgia crown, a $20,000 scholarship and the chance to represent her state in the Miss America competition.
Stowers said that the part of the competition she’s most excited for is one that not everyone would enjoy: the private interview.
“I would say in terms of competition I’m most excited about the interview,” Stowers said. “I love to get to know the judges and that’s really an awesome opportunity for me to show what I care about and a little bit of my personality before they see me onstage.”
Outside of the competition, she said that she’s most excited to participate in the Miss Georgia Peach Princess Program, which pairs competitors like Stowers with younger girls to mentor and to spend time with during their time at the competition.
“The Miss Georgia organization has an incredible mentorship program where young girls ages five to 12 get to come down and spend time with us and it’s just so much fun,” Stowers said. "So I’ll have two princesses down there with me that I get to spend some time with and it’s just so rewarding for me; I just love shaping them into strong young women like we’ll get to see compete next week.”
During the talent portion of the competition, Stowers will showcase a lesser-known talent that she has been learning since she was a child: contemporary clogging.
“I’ve been a competitive clogger since the age of nine so it’s my thing; I put a lot of pressure on myself so I’m a little nervous but I’m so excited for that,” Stowers said. “I’m really looking forward to sharing it with the judges — it’s something unique that a lot of people have never seen, the audience always love to get into it and it’s a high-energy performance so I really think people enjoy it.”
Stowers said that knowing how much support she has during the competition, especially from her hometown of Dawsonville, is a huge morale boost for her.
“Dawsonville shaped me into who I am,” Stowers said. “This is such a tight-knit community and I went to school here all 13 years so part of who I am is Dawsonville; so the community means so much to me.”
Some of the biggest boosts to Stowers, she said, are to receive comments on social media, messages online or letters in the mail with well-wishes and encouragement.
She documents her Miss Atlanta journey on her Instagram page at @missatlanta2022 and on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011893873954 and said that she loves getting comments and messages on both pages.
Stowers also has a mailing address to use during the competition and said that receiving letters or other forms of communication that way is another boost for her.
“I have my address posted on there that will be for letters while I’m at Miss Georgia, and I would love to hear from people in Dawsonville,” Stowers said.
To send Stowers a letter or gift this week while she’s at the competition, she can be reached at:
For cards and mail: Sallie Stowers, Miss Atlanta, Mu14, 25 West Tenth Street, Columbus, Ga, 31901.
For gifts and flowers: Sallie Stowers, Miss Atlanta, Mu14, 1011 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Columbus, GA, 31901.
For more information about the miss Georgia competition, go to https://www.missgeorgia.net/miss-georgia.