Silver Dorsa, Saint Vincent class of 2017, will be competing in the Miss Laurel Highlands scholarship pageant on Nov. 5 at the Ramada Inn in Greensburg. The competition gives local young women an opportunity to earn scholarships for college, gain community service experience, and advocate for a platform that is important to them.
The Miss America Organization recently partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and draw attention to children’s hospitals in the United States.
According to the Miss America website, competitors in Miss America and affiliated pageants are now required to raise at least $100 in donations for the Miss America scholarship and Children’s Miracle Network Hospital funds. The donation acts as an entrance fee into the pageants,
and also serves as the participant’s service requirement.
Contestants become goodwill ambassadors for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and help to raise awareness to their cause.
Additionally, contestants must also select another charity or organization that is important to them. This charity serves as the contestant’s platform for which they wish to create recognition.
Dorsa plans to support the suicide awareness and prevention cause by raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Dorsa explains her personal connection to the cause.
“It is something deeply connected to my heart and something I believe to be extremely important,” Dorsa said. “In middle school and high school, many of my close friends struggled with self-harm and mental health issues. At the same time, my mother attempted suicide twice. Last fall, a close family friend who I grew up with, lovingly referred to as my cousin Cody, died by suicide. They are all the reason I chose this cause.”
Dorsa hopes that continuing to raise money and awareness will help to end the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness.
Dorsa is working to bring American Foundation for Suicide Prevention events to Saint Vincent, such as the “Out of the Darkness” campus walk, or the foundation’s “Talk Saves Lives” presentation.
Participants in the Miss Laurel Highlands pageant are judged in five areas
during the competition, including a private interview with the judging panel, an on-stage question regarding the selected platform, a lifestyle and fitness in swimwear section and an evening gown section.
Dorsa describes some of the preparation involved for the pageant.
“My preparation for the pageant has been mainly a lot of training and studying. I have been working out every day, practicing my talent, and working on my pageant walk,” Dorsa said.
Dorsa will be performing, in French, “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf for the pageant’s talent section.
In addition, Dorsa has been preparing for the on-stage questions.
“I have been reading up on current events, as well as anything they could ask me about my platform,” said Dorsa.
The Miss Laurel Highlands 2018 competition will be Dorsa’s first pageant.
Dorsa said, “I have always had an interest in the Miss America organization, however I never felt like I was in a position where I could compete.”
Dorsa was introduced to pageants by helping her friend compete in California.
“I always enjoyed helping her with those,” Dorsa said.
The winner of the Miss Laurel Highlands title will continue to compete at the Miss Pennsylvania pageant, who’s winner advances to the Miss America competition.
Dorsa is originally from Los Angeles, California. She graduated in May 2017 with a degree in international business and management, and an operational excellence minor. Dorsa studied abroad in France while attending Saint Vincent.
Dorsa is currently serving as the assistant coach for the Saint Vincent College women’s rugby team.
Dorsa is awaiting a start date for a contract professional position with Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. in Monroeville.
Photos provided by Dorsa