Four young women from the Wichita area will be competing June 7-10 for the title of Miss Kansas. The winner will advance to the Miss America competition in December.
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the worlds’ largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. The Miss Kansas Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, makes available academic, community service, and other scholarships to women between the ages of 13 and 28, through the Miss Kansas and Miss Kansas Teen pageants.
This year there are 16 delegates vying for the Miss Kansas title. The women representing Wichita in the competition:
Tiayla Maholmes is a student at Friends University, pursuing a major in Business Administration. “I am thrilled to be participating in the Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition,” Tiayla says. “My deep passion lies in empowering voices and perspectives that frequently go unnoticed.”
She says her journey in the realm of pageantry has been truly extraordinary.
“Through my platform, Amplify to Magnify, I have gained insights into the power of authenticity, resilience, and the significance of embracing one’s unique voice,” she says. “I actively choose to engage in pageants due to the opportunities they provide for professional development, the fostering of community connections, and the cultivation of a genuine sense of sisterhood.”
Alison Nofsinger is a freshman at Labette Community College pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She plans to go on to grad school to obtain a Masters of Science in Nursing and work as a pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
“I am an advocate for all things kidney transplants and chronic kidney failure,” she says. “I even have a project entitled “Operation Kidney Donation” where I am able to spread awareness on renal failure and connect living donors and those in need of transplants.”
Alison says she has always looked up to the women on the Miss America stage, but never felt like she could get there.
“I was always extremely shy and introverted until one day I decided I wasn’t going to let my self doubt detour me from my dreams,” she says.
Alexis Smith is a graduate of Newman University, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing.
“My further ambition is to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist after working two years in the Cardiothoracic ICU. My purpose is to make an impact on the lives of others. I chose nursing because I want to be able to empower and impact the quality of life for others,” Alexis says. “My passion is advocating for victims of intimate partner violence. Through my community service initiative, Advocating for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence, I am able to share my story and partner with local organizations to spread education and awareness on healthy relationships and partner violence.”
She said participating in pageants has been a special hobby that has developed her into the woman she is today.
“I continue to participate in organizations, such as the Miss America Organization, because of the endless opportunities to further my education, career, and make progress in my professional development,” she says.
Courtney Wages graduated from Wichita State University, May 2021.
“My career ambition is to advance the quality of life in Kansas through fine arts and health administration,” she said. “I am passionate about serving people who are blind and visually impaired.”
Courtney said she loves scholarship pageants because they have given her confidence, career readiness skills, scholarship dollars, and opportunities that will last a lifetime.