MaKayla Sprouse, the first-ever Miss Henry County, was crowned the second runner-up in this year’s Miss Virginia Association of Fairs Scholarship Pageant.
Sprouse, who took the mantel of Miss Henry County during the County’s inaugural pageant in 2021, said she is proud of her performance in her first statewide pageant.
“I feel incredible for placing (third) out of 23 girls,” Sprouse said. “Most of the girls there have been there multiple times. This being my first time, and me being from a small town, it was great to have placed so highly at such a big event.”
The Miss Virginia Association of Fairs Scholarship Pageant took place in Williamsburg, Va., from Jan. 8-9, with 23 contestants vying for a $4,000 scholarship to a college of their choice. Sprouse received a $1,000 scholarship for placing third.
“This scholarship helps tremendously,” Sprouse said. “It allows me to put money towards my tuition at an out-of-state college, which is super expensive, and it allows me to achieve my dreams of becoming an anesthesiologist.”
Sprouse intends to use her scholarship for the anesthesiologist program at Wake Forest University.
“Along with the scholarship, overall the experience itself helps you better understand how to communicate with others and just gives you a huge opportunity to be involved in more things,” Sprouse added.
While rewarding, Sprouse said that the competition can be daunting for newcomers. The pageant includes a question-and-answer session, a platform speech, an outfit competition and several hours of rehearsals.
“My advice for the next Miss Henry County is to just be yourself,” Sprouse said. “One thing I got asked a lot during this competition was what was my ‘why.’ This is something I never thought about before but coming into a competition this competitive with so many other girls, it takes a lot of confidence and stability. But anyone can succeed as long as they put their minds to it and work hard. My big advice is to understand your ‘why.’ Try to figure out what is your purpose in competing in this event.”