The smiles were broad and appreciation sincere as Kenai senior citizens shared their News Year’s Eve luncheon with hometown beauty queen, the new reigning Miss Alaska Collegiate for 2015. Molly Copple a Kenai Central High School graduate from the class of 2010 came home for the holidays to share her crown with some of her greatest admirers at the Kenai Senior Center. Copple is presently a sophomore at University of Alaska Anchorage majoring in fisheries and wildlife biology while working on her commercial pilot’s license. “Fisheries are a passion of mine and I hope someday to be able to contribute to restoring the king salmon fisheries to their former levels in Alaska,” said Copple. The Miss America Collegiate competition is part of the original Miss America scholarship program minus the swimsuit and talent competition. “While the focus remains on physical beauty and self-confidence, while embracing academic and community service as well. The program is an advocate against bullying and we take that message to high schools across the country. The Miss Collegiate America Pageant competition exists for the purpose of providing personal and professional opportunities for collegiate women. It is their goal to provide outstanding ladies the opportunity to compete in a pageant system that has the highest of moral values,” explained Copple.
Alaska crowned three queens last year who will be going on to the national competition in Orlando Florida July 4th and 5th, one at the Jr. High level, one at the high school level and Miss Collegiate Alaska Molly Copple. The national competition will be streamed on line through the Miss America website. Molly says she is excited about the opportunity to represent Alaska. “Growing up hunting and fishing on the Kenai I was an unlikely candidate for a beauty competition, but I was interested in gaining self-confidence, for me it’s not so much about the beauty and dressing up, but since I began competing I have gained so much in personal confidence and interview skills that come from being on stage in front of an audience of hundreds of people. It’s really an adrenalin rush and a lot of fun that has helped me with job interviews and real life skills which help a woman succeed in the real world and yet who isn’t necessarily talented when it comes to music, dance or entertainment. The Miss Collegiate program is great because you don’t need to look great in a swimsuit or spend tons of money on evening gowns and it’s a lot of fun,” said Copple.