If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
By BETH ZUMWALT
“It was an amazing experience,” Juliana Fray said of her time competing in the Miss Illinois pageant. “I’ve always wanted to do it. I set making the top 10 as my goal, so finishing as fourth runner-up supersedes that.”
Fray, along with her princess, Aria White, left for Marion last Monday, and immediately were thrust into the excitement of a big pageant.
“Tuesday at 8 a.m. we started with meetings and rehearsals,” Fray said of her week in Marion. “Wednesday was our preliminary and evening gown competition; Thursday was our on stage interview and our presentation on our social impact project.”
Fray’s social impact project revolves around her major at the University of Florida – political campaigns.
“I went to the University of Tampa for my undergraduate and major in political science with a double minor in law and justice and advocacy,” Fray said. “My social impact project involves educating, registering and motivating the youth in our country to vote.”
With one year left on graduate school, Fray is considering taking a job with the City of Miami with the city council and mayor’s office.
“I may take a year off from school,” she said. “It’s a lifetime opportunity and grad school will always be there.”
Fray said her favorite part of the pageant and of any of the pageants in which she has competed is the on-stage interview.
“It gives me a chance to tell the judges about myself and what I could do as Miss Illinois,” Fray said.
Fray won $1,200 in scholarship money for her fourth place finish and believes there is another scholarship for her top 10 appearance.
“I’ll use that for student loans or toward my next semester,” she said.
Fray said she was proud to participate in the Miss Illinois pageant, one of the largest scholarship organizations in the nation.
“They provide a platform for young women to showcase their talents, public speaking skills and their commitment to community service as they compete to win thousands of dollars in scholarship assistance,” Fray said. Fray competed in a musical theatre number for her dance in the talent competition. The dance was choreographed by Ashley Waters, owner and teacher at Ashley’s Dance Company in Barry.“The entire organization runs on volunteers,” Fray said. “You see all these people running all over the place to make sure everything runs smoothly and you realize they are all volunteers. It is amazing.”