By LaTia Bostick '14
Twenty-four-year-old Catawba College senior, Ashley Jackson, will compete in the Miss Washington USA 2014 pageant October 18 and 19. The winner of this competition will compete for the national title of Miss USA.
Jackson, who was raised in the University Place/Tacoma area for most of her life, is a Theatre Arts major who plans to graduate from Catawba in December 2013. She currently holds the title of Miss University Place USA 2013.
Jackson's platform for the upcoming competition will be "Arts Education: The Key to Student Achievement." In support of this platform, she has raised funds and donations to provide 80 backpacks filled with school supplies to two local elementary schools in her hometown, Evergreen Primary and University Place Primary. She has also spoken to the University Place City Council about the importance of Arts Education in the local school system.
Jackson says she has always wanted to enter a pageant, but has never had a chance to do so until recently. She notes she wants to be a role model to young girls and says the pageant provides a forum for doing so.
At Catawba, Jackson has been active in many Blue Masque Theatre productions. She appeared as Storyteller Mama Euralie in "Once on this Island," and worked as a member of the stage crew in productions ranging from "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to "The Life of Galileo." She will direct Catawba's production of "For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide/when the Rainbow is Enuf" which runs Oct. 23-26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Florence Busby Corriher Theatre on campus.
The Miss Washington USA pageant will take place at the Highline Performance Art Center in Burien, Washington beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST October 18, and the semi-finalists will be announced at 5:30 p.m. PST October 19 before moving into the final round of competition. For more details about the pageant, visit www.misswashingtonusa.com. Follow Jackson's journey to the pageant on her Facebook page at facebook.com/AJacksonUP.