ORLANDO, Fla. Among this year’s crown holders for the International United Miss pageant who were chosen Saturday, July 15, in Orlando, Florida is Shenandoah Valley native and Turner Ashby High School graduate Madison Rogers.
Rogers’ passion for pageants began when she was just three years old.
I saw a local pageant and thought it was the coolest thing ever, Rogers recalled, so I begged my mom to let me do it too. She thought I would forget about it [the pageants]but i don’t.
Rogers’ mom Marcella Rogers entered it to compete in a pageant at the Rockingham County Fair, and after that first pageant experience, young Rogers was hooked.
For the past 17 years, she has competed in scholarship pageants up and down the east coast and has won a host of titles including 2017 Junior Miss Rockingham County, which remains one of her favorites.
According to Rogers, each pageant system has its own flair, but most consist of three fields of evening gowns, an interview about the contestants’ hobbies and goals, and an upbeat runway-style event called fun fashion and a prize package filled with scholarships, gifts or trips. While many pageants center around beauty and fashion, the pageants Rogers competes in are primarily based around community service.
Pageant titleholders become spokespeople for their values in addition to representing the cities they call home, which helps explain the weight of the most recent Rogers International United Miss crowning. Rogers revealed that she has been competing in the IUM system for four years and is proud of her dedication and commitment to winning the show.
I really fell in love with IUMs values and thats why I stuck around, Rogers said. This year was crazy. I stayed determined, I didn’t give up on my dreams and I won that title.
For the IUM pageant, Rogers wore a voluminous pink evening gown, competed in a fun way, aced a rigorous interview section and delivered a 45-second opening speech that she can still recite in her sleep, she said.
Building a better world requires knowing what it has to offer, Rogers recited, which is why this future ESL teacher never misses an opportunity to travel, having just returned from her second international trip. With over 2,000 hours of community service. I created my platform to help others grow, inspire and volunteer through education. As an experienced camp counselor who has helped with organizations like Operation Christmas Child and Relay for Life, I have found that service provides my purpose. [I am] an award-winning photographer, nature lover and travel enthusiast who is making the most of every moment.
Girls from across the country won titles in 10 different age categories, but Rogers was the only competitor originally from Virginia. Rogers noted that she has made countless friends from different backgrounds and throughout her showbiz career, her mother has remained her biggest supporter.
She helps me so much with my wardrobe and makes sure everything is ready to go and in perfect shape, Rogers said, that I think she works just as hard as I do.
Rogers recalled being able to see her mothers reaction from the crowd during the coronation and it was pure emotion.
For the next year, Rogers will keep her IUM title and go on five trips, including time in Disney and Washington, D.C. and an overseas flight with her generation sisters. Rogers also plans to volunteer at several state-level competitions and represent IUM at the Commonwealth as well.
There are many reasons for contests and contest competition, Rogers said. One of the main reasons is empowerment. Pageants create a space for girls to be able to showcase their confidence, skills and passions, but it’s also a way to promote causes that are important to them.