Sophe Sligh: Winner of the nation’s first virtual pageant Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas

Photo Credit: Sophe Sligh

Sophe Sligh of Hot Springs, Arkansas was the first runner-up at this year’s Miss Tech pageant. “Miss Tech was my first pageant, and this pageant was about me stepping out of my box and trying new opportunities,” said Sophe.

However, runner-up did not qualify her for Miss Arkansas, so Sophe kept competing. Sophe recently won Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas, a preliminary pageant for Miss Arkansas and the nation’s first virtual pageant due to COVID-19 and social distancing laws.

“I was very fortunate to have had my first pageant experience at Miss Tech, so I knew what to expect. I used the Zoom app to go through each phase of the competition and connect with the judges. It was definitely a different experience, but I’m very thankful for the [creative] thinking of the Miss Arkansas Board for allowing the pageant to take place at all,” said Sophe.

Photo Credit: Sophe Sligh

While competing for Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas, Sophe performed a song on her violin for the talent portion. “I have been playing the violin since I was six years old, and I just knew that had to be my talent,” said Sophe.

Even though the pageant went exceedingly well for Sophe, there were obstacles: “One downside of the virtual pageant was not [being] able to communicate and connect with the other candidates, as that is something I look forward to. It was especially different, walking away with a title and not [receiving] a crown or a sash. Still, the crowning ceremony is set to take place once everything with COVID-19 begins to resolve,” said Sophe.

Sophe is in her junior year at Arkansas Tech University, and she is majoring in nursing. Her social impact aspect was Live Smart for a Healthy Heart. She is one of four ladies from ATU in the running for Miss Arkansas 2020.

Photo Credit: Sophe Sligh

“I’m humbled to be one of the ladies from the university competing. I love Tech and the students that attend,” said Sophe.

While preparing for Miss Arkansas, Sophe has been perfecting her interviewing skills by practicing through phone calls and video interviews. When asked why she wanted to participate in Miss Arkansas, Sophe said, “I never thought I would be here; it’s very surreal because competing in Miss Arkansas has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. My mom and I would go to the pageants, and I knew that one day I wanted to compete.”

The Miss Arkansas pageant has been rescheduled due to COVID-19.

“Overall, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Miss Arkansas 2020 class. No matter when the pageant takes place, I’m ready and excited,” said Sophe.

Photo Credit: Sophe Sligh

Tara Espinoza

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