Herceg, a 19-year-old native of Steubenville, Ohio, told Rotarians she is currently attending Franciscan University of Steubenville and will be changing her major from children’s education to computer science.
She noted the Miss Ohio Valley program is part of the Miss American Program which, according to Herceg, is the largest provider of scholarships for young women in the nation.
“I’ve won over $1,000 in scholarships so far,” she said.
Having placed second in the 2006-2007 Miss Ohio Valley competition, Herceg stated she was not originally interested in competing. She noted it was the encouragement of her dance teacher that got her to participate in the first competition.
Herceg reported a major part of the program involved having a personal platform. She stated the theme of her platform was “Learn the Truth About Your Heart.” Having had several friends and family members affected by heart complications, Herceg told Rotarians she wanted to do everything she could to promote heart care.
In order to assist in her goal, she began a quarterly newsletter detailing heart health facts and tips and has also participated in several heart walks.
“There is also a Miss America platform,” she said. “Miss America is the national advocate for the Children’s Miracle Network.”
Herceg stated she has raised approximately $400 for the network so far.
The Miss Ohio Pageant will take place in Mansfield, Ohio over a five day period, she said.
During this time, Herceg noted, each contestant will be judged on a private interview, swimsuit and evening gown contests, talent show, and an on-stage question.
“The swimsuit competition is not my favorite part,” she said. “I’m also pretty nervous about the on-stage question. They are usually political and I’m not very good with politics.”
Club President Chuck German wished Herceg the best in her upcoming competition.
“When you win Miss America, make sure you come back and visit us,” he said.
(Rossi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
WITH?A?GOAL?IN?MIND – Reigning Miss Ohio Valley Brandi Herceg met with the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights Tuesday to discuss her pageant experiences and goals. Herceg will compete for the title of Miss Ohio this June and, if she wins, will proceed to perform in the Miss America Pageant. --Giovanni P. Rossi