Newton achieves goal with grace


As a freshman, Allison Newton participated in the Miss ULM pageant for the first time.
Although she had no idea what she was doing, Newton felt connected to the pageant and what it meant to hold the title of Miss ULM. From that moment on, she knew winning the crown was a goal she wanted to achieve before graduating. And she never stopped working toward reaching it since that first pageant.
Newton went on to compete in multiple pageants in the Miss Louisiana Organization where she won three titles. But the idea of representing her college as Miss ULM was always in the back of her mind.
“Every single time my focus was bettering myself to be Miss ULM,” Newton said.
Now as a senior, Newton returned to Brown Auditorium for the fourth time as a Miss ULM contestant. Finally, her perseverance paid off as she received three awards—one of them being the title of Miss ULM 2020.
“This is always what I wanted to be,” Newton said.
Meagan Lee, the Miss ULM executive director, met Newton as she prepared to compete in the pageant for the second time. She helped Newton practice for the interview portion of the . That was when Lee recognized Newton’s potential for the first time.
“She has a heart for the university which shone on stage for the judges,” Lee said.
Tears streamed down Newton’s face as Monica Whitman placed the crown she had been dreaming of for years on her head. Near the stage, a group of her friends waited to congratulate her with proud smiles on their faces.
One of her friends, Kylie Daigle, had no doubt that this was the year Newton would achieve her goal. She took notice of Newton’s passion and knew there was no way she was going to lose.
“This year just felt different,” Daigle said. “That passion she’s got really took hold and she just blew everyone away.”
Although it was only Newton’s fourth time on the Brown Auditorium stage as a Miss ULM contestant, she had become well-acquainted with it throughout her time at ULM.
She performed on that same stage in multiple Visual and Performing Arts productions like “Phantom of the Opera.” It was through the VAPA program that she met many of her friends who came out to support her during the pageant last Friday.
Yet, in a crowd of Newton supporters, one in particular had been rooting for her for a long time—her grandmother.
Lynn “Nana” Newton had watched her granddaughter in awe ever since she was born. She, like most grandmothers do, said she believes Allison Newton was destined for greatness. She took pride in Allison Newton’s determination, talent and passion.
“She is not afraid of anything,” Lynn Newton said.
Lynn Newton attended as many of Allison Newton’s plays and pageants as she could, never for a second doubting her granddaughter’s abilities. Like Daigle, Lynn Newton knew last Friday was going to be Allison Newton’s big break.
“If she hadn’t of won last night I don’t think there was anything else that she could have done,” Lynn Newton said. “She was perfect in every way.”
Allison Newton being crowned Miss ULM meant a lot to Lynn Newton for more reasons than one.
The platform her granddaughter chose to participate in the pageant with, “The Best Test: Early Mammograms,” was in honor of Lynn Newton as she is a seven-year breast cancer survivor herself.
“I’m so proud that she picked it,” Lynn Newton said. “She is going to be such a great spokesperson for it.”
Allison Newton said she hopes to use her time as Miss ULM to promote VAPA and encourage college females to get tested early for breast cancer.