Evans High School rising senior Ashley Lauren Foster recently competed in the 2004 Georgia's Junior Miss scholarship program for one reason - to be the best she could be.
"My aunt is an area coordinator for Junior Miss in South Carolina and she's Edgefield County's director," said Ashley. "She has always wanted me to be a part of pageants because it is so well rounded and it demands you be your best self, which is the platform of Junior Miss. Because I strive to be my best self, she thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show it off."
Ashley did that when she competed at the pageant at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., last month. She placed in the fitness and scholastics categories of the Junior Miss program, winning $200 for each.
It is money she likely will use to help pay tuition at the University of Georgia before heading to the Medical College of Georgia to become a doctor. She is working in research laboratories of MCG and the Veteran's Administration Hospital in the area of cerebro-vascular medicine. It's a topic she hopes will become her senior project.
"I really value scholastics and education so I was entering pageants that had scholastics and talent," Ashley said.
At Evans, Ashley is the vice-president of the National Honor Society and treasurer of the Beta Club. She takes advanced-placement courses and is on track to graduate with a gifted seal on her diploma.
Outside of academics, she dances with the Ron Jones Ballet Academy and the Augusta West Dance Studio. She also is captain of the Evans High School Dance Team.
As her talent in the Junior Miss contest, Ashley performed a ballet number to The Prayer by Charlotte Church and Josh Grovan.
She said her dance skills came in handy for helping her place in the difficult fitness portion of the program.
"It's a 10-minute rigorous event," she said. "You're having to smile while you're running on stage or doing jumping jacks. We had to rehearse on our own performing an exercise routine."
Despite the demands on her time, Ashley also volunteers for the Alzheimer's Walk, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and serves on the Augusta Mall Fashion Board.
"Junior Miss is about honoring intelligent young woman that seek to become better people," Ashley said. "It's makes you into a very well-rounded person."
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