University of Georgia student and Evans resident Ashley Foster has the Miss Georgia Pageant in her sights after her recent crowning as Miss UGA.
Foster, 20, a 2004 graduate of Evans High School and a junior cell biology major, won the pageant Feb. 10 and now moves on to compete for the Miss Georgia title in June. She is the daughter of Lewis and Cyndi Foster, of Evans, and was Miss Augusta 2004 and a former Columbia County Junior Miss.
It was Foster's second attempt at the Miss UGA crown, and June will mark her second appearance in the Miss Georgia pageant. The winner of Miss Georgia will compete for the Miss America title next year.
"I had complete faith that God was going to take care of me," she said. The victory "was a pleasant surprise, and it reflects a new chapter in my life."
Foster, who plans to become a pediatric neurologist, competed on a platform promoting stroke prevention, a passion she said she developed during work on her senior project in high school. Since that time, she has teamed with state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, in hopes of creating a Stroke Prevention license plate.
If approved by voters, proceeds from the plate would help fund research by her mentor, Dr. David Hess, the chairman of neurology at Medical College of Georgia, she said. He has developed an Internet-based remote evaluation system for at-risk patients with limited access to treatment in rural areas.
Foster said she started competing in pageants during high school to earn scholarship money. Her latest crown comes with a $1,000 scholarship and a stipend to pay for a semester of college textbooks.
"God has truly blessed Ashley with such a great opportunity to touch other people's lives," her father wrote in an e-mail.
Foster wasn't the only area pageant contestant to make news recently.
Erin Beasley, of Martinez, won the talent competition during the Miss UGA pageant. The speech communication major succeeded Foster as the 2006 Miss Augusta and is a 2004 graduate of Evans High School.
Also, Lakeside High senior Morgan Maria Pawl has been named a finalist in the 27th annual Georgia Homecoming Queen competition, which will be held March 17 and 18 in Atlanta, according to a news release. If she wins, Pawl will represent Georgia in the America's Homecoming Queen competition later this year.
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