NATCHITOCHES – Damian Glover of Lafayette, a Northwestern State University graduate student, recently served on a panel of coaches helping prepare Miss Louisiana 2017 Laryssa Bonaquisti to represent the state in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, this September.
Glover, who has been working with the Miss Louisiana organization for the past six years, also participated in a mock interview with Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen Alana Lewis, who will compete for Miss America Outstanding Teen in Orlando, Florida, July 25.
Glover and other panelists researched and prepared questions about current events and questions regarding the contestants’ platforms to prepare them for interviews.
“We asked a broad range of questions and discussed how she would market her platform and how she would spread awareness off her issue, which for the current Miss Louisiana is pancreatic cancer. We asked what kind of legacy she would like to leave as Miss Louisiana and why she should be chosen as Miss America,” Glover explained.
At NSU, Glover has been closely involved with the Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet pageant as assistant pageant director/coordinator to Yonna Pasch, director of Student Activities, and with the chairs of the pageant, which is sponsored by NSU’s Student Activities Board. He helps contestants with their platforms, resumes, fund raising, talent and interviews.
Glover has been a judge and coach with other pageants, particularly in the areas of talent and interview, assisted the reigning Miss Lady of the Bracelet Maria Rome with appearances and preparation for the Miss Louisiana pageant held in June. Rome will pass the crown to the next Lady of the Bracelet during the 60th annual pageant, set for Saturday, Sept. 23 that will be preceded by a Lady of the Bracelet reunion on Friday, Sept. 22. Moving the pageant from the spring to the fall semester will give the winner more time to prepare for Miss Louisiana as well as a full year dedicated to representing Northwestern State as the Lady of the Bracelet, Glover said.
Glover also hopes the fall pageant will encourage more participation. Applications will be due shortly after the semester begins and the pageant committee works to make the process as easy as possible. Details about the pageant and obligations for the winner will be explained at an informational meeting.
“We tell them it is a job and the perks are the scholarships and being a voice for their platform,” Glover said. “We believe the contestants, whether they win or not, will be more confident, have a better developed talent and be healthier and more fit because of the experience. It’s more about them bettering themselves and creating awareness of an issue important to them than being a beauty queen.”
Glover’s goal is to prepare future holders of the Miss Lady of the Bracelet title to shine on stage and in life.
“We want to provide her with all the resources to be in the Top 5 or to be named Miss Louisiana,” he said.
He also noted that the Miss America organization is the largest provider of scholarships to young women in the United States.
After earning an undergraduate degree in English at NSU, Glover will graduate in December with a master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education.
“Working with pageants and working at the university has increased my knowledge of policy, of different cultures and with educating myself on different areas of the pageant world,” he said.