Elon, North Carolina|Thursday, January 26, 2017
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Elon senior to compete in national pageant competition 

While some students begin to plan their winter breaks, one Elon senior plans to compete. Senior Yasmine Arrington has many titles to her name: she’s a College Fellow, the founder of ScholarCHIPS, and soon, she may be Miss Plus U-S-of-A.

“I’m just really thrilled to be in the running and to be the official representative of the District of Columbia and of course, I’ll be joined with other young women through out the fifty states,” Arrington said.

Miss Plus USofA is a national, multifaceted competition for plus sized women. The pageant showcases healthy, confident women and helps them support a cause of their choice.  Arrington will be competing in the second year of the event.  Although it is a pageant, Miss Plus U-S-of-A is not your average competition.

“You are expected, Miss Plus U-S-of-A, as the title infers, is for double-digit woman so women who are a size 10 and upward. But there’s still an expectation that you’re being healthy and you’re taking care of yourself so there’s a fitness section,” Arrington said.

While the pageant is still months away, Arrington is finding ways to prepare around campus.

“I’m planning on running in one of the fraternity pageants you know to help me to practice and to kind of get a feel for what it might be like having to do an opening number, being on stage for hours, dancing in heels, smiling all the time, being very poised,” she said.

She’ll also be preparing at home with her coach  fourth funner up in Miss America 2003, Camille France. Arrington credits the connections she’s made over the years with her ability to compete for the title of Miss Plus USofA and encourages other Elon students to do the same.

“You can do whatever you want to do honestly and sometimes if you let your passion drive you forward you’ll end up doing things you never thought you would do. It’s important to keep good relationships and contacts because you never know what’s going to come out of those relationships in the future,” Arrington said.

Arrington was inspired to apply for Miss Plus USofA because of the event’s support of service.

“I want my peers to realize that this is just; I’m using this opportunity as another channel to push forward and continue with my passion, everything is linked together,” Arrington said.

Arrington is the founder of the non-profit organization ScholarCHIPS, a program that helps raise college scholarships for children of incarcerated parents.

“For me, it is an opportunity, a big opportunity to promote, of course, my platform and my cause, which is support and mentoring children of incarcerated parents,” she said. “That’s something I’m very passionate about having been the child of an incarcerated parent growing up, starting ScholarCHIPS in 2010 we now have seventeen scholars and I’ve seen them progress through college with mentorship, with scholarship, and I know how important that is and I felt it was time to take it to a national stage.”

Arrington knows she has a long way to go before the pageant but is already recognizing the impact Elon has had on her experience.

“I don’t think I’d be in the place I am right now without my Elon community so I want to say thank you Elon for all the support and the love,” she said.

Arrington will be competing in August 2015. You can keep up with her journey by checking out her GoFundMe page.

About the author: Jennie Hook

Jennie Hook is the Executive Producer for ELN Radio as well as a producer for Elon Local News and ELN Morning. She is a senior Broadcast Journalism major and Business Administration minor with a passion for helping people tell their stories.

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