Brittany Young

Brittany Young is not your average college senior.  You can call her Miss Greater Richmond.  But don’t be too quick to typecast her as a pageant girl!  I had the special opportunity to meet this jack-of-all-trades in MYMOM (Make Your Mark on Madison) my sophomore year and have been impressed with her laundry list of activities ever since.  Check out the girl behind the crown!

HCJMU:  How did you first get involved in Miss America pageants?
I got involved in the Miss America Organization at a very young age initially just from being around it because my mom was a former Miss Virginia and competed in the 1982 Miss America Pageant. I didn't express a real interest until I was about 15, so I gave Miss Virginia's Outstanding Teen, the "little sister" program to the Miss Virginia Organization, a try for three years until I won in 2006!
HCJMU:  How has pageant life affected your time at JMU?
I have earned over $25,000 in scholarships that has helped me attain my education at JMU. My involvement in the MAO has also allowed me to serve along with various philanthropic organizations, helped me build self confidence, and make so many awesome friends and memories for a lifetime!

HCJMU:  How are you involved on campus?
I have been in a co-ed a cappella group on campus for the past three years at JMU, called "The Overtones," as well as participated in the MYMOM program, FrOG (First Year Orientation Guide) 2k8, Alternative Spring Break 2010. As a music major I have been in various ensembles on campus during my time here! It keeps me busy! I'm also a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and it is a really special thing to hang out with my Little Sister Ammy!

HCJMU:  What are your post-college plans?
My number one goal is to prepare for the Miss Virginia Pageant that will take place in June 2011 in Roanoke, Virginia. Preparing will entail maintaining a healthy lifestyle physically and mentally. My platform [a requirement for any Miss America pageant] is "The Power of Positive Relationships." I will be giving presentations to school assemblies of elementary and middle school students in the Richmond area about building positive relationships and ultimately building one another up instead of tearing one another down in our daily lives.

Ultimately, the role of Miss Virginia really is a 24/7 job that starts right after the winner is crowned, and consists of much more than simply wearing a crown and banner and waving pretty in a parade or signing autographs! Miss Virginia is definitely not guaranteed, because there are many more amazing women throughout the state of Virginia who also be preparing and it's hard to know exactly what the judges are looking for, so I've got a backup plan!

I will be auditioning in Boston in late March for NETC, a theater conference that does "cattle call" auditions to find new talent for various theaters across the New England states. Hopefully I will get a callback and will be able to get a job offer for a theater company that will start after the time Miss Virginia ends if should I not become Miss Virginia 2011. It's sort of complicated... But at the end of the day, I know I'll be alright and everything I've worked for in my time here at JMU will help me put my best foot forward!