Poise with a purpose: Evelyn Pechous aspires to Miss Minnesota

Lilli Speakman, Reporter

One of Hamline University’s very own, sophomore Evelyn Pechous, is going to be a contestant in this year’s upcoming Miss Minnesota pageant. However, for her this is much more than a beauty competition. By competing for the title Miss Minnesota, she hopes to empower others and further her outreach to charity organizations.

Evelyn Pechous is a driven and dedicated individual who is heavily involved on campus. She is a triple major in political science, legal studies and history, with a minor in social justice. Pechous serves as the philanthropy chair of Delta Tau sorority, the secretary for HUSC, a commuter student mentor and an IT technician. 

For someone this busy, it seems unlikely that they would have time to participate in a beauty pageant. According to Pechous, it all started rather serendipitously. She had received a flyer in the mail about applying to be a contestant and as she put it, decided she was “just going to apply and see what happens.”          

Pechous submitted her application and essay in January and found out her acceptance in March. Although the idea to apply to the pageant may seem like it came as a happy accident to her, Pechous is entering the pageant with a very specific purpose in mind.

By being a contestant in the Miss Minnesota pageant, she hopes to inspire other girls who have struggled with self-esteem issues and most specifically eating disorders. This mission is very personal for her as she used to suffer from an eating disorder. Pechous explained that she “wants to show girls that you don’t need to have an eating disorder or do something drastic to be considered beautiful.”

In fact, she had received her acceptance package while she was in treatment. She explained this as a salient moment for her and it helped her decide she had to be “strong enough to show you don’t need to do things to hurt yourself to feel good.”

Pechous also mentioned that she wants to empower those who suffer from chronic illness as it is something that she also deals with. “I want to inspire people to overcome whatever and still be successful.”

But the winner of the pageant receives much more than just a shining tiara. In fact, one of the biggest parts of being Miss Minnesota is serving as a spokesperson and working with charity organizations. This charity aspect of the Miss Minnesota pageant is another reason Pechous was drawn to participating. Being the philanthropy chair of the sorority, working with charities is something that is important to her. If she were to win the title of Miss Minnesota, Pechous would use her position as spokesperson to further her charity outreach.

The Miss Minnesota pageant will take place at the Ames Center this November in Burnsville. The pageant is open to the public, and tickets are available online four weeks prior to the pageant. The pageant preliminaries begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 28 and the finals take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 29.