Eight contenders took to the stage on Saturday at the 65th annual Miss New Bedford pageant, but only one walked away with the crown and a $6,500 college scholarship!
Sara Elizabeth Achorn of Rochester, an 18-year-old freshman attending Lesley University, impressed the judges with her confidence, public speaking abilities, stage presence, and passion for the city, earning her the highest number of points and the coveted Miss New Bedford title.
In addition to winning a $6,500 scholarship, Sara also received the Talent Award, a $100 scholarship, for earning the highest points in talent for her vocal performance of “And I Am Telling You” from the Broadway Musical Dream Girls. She also received the Miracle Maker Award, a $100 scholarship, for raising the most monies for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
When asked how she felt just moments before they announced the winner, Sara says she didn’t know what to think. Her name not yet being called, with only one spot left, she grew emotional. “I instantly felt myself start to cry. Then when they actually called my name, I still didn’t believe it. It was crazy!” Sara says. “It sounds cliché, but I truly believe any one of the women could have walked home with the crown that night. I’m so blessed to have received this title, and I’m so excited to be the best Miss New Bedford I can be. I’m hoping to get at least one hundred appearances this year!”
Throughout her year-long reign, Sara will serve the City of New Bedford and its surrounding communities as a role model and an active volunteer. She will dedicate her year of service to her personally selected platform, “Imperfection: Pushing the Importance of Body Positivity in Today’s Youth.” As Miss New Bedford, Sara has also earned the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts in 2018. Should she win the state title, she will go on to compete for the title of Miss America.
The Miss New Bedford pageant is a local preliminary of the Miss America Organization. All phases of competition mirror the national pageant. Contestants competed in Interview (private panel of judges), On-Stage Question, Lifestyle & Physical Fitness in Swimsuit, Talent, and Evening Wear.
The eight young women to compete included Sara Elizabeth Achorn, Kenzi Farland, Morgan Garcia, Alyssa Maitoza, Kenzie Hazel Moniz, Beatriz Ribeiro, Kimberly Lim Souza, and Megan Sylvia, all from Greater New Bedford, between the ages of 17-24 years old.
On behalf of the Greater New Bedford Scholarship Foundation, the program would like to thank its many sponsors and dedicated volunteers. For more information on sponsorships and/or becoming a contestant, visit www.missnewbedford.org. To view all photos from this year’s pageant and to keep up with us throughout the year, search “Miss New Bedford” on Facebook.