Later this month, a Hayes High School graduate will compete in Miss Ohio 2022, representing the Akron/Canton region.
Madelanah McFarland graduated from Hayes in 2017 and is currently studying psychology with a minor in pre-law at Kent State University. In two weeks, McFarland will be one of 22 candidates vying for the title of Miss Ohio 2022 during the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program’s Miss Ohio Week.
McFarland said she’s been competing in pageants since she was 5 years old.
“It all started when I saw a flyer when I was five and the rest was history,” McFarland said. “I fell in love with the Miss America program. I remember meeting (Miss America 2006) Jennifer Berry and how she made me feel. Sixteen years later in 2022, I’m getting to give the feeling to other young women … the feeling she gave to me when i was a little girl; feeling like the most important person in the room and special and worth their time. It’s that special connection that has gone from something I was given to something I get to give back.”
McFarland said in order to qualify for the Miss Ohio competition, she had to compete in a local preliminary competition, which consisted of the same requirements as the Miss Ohio competition. McFarland said she had to do a 10-minute personal interview, a social impact pitch where she shared what she does in her community to make a difference, a red carpet wear showcase, and performing her talent of singing musical theater.
“Competing in all those phases gives us the opportunity to show who is best to represent our area at Miss Ohio,” McFarland said. She added the winner of Miss Ohio will go on to represent the state at Miss America in December.
McFarland said she’s nervous but looking forward to representing her region and her alma mater.
“I feel like nerves are always something that takes place, but I’m so excited to represent Akron/Canton but also Delaware because that’s where I graduated high school proudly a year early,” McFarland said. “That wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teachers and our amazing Principal Dr. (Ric) Stranges. I feel ready that it’s my turn, and I’m ready to take the job of Miss Ohio and bring it back home.”
McFarland said she feels “at home” on the competition stage.
“It’s where I get to share my passions with people who are there who want to listen and learn about how we’re making a different and feel most confident,” McFarland said. “Miss America is all about style, service, scholarship and success. I started competing because it was an extra opportunity to share how we can make a difference through community service.”
McFarland said through the program she has earned $4,000 in scholarships to help her cover the costs of law school, which she plans to attend next year. She said her goal is to become a prosecutor and eventually a politician.
McFarland said her social impact pitch is called the Women’s Justice Initiative, and she hopes to raise awareness and support for the initiative.
“My whole goal is to ensure that all victims of domestic violence know they are deserving of real care and real justice,” McFarland said. “My mission goes across our state. I can’t wait to bring the crown back home and start this mission of our all communities working together as one.”
More information about McFarland can be found on her Facebook page at facebook.com/missakroncantonoh. The first two preliminary nights of the Miss Ohio competition will be held June 16 and 17 with the final night and crowning taking place June 18.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.