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Two students take top honors at pageant

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Two CSU-Pueblo students were honored with the title of Miss Pueblo and Miss Pueblo County Princess at the annual Miss Pueblo Pageant. Elizabeth Solano took the title of Miss Pueblo and Laurie Pierce, who already has a crown for Miss Juneteenth two years in a row, took Miss Pueblo County Princess.

Laurie Pierce is a junior at CSU-Pueblo studying mass communications with an emphasis in new media. She hopes to attend graduate school after she graduates next year and get a masters degree in web design. Pierce has already been practicing her skills by designing the newly finished Miss Pueblo scholarship page.

Pierce is from Highlands Ranch where she attended Highlands Ranch High School. She has been at CSU-Pueblo since 2005. She also works on campus for the Multi-Cultural Center, where she has been for about a year and a half.

Pierce also won the title of Miss Congeniality for the pageant. The Miss Pueblo Pageant consists of onstage question and interviews by the judges, evening wear and an optional talent portion. For her talent, Pierce performed the song “I Who Have Nothing.”

Pierce encourages other girls to get involved in pageants because she said it helps girls be more positive and confident.

“I had a friend who was very shy and now after doing the pageant she has much more self-esteem and has been getting involved more,” Pierce said.

She also thinks it’s important to show younger girls that you can do things around the community and still be cool.

“I want to show people that you don’t have to do drugs and all that to be considered cool,” she said.

Elizabeth Solano also seems to agree with this message. Solano was raised by her adopted parents because her mother had a drug problem. She also experienced a death of a friend from a drug overdose shortly before the pageant.

“It really does exist but I made something positive out of my past and I want to encourage others to do the same,” she said.

Solano also thinks that being Miss Pueblo will give her a voice here on campus.

“I think that incoming students will be more likely to listen to someone if they have that kind of title,” the new Miss Pueblo said.

Solano said that her main platform is education and she hopes to talk to other students about the importance of getting a good education. She also hopes to help students to stay away from peer pressure and find their own voices.

The Miss Pueblo Pageant is involved in many community service efforts around Pueblo. Coming up Friday, April 18 is a fundraiser dinner for the International Surgical Mission, which contestants will help with. Also coming up in June contestants will participate in Race for the Cure, which raises money for breast cancer research.

As for Solano, she is graduating this May with a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing. She hopes to be hired at a marketing firm here in town so that she can continue with her education and receive a master’s degree. While Solano was raised in Pueblo and hopes to stay here; she understands that she may eventually need to leave Pueblo, and is willing to go wherever her career takes her.

Pierce hopes to compete again next year in the Miss Pueblo Pageant while Solano said that she wants to focus on her duties as Miss Pueblo for now and probably will retire her pageant life after she gives up her crown next year, maybe to Pierce.