DOVER –– Crowned Miss Delaware 2014 last weekend, Amanda Longacre of Bear is looking forward to the year ahead.
“I’m most excited to get to know my state better,” she said.
“This is an excellent opportunity to travel the state and get to be a role model for younger Delawareans.”
Ms. Longacre graduated from the University of Delaware in the winter of 2013 and is now a student at the University of Pennsylvania, studying for a Masters of Social Work degree, but will take the upcoming school year off to focus on her duties as Miss Delaware.
Ms. Longacre didn’t enter her first pageant until last year, but after the great experience and researching scholarship money that was available through the Miss America Organization (she has accumulated more than $10,000 so far), she decided to continue.
She won Miss Pike Creek, her second pageant and first of the Miss America Organization, later in 2013, qualifying her for last week’s Miss Delaware Pageant at Dover Downs, where she won a preliminary talent award with her vocal rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the Broadway musical “Les Misérables.”
She also won the title of Miss Congeniality.
“It has been such an amazing experience,” she said.
“I grew up without sisters and the sisterhood of this organization and the experiences I get to share with these other girls will last a lifetime.”
Ms. Longacre’s platform is teen dating violence prevention, a topic she became passionate about in 2009 when a coworker was killed in a domestic violence incident.
“After my coworker’s death, I noticed more and more stories about domestic violence,” said Ms. Longacre, who was second runner-up in the Miss Delaware Community Service Awards.
“Not enough is done to educate people about it and I think it’s really important for teenagers to be educated about dating violence because it’s in high school that most people begin forming their first real relationships.”
With her new title as Miss Delaware, she hopes to be able to visit area high schools to share information and educate teenagers about dating-violence prevention and what to do if they are in a relationship that develops into a dangerous one.
Ms. Longacre’s degree from the University of Delaware is in domestic violence –– she is a graduate of one of the first classes to which the concentration was offered by the Women’s Studies Department and sponsored by Verizon Delaware.
While in the domestic violence concentration at U.D., Ms. Longacre participated in a 10-week summer internship program with Child, Inc., in Wilmington, an organization that serves dependent, abused or neglected children.
After the internship was complete, she continued to volunteer with Child, Inc., and now considers helping children and families one of her strongest passions.
The Miss America Pageant will be held on Sept. 14 in Atlantic City and will be televised on ABC.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said of the pageant. “Atlantic City is where Miss America began so it’s like we are revisiting the birthplace of the tradition and I just want to have a good time and make my state proud.”
Staff writer Ashton Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. or 741-8272. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.