2016 queen describes experience

Lauren Herbster

Submitted by Lauren Herbster

Ready, set, royalty. This past fall, I had the privilege to be involved in the 2016 Hiawatha Halloween Queen Scholarship Competition. I was already a bit familiar with the scholarship as other girls from my school in Sabetha had participated in the past.

Going into the competition, I was quite nervous to be going up against numerous other qualified, young women. However, after arriving at the scholarship judging contest, it quickly became apparent to me that this was much more than a scholarship award, it was a great way to meet and connect with other high school senior girls who were in the same boat as me. The scholarship judging event was nothing like I ever experienced before.

I was nervous and excited to compete, but personally, it felt much more friendly than competitive. All my fellow queen contestants were super supportive and eager to converse with me and each other.

When the formal queen ceremony began at the Hiawatha Halloween Parade, I reached a whole new level of jitters. The short amount of waiting for the announcer felt like an eternity because of all the anticipation in the air. I was beyond grateful to be named the 2016 Halloween Queen, ride in the Halloween parade, and receive a scholarship award toward my college education, but to me, there was something far greater that I received.

By being involved in the scholarship competition, I had the opportunity to grow as a young lady by facing my fears and being able to express myself publicly. Not to mention, I got to meet numerous other girls with similar aspirations, morals and welcoming personalities. The Hiawatha Halloween Queen Competition wasn’t just about becoming “royal” or being called a princess by cute, little girls (although that part was fun).

More so than this, it was a chance for me to present myself in society, grow as an individual, make new friends, and leave an example to girls behind me that a queen is more than just a lady with a crown, but a lady with firm values, aspiration and a willingness to better her world.


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