Competing in the 2015 Miss USA pageant isn’t just about taking home the crown and sash. For Hoover’s Madison Guthrie, winning the pageant would better help her give back to the community and spread her faith.
Guthrie will compete in the Miss USA pageant in Baton Rouge, La., on July 12. All 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete. It was originally set to air on NBC, but after Donald Trump’s comments, the network dropped the pageant. Miss USA will now air at 7 p.m. on the Reelz Channel.
The winner will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe 2015 competition, and Guthrie hopes she is that woman.
Born and raised in Hoover, Guthrie is the youngest daughter of David and Ginger Guthrie. She got her start in pageants when she competed in Miss Alabama USA last November.
Guthrie says she decided to enter after seeing how many great opportunities Vestavia Hills’ Baskin Champion had when she won Miss Alabama Teen USA. Since winning the title, Guthrie says she has become a more confident woman.
“I have completely stepped out of my comfort zone, and I push myself daily to become an even better version of myself. I have learned to let go of what is out of my control and trust God,” she says. “You can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you really want it. Faith, hard work, a positive attitude, dedication, determination and perseverance will all lead you to success: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”
As Miss Alabama USA, the 20-year-old has had some great experiences, including traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Jeff Sessions and some congressmen. During her trip, she received private tours, stood on the Speaker of the House’s balcony and visited the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed.
“That was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had,” Guthrie says of visiting the national military medical center. “We are so blessed to have such fearless warriors who — even when injured — all they talk about is how they cannot wait to get back to serving our country.”
She’s also made appearances at places and events like the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile’s Little Black Dress Fashion Show, Children’s Hospital, Beads of Courage, Hostess of the Unstoppable Woman’s Conference and USO Operation: That’s My Dress! Guthrie has also visited elementary schools to talk with students about self-confidence and how they can achieve their dreams.
“I have had many once-in-a-lifetime experiences during my reign that I will be forever grateful for,” she says.
To prepare for Miss USA, Guthrie has taken walking, hair and makeup, interview and speaking lessons. She’s also worked out six days a week and stuck to a clean diet.
“I am not nervous about competing in Miss USA because I am fully prepared,” she explains. “I am anxious to get there, reunite with all of my sister queens and showcase my dedication and the hard work I have put into this process.”
During the pageant, the contestants will be judged on their interviews, swimsuits and evening gowns. Guthrie says she’s excited to show the world who she is and what she’s all about.
“I’m also excited for the swimsuit portion of the competition,” she says. “I think walking on a stage in a swimsuit is so fun and exhilarating. I have worked extremely hard to be in my absolute best physical shape.”
She says winning Miss USA 2015 would be an honor, and her goal is to proudly represent the United State at the Miss Universe pageant and win.
With the titles, she plans to empower women of all ages to step outside of their comfort zones and make a difference. She will also be an advocate for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, suicide prevention and spreading the love of Christ around the world.
For girls thinking about entering a pageant, Guthrie encourages them to go for it.
“It could be one of the best experiences of your life, and it will teach you how to work well with others — yet stand out in a group setting,” she says.
Follow her on the Miss Alabama USA Facebook account or on Twitter at @Realmissalusa, and read more at Missalabamausa.com.
[This article originally appeared in the July issue of Hoover’s Magazine. Pick up your free copy at one of these locations.]