Miss NGU 2016 Represents University with Beauty of Character
Christal Potter felt perfect peace and excitement as she waited to hear whose name would be called at the finale of the 80th Miss South Carolina Pageant in July.
“I prayed, ‘Lord, if I can fulfill the duties of Miss South Carolina 2016 with fullness of joy in this season of my life, I ask that you grant me the position,’” says Potter, Miss NGU 2016.
When they called her as second runner-up – the highest position NGU has ever placed in the Miss South Carolina Pageant – she was overjoyed.
Throughout her time as Miss NGU, Potter has sought to be an encouragement to others. For Potter, beauty is more than what sparkles and shines. According to her, the beauty of a woman is highlighted when her character exceeds that of other’s expectations.
“Pageants are what you make of them. So, ladies, make them count and shine with the light of your true beauty!” Potter tells her fellow pageant contestants.
Potter is making hers count. Her platform, “Leading by Example: A Guide to Becoming a Hospice Volunteer,” is inspired by her family’s experience when they received much needed help and encouragement.
When Potter was five, her dad's brother Joseph was diagnosed with cancer. Potter and her uncle were close, and she watched him fight for his life as he struggled with cancer.
“We had wonderful moments, as well as very difficult times,” she says.
Due to his illness, Potter’s uncle was unable to work a full-time job, which sometimes caused his wife to work two jobs to sustain their family. Because his wife worked and he could not physically care for their son, Potter’s family needed a babysitter, as well as someone to assist with meals. Sometimes, all they needed was a person outside the family to sit and talk with Joseph.
“All of these specific needs became the vehicle through which my family discovered a wonderful organization that is available for everyone in need,” Potter says. “That organization is Hospice Care.”
Hospice volunteers share their gifts with those nearing the end of their life and those grieving the death of a loved one. Volunteers can help in practical ways, such as providing companionship for a patient or giving a caregiver a break.
While some people say that pageants are useless and exploit women, Potter has a different opinion. With her platform, Potter hopes to inspire others to get involved in their communities by becoming a hospice volunteer, and consequently, learning the value of giving.
As a contestant in Miss South Carolina, she witnessed young women of various “standards” of beauty coming together with one purpose: to make a difference in the state.
“It is very easy to judge the system by the exterior of the whole production,” Potter says. “While it is true that some organizations may be guilty of such accusations, I have yet to find a pageant that has not offered so many opportunities to women, based on their intellect, heart for service, and dedication.”
If she had not experienced the great honor of participating in such a program, Potter says she would lack the level of courage and perseverance she now has, and an academic scholarship for her last semester of college.
“Not only did the Lord answer my simple, faith-filled prayer, but He provided me with a scholarship to complete my studies at the school that holds my heart: NGU,” says Potter.
Potter will crown a new Miss NGU during the Homecoming Celebration 2016 in the last week of October. She plans to graduate in December and prepare for a future in voice acting.
As far as future pageantry plans, she says:
“I would not trade my experiences with the organization for the world. So, if the Lord so chooses to lead me in that direction again, I will gladly follow. I’m so thrilled to see what door He will open next!”For more information about NGU’s 2016 Homecoming Celebration, visit ngu.edu/homecoming2016.
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