Mya Kayler claims Miss Mount Holly title

by Melissa Gute

MOUNT HOLLY – Mount Holly has a new queen.

Mya Kayler won the Miss Mount Holly Pageant, which took place at East Gaston High School on March 10. She competed against six others in the “miss” category. There were seven in the teen category.

Mya Kayler became Miss Mount Holly after winning the local pageant March 10. She will compete for Miss North Carolina in June. (Courtesy of Mya Kayler)

“I’m very excited to be representing Mount Holly, and I’m very thankful for all the local sponsors,” she said.

This was Kayler’s first time in the Miss Mount Holly Pageant, but she is no stranger to beauty contests. Last year she was Miss North Carolina runner-up after being named Miss Queen City for Charlotte. In 2008 she was Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen.

Those are just the most recent. Kayler entered the pageant arena when she was 15 after being encouraged by a voice teacher, who competed many years ago for Miss North Carolina, to use the events as platform to perform.

“I got into it primarily because I wanted a place I could showcase my talent, and I also wanted a place where I could start earning scholarship money for college,” Kayler said.

Since then, she has been able to pay her way through three years of study at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., on scholarship money won at pageants.

Kayler estimated that she’s received $30,000 for school.

The title of Miss Mount Holly came with $1,000 in scholarships, $300 in cash from winning the talent, swimsuit and community service awards and a $500 wardrobe allowance for the Miss North Carolina Pageant, which she’ll compete in on June 23 in Raleigh.

Once she’s out of school in May, Kayler will prepare for the state pageant by going to the gym twice a day, studying the world’s current events, practicing interviews and taking voice lessons.

“It’s about getting your mind, first and foremost, in the right spot, and then it’s just working on yourself, being healthy, fit and everything prepared to compete,” she said.

If she were to win in Raleigh, Kayler would relinquish her title as Miss Mount Holly and take the title Miss North Carolina. If she doesn’t, she’ll serve Mount Holly for a year as a public figure, making appearances and perform at festivals, parades and other community events.

Kayler’s community service platform is positive choices for change, and to promote it, she speaks to children at schools and community centers about how making positive choices can affect their lives now and in the future.

For young girls who have an interest in competing in pageants, Kayler would advise them to be themselves.

“The main key to having success in pageants is to know who you are and to stick by that and not let someone conform you into something you think that they want you do be,” she said. “I would just say be confident in who you are, and make sure that your talent is what you love to do. Make sure you’re wearing the dresses and outfits that you love, and don’t let anyone conform you. Stay true to who you are.”

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