With a gasp of breath or a shrill squeal of joy, Miss America Organization contestants and titleholders across the country see dreams of higher education come to life with each and every scholarship they receive. In the Miss Oregon Scholarship Organization, the newly crowned and veteran titleholders alike are putting their scholarship dollars to use—even decades after they walk across the stage.
Lynette Boggs, Miss Oregon 1989, will never forget competing at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. And although the event took place nearly half her lifetime ago, the scholarships she won through Oregon’s local and state pageants and at the national level were indispensable to her graduate degree in the ‘90s and her recently acquired law degree. Lynette’s monetary awards were used to see her through graduate studies at the University of Oregon’s journalism college. But as recently as May 2012, Lynette saw her experiences—made possible because of MAO and MOSO—come full circle as she walked across a different stage, now a graduate of law.
“I can tell you that my writing skills and my ability to be able be an effective writer go all the way back to that experience where I was able use my scholarship to study journalism. It’s all tied together. And even though twenty-three years have elapsed, I’m still reaping the benefits of having had those educational scholarship dollars that Miss Oregon and Miss America provided for me,” Lynette said. “It was an investment in my future that came back in multiple returns.”
Starting a new career mid-life also required courage and support, both things Lynette came by because of MAO. The relationships she made with those in her class stood the test of time, and her “sister lawyers” were with her through the ups and downs of law school.
“They were some of my biggest cheerleaders as I went through my law school experience in my forties,” Lynette said.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer