Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Brooke Mosteller told a joke during her pressure-packed interview question at the Miss South Carolina 2013 pageant. She was still having fun as she was introduced as the state’s new beauty queen Sunday.
Mosteller, who competed as Miss Mount Pleasant, won the crown Saturday night at the pageant in Columbia. Her platform is helping high school students apply and go to college, especially students with no one in their family who has ever been to a university.
Mosteller moves on to compete in the Miss America pageant in September, and she has some big high heels to fill. Miss South Carolina 2011 Bree Boyce became nationally known for losing more than 100 pounds before she won the crown. Miss South Carolina 2012 Ali Rogers, finished second in last year’s Miss America pageant.
“Strap up,” Mosteller said as she faked flexing her muscles when asked what she planned to do to get ready for the national pageant.
Mosteller, 23, is a Furman University graduate and was attending the University of South Carolina law school before her win Saturday night. She also was a preliminary swimsuit winner.
The runner-up Saturday was Miss Greenville County, Lindley Mayer. Third place was Miss Spartanburg, Clarka Wickliffe, fourth place was Miss Hilton Head Island, Lauren Cabaniss, and fifth place was Miss Greater Greer, Lanie Hudson.
Miss Mauldin Teen, Brook Sill, won the Miss South Carolina Teen crown.
Mosteller was still having fun Sunday morning when she was presented with jewelry, a new car, a fur coat and other gifts. After being given a strand of pearls, a medallion and a ring with a diamond shaped like South Carolina, she found her dad in the crowd.
“My birthday’s on Friday. You’re going to have to do a lot to top this,” she said, as her father beamed with pride from the first row.
Mosteller thanked her parents and her pageant coach for believing in her. She lost four times before she finally won a preliminary pageant. This was her second try at becoming Miss South Carolina. She also thanked Taylor Swift, saying the pop star’s songs about growing up as a girl inspired her.
Mosteller’s platform is called “Go Higher.” Its goal is to get guidance counselors and others in high schools to help students fill out college applications during the day. Mosteller said as salutatorian at Wando High School, the college application process was confusing, so she couldn’t imagine how daunting it must be for someone in a family without any college graduates.
As her mother passed out eight pages of research and testimonials on the project, Mosteller posed for pictures with people in the audience. Her mother, Cyndi Mosteller, said her engaging personality and ability to handle any situation has always been evident.
“What you see is what you get. She isn’t the kind of girl you expect for these kinds of things. We’re so proud,” said Mosteller, who is a former chairwoman of the Charleston County Republican Party.
Brooke Mosteller will now move into a three-bedroom apartment in Hartsville provided by the Miss South Carolina pageant. She was spending the summer as an intern in Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office, but joked he fired her after determining she wouldn’t be able to spend much time in the office now. Mosteller also plans to take a hiatus from law school, if administrators there will let her.
“I have spent the past year learning how to make an argument and that’s one I will have to make to the law school,” she said. “I think I will wear the crown while I am there.”