ZIONSVILLE — During the next week, 35 contestants will compete in the Miss Indiana 2017 pageant, with more than $40,000 in scholarship prizes at stake. One of the hopefuls this year is from Pendleton.
Madeline May is a 2014 graduate of Pendleton Heights High School and completed her degree in telecommunications, sales and promotions at Ball State University this year; she enters the pageant as Miss Hoosier Heartland, one of the pageants associated with the Miss America contest required to be eligible for Miss Indiana.
May has plans to attend the University of South Florida in Tampa to earn her master’s degree in mass communications strategic communications management. The location of USF is in close proximity to her ultimate career goals.
“I would like to host the Home Shopping Network or QVC,” she said. “The Home Shopping Network is located in Tampa, where I’m going to school, so there’s a connection right there. USF partners with the network a lot, so that was my draw.”
May graduated from college in three years, thanks to dual credit classes she took while at Pendleton Heights.
Her personal platform through the contest is “Preventing College Costs Through Dual Credit.” She said she was able to save thousands of dollars through taking those courses in high school.
“Pendleton offers a lot of dual credit classes, and I was able to graduate with 25 college credits,” she said. “That’s almost an entire year of college. By sharing my experience, how much money and time I saved, that it’s important that schools have dual credit classes. I would say $10,000 is room and board for a year at Ball State and I believe tuition was $5,000 per semester. So, I saved over $20,000, not including books or any other things I would have been doing.”
For the talent portion of the competition, May will play the piano, something she has done since kindergarten. She has chosen “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven but will have to impress the judges in a limited amount of time.
“I’ve been playing it for a few years. I love it, and I can play all of it,” she said. “But, I have to cut it down to 90 seconds. So, I arranged it myself and cut it down to the pieces that I love the best. I feel like it’s a solid 90 seconds of the piece that portrays it well.”
The daughter of Bob and Dawn May, Madeline credits her parents with pushing her to learn the piano at an early age and is glad to put those lessons to good use.
“My parents pushed me to hone my piano skills, and now I get to use it for something that is bigger than a recital,” she said.
The competition begins with three nights of preliminaries June 14 to 16, before the final Miss Indiana competition at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 17.