Jacqueline Pratt, a 19-year-old Zionsville resident, won the Miss Boone County 2023 pageant on July 8.
The competition was Pratt’s first-ever pageant. She said she didn’t enter with winning in mind. Rather, she did it to experience it.
“There’s a video of me and my mouth is like to the floor,” Pratt said of her reaction to winning. “I was watching the other girls as they were announcing, and the girl who I thought was going to win, and then all sudden, they called my name and I just sat there. Then I went, like, ‘Oh, my gosh!’”
Growing up, Pratt – a graduate of University High School — said she frequently participated in 4-H competitions growing up, so the opportunity to enter the Miss Boone County competition was fun and nostalgic. She had previously participated in sewing, fashion review, veterinary science, gift wrapping, latch hook and tatting.
Pratt, who will be a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, said she is proud to represent 4-H as Miss Boone County 2023 because 4-H teaches children skills they wouldn’t typically learn in a classroom.
In the Miss Boone County pageant, contestants must give a speech and have three individual interviews with multiple judges. Each interview and speech are only about a minute to three minutes.
Pratt said the prompt for the speeches was to write a one-minute speech about themselves. She narrowed her topic to events in her life that changed her perspective on something.
For each speech or interview, Pratt chose a different event, ranging from giving her parents the blue glare — a glare she would give someone with her blue eyes when she didn’t get what she wanted — to dealing with medical complications while applying to colleges and finishing out her high school career.
“I talked about how those were my big concerns, and after looking back and experiencing all those things, I realized how my biggest concern should just be if I’m enjoying my life,” Pratt said. “It shouldn’t be focusing too hard on achieving ‘the happy.’”.
Pratt said her role of Miss Boone County requires a lot of work, but she looks forward to it.
Pratt will return to Boone County from college on a monthly basis to fulfill her Miss Boone County responsibilities. She said she looks forward to meeting people in the community and learning more about 4-H.
Pratt said she intends to compete at the Miss Indiana State Fair 2024 pageant in January.