A month ago, Annie Jorgensen walked the stage in Sanford Stadium as a University of Georgia graduate with a degree in journalism.
On June 16, Jorgensen walked another stage in Columbus, Georgia, this time decked out in a white evening gown, to accept her new title as Miss Georgia 2018. Jorgensen will compete once again in September, this time for the title of Miss America 2019.
The Red & Black spoke with Jorgensen about her journey in the pageant world, how she prepares for pageants and her college experience at UGA.
The Red & Black: What was your favorite thing about UGA?
Annie Jorgensen: Oh my gosh, so many things. I really do love the people. I think every person you meet is so unique and so hardworking in their own way, and I just love seeing the different types of people that UGA has, and also nothing is better than a Saturday between the Hedges.
R&B: What is it like to win Miss Georgia?
AJ: It feels so incredible. This is my third year competing, so having those three years of hard work and dedication pay off, and it feels like nothing that you can imagine. I am beyond honored.
R&B: Previously you served as Miss High School America in 2013 and Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen 2011. How was this year’s competition different from previous years?
AJ: I honestly think every single competition is different. This one is similar in the fact that the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen was the teen program of the Miss America organization, so it kind of lays down the same foundation. All the above pageants relate to public speaking abilities and promoting a platform of your community service, and that goes through in all of the pageants that I have competed in.
R&B: What were your feelings during this year’s competition?
AJ: As I mentioned, this was my third year competing, but this year was different from the two years past in that I was very calm and I felt very confident in the work that I put in leading up to this year’s competition. By the time I got to Miss Georgia week, I just felt like I just had to be myself and do what I have been practicing and what I’ve been working toward. So it was a lot of fun by the time I got to the Miss Georgia week.
R&B: How much time and preparation does it take to compete in these kinds of competitions?
AJ: You definitely do have to sacrifice some time. I mentioned the platform, so for me I really put an emphasis in promoting my platform and building and developing that. So I was doing something every single day to prepare for Miss Georgia, whether it be exercising or practicing my dance or promoting my platform or visiting a children’s hospital. I was doing something every single day to get ready.
R&B: So now that you have graduated, what is your job?
AJ: Miss Georgia is now my full-time job, so now I will be working on promoting my platform while preparing for Miss America and visiting children hospitals and going on speaking engagements and different appearances.
R&B: Who is your biggest inspiration when being in these competitions?
AJ: Having my mom be so supportive of me is really inspiring to me because she was never involved in pageants. At first, she kind of advised me against it, but she has learned to love the system more than I have, so having her be so encouraging and feeling the love and support from all the 52 contestants that I competed against this year has really encouraged me.
R&B: What are your feelings for being able to compete in the Miss America competition in September?
AJ: Competing in Miss America has been a lifetime goal of mine, and it really doesn’t feel real yet that I get to go and represent Georgia. But by the time I get to Atlantic City in Sept. and actually am in Boardwalk Hall and on the Miss America stage, I can tell you right now, there will for sure be some tears.
Correction: In a previous version of this article it was said that Jorgensen was a double major. She is not and only has one degree in journalism. This has since been corrected.