Miss New Hampshire contenders compete this weekend

The winner of the Miss Merrimack crown, a part of the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship program, is Alyssa Mixon, of Bedford. She is competing this weekend, May 1-3, against 27 other contestants for the state title at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Merrimack’s contender, Michelle Vegliante, also will be there, as she took the crown as Miss Stratham Fair. She shares on Facebook some of her adventures throughout the rounds of competition. Vegliante, unable to be reached before presstime, is seen on social media raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, participating in charity events and in athletic events, including running races.

The goal for both women, upon winning the finals on the night of Saturday, May 3, is to go forward toward the Miss America crown. The winner of this weekend’s event will receive some $13,000 in scholarships. According to newhampshire.com, last year’s 28 participants in the statewide contest, divided into 28 regions, took home around $72,000 in scholarship funds.

Mixon, 23, a native of New Hampshire and a West High alumnus of 2008, said she was raised to “Live Free or Die,” a mandate to take advantage of all life has to offer. Mixon and Vegliante will be judged on their performances in several challenges. They will face a 10-minute interview and take part in a talent performance. They will face a lifestyle and fitness competition with swimwear, show their ease in evening wear and their confidence in
on-stage questioning from judges.

Each contestant will explain their achievements and aspirations. Mixon has embraced a platform she calls “STEAM Spirit,” by adding Arts to STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, a high-level curriculum in education. The second-year medical student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine recently said she is looking forward to the opportunity to share her enthusiasm about the scholarship program.

“I have gained so much from the Miss America program, earning scholarship money, meeting inspirational people and honing my communication skills,” Mixon said. “I am excited for this new opportunity and hope to share it with my local communities.”

Other local contenders include Amy Soraghan, 18, of East Hampstead, Miss Bedford, Jessica Avelar, 19, of Nashua, Miss Capital Area, Elena Barker, 23, of Nashua, Miss Deerfield Fair, Jillian Granucci, 23, of Manchester, Miss Gate City, Devenn Glickman, 23, of Manchester, Miss Londonderry, and Michelle Vegliante, 20, of Merrimack, Miss Stratham Fair.

For more information on the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship program, visit www.missnh.org.