Sydney Halper is a Spring 2016 University of Idaho graduate. Though she has just walked across one stage to obtain her degree, Halper will soon be on another stage competing for Miss USA. Halper is 21 years old and the 2016 Miss Idaho, meaning that she now competes nationally to earn the title of Miss USA.
Halper has been competing in the Miss Idaho Pageant for three years, starting in 2014 and ending this year, 2016, when she won the title. Halper has a degree in clothing, textiles and design with an emphasis in marketing.
“I originally got into pageants trying to meet people in Idaho and open up to the area a little bit,” Halper said. “Then I learned it gives you more of a voice in the community.”
Halper uses this voice to advocate for the adoption of children who need a home.
Halper said the typical stereotypes of pageants are completely false. People assume that the women in pageants aren”t smart.
“That we just walk around on stage,” Halper said. “That we aren”t making an impact, but really for most women that is their main focus.”
Halper”s focus is on children in need of homes. Halper herself was legally adopted at the age of seven.
“I decided to advocate for adoption because I know the struggles and questions you face being adopted,” Halper said.
Halper works with a non profit organization that supports children in the foster care system across the country.
“They specialize in sweet cases,” Halper said. “Sweet cases contain hygiene kits, coloring, pillow pets, books and duffle bags to (take) from home to home.”
These “sweet cases” give kids in need of a home something that belongs to them, something of a deficit for children in foster care. Halper said she began working with this non profit because it allowed her the chance to work with a variety of children in the foster system across the country.
Halper will be in Los Angeles June 5 to compete for Miss USA. She has been preparing three years for this competition.
“I will be focusing on myself, and remembering everything I”ve done to prepare,” Halper said.
Halper plans to continue advocating for children in need of adoption. If she wins Miss USA, Halper plans to continue to grow the non profit organization and help raise awareness and funds for kids in the foster care system.
“I want people to know there are kids in America that need to be adopted,” Halper said.
Halper said having an elevated voice from pageants really inspires her to do good and help people in need, particularly children.
“You get a crown and a sash, but that”s not it, people listen to you, you have an impact on peoples” lives,” Halper said.
Halper started watching pageants in 2012. She was inspired by 2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo.
“She was doing everything from working in entertainment industry, to traveling the world and helping people globally, not just in America,” Halper said. “She went on to become Miss Universe.”
It was Olivia Culpo that gave Halper the inspiration to begin competing in pageants. She wanted to make a difference, like Culpo did.
Halper chose a cause she is connected to and passionate about to maximize her impact. She is ready to go to L.A. and use her elevated voice to make whatever impact she can.
Kevin Douglas Neighbors
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