KOKOMO, Ind. — As a recent business graduate, Ginger Slisher knows a thing or two about money management.
She’s educating others about wise financial planning as a local titleholder in the Miss America Scholarship Program.
Slisher, who graduated from Indiana University Kokomo in May, is among 37 young women hoping to earn the title of Miss Indiana Saturday (June 17) in Zionsville. Competition begins tonight (June 14) in the Star Bank Performing Arts Center.
She qualified to compete in the state program by winning the Miss Cardinal Scholarship program, a local preliminary.
“Becoming the next Miss Indiana would be a dream come true,” said Slisher, from Fulton. “I’m so passionate about helping others and making a difference everywhere I go. I plan to travel the state sharing my community service initiative, educating today’s youth about financial planning.”
Each candidate in the Miss America Scholarship program develops a social impact initiative, choosing a social issue to educate people about during her year of service. Slisher’s is “The Foundation Begins with YOU: Paving the Way to home ownership,” inspired by her service work for the Fulton County Habitat for Humanity Board.
“Through my work with this organization, I have seen how important it is that everyone has access to decent and affordable housing in order to live a good life,” she said, noting that she’s concerned about the current housing crisis, and knows that Habitat can only help a small percentage of people.
“I decided it was important to add a preventative measure to my initiative so that I can get in the classroom and help students to increase their financial literacy and work on goal setting and money management,” she said. “I want to help them be in a financially sound position when graduating from high school and ensure that they have the resources and knowledge to live a great life.”
This week, Slisher is in Zionsville for the state competition, with preliminaries at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the Star Bank Performing Arts Center, 1000 Mulberry St., Zionsville. Finals for the Miss Indiana and Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 17 in the performing arts center.
She said she’s worked hard getting ready for the contest and feels well-prepared.
“My ultimate goal is to be the next Miss Indiana, but regardless, I am just proud of myself for making it this far and know that I will leave it all on the stage. I truly hope to make top 10 and walk away with a few more scholarships.”
She received a $300 scholarship as Miss Cardinal and can earn more at the state level. Slisher plans to earn her Master of Business Administration at IU Kokomo, with the goal of being a CEO of an agricultural corporation, and continuing to work for her family’s farm.
Friends and supporters may vote for Slisher for the People’s Choice award here. The winner becomes the 11th finalist Saturday, if she was not in the top 10. Votes are $1 each.
In addition to her social impact initiative, Slisher participated in a 10-minute interview with a panel of judges Wednesday morning, and will compete in evening gown and on-stage interview during the first night of preliminaries Wednesday evening. She will perform her talent, a recitation of Paul Harvey’s So God Made a Farmer, during Thursday’s preliminary. Friday she will model her fitness attire.
Tickets are available at the door, and are $25 per preliminary night, and $50 for the finals. Those attending may also purchase a ticket for all evenings for $110. Slisher will provide updates on her Instagram @misscardinalin.