For the pageant, the women had to have a detailed resume about who they are, what they’ve done and what they continue to do, as well as a social impact initiative, which is a platform and cause they care about, why it’s important and why the judges should care.
Coleman said her social impact initiative was on mental health awareness, in which she started a program on in 2017 called Mental Monsterz.
“It’s still just a community program, it’s not a nonprofit yet but that’s still in the works,” she said. “In the beginning, it was just an online social media platform designed to give a window of someone who struggles with their mental health. In 2018, I was offered a position on my college campus where we researched, wrote, implemented and developed a $1.3 million policy for the campus to bring in mental health resources.”
Now, Coleman said she partners with other community programs in the area to bring in different mental health resources and programs, including at Cliff Park High School and the juvenile detention center.
Coleman, a retention specialist at Cliff Park High School in Springfield, graduated from Indiana State University in 2019, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with two minors in international studies and French language studies.
“In 2014, someone approached me about the Miss Indiana State program, where the winner got scholarship money. I never won that, but I won miss congeniality three times in 2015, 2016 and 2018. This spring-boarded me into competing for other state titles,” she said.
Coleman has competed in about 30 local pageants since 2014 in Indiana and two in Ohio.
“I won my first title in 2020 as Miss Crossroads to America ... I gave that one up and got Miss Heart of Ohio in March,” she said.
“It was exciting but fulfilling. I’ve been competing since 2014 in 30 different programs and the first time I was appointed title holder I was first runner-up, so the winner stepped down and I got the title. For Miss Heart of Ohio, it was the first time I earned something myself. Even though it took so long, it was connecting all the dots to say, ‘I’ve done this for so long, I’m finally getting something out of it,’ ” she added.
This weekend, Coleman will travel to Mansfield on Sunday to start her journey competing for Miss Ohio, which is the state preliminary to Miss America. The competition will be held June 15-18, where over 20 women ages 18 to 26 will compete for Miss America.
Miss Ohio will provide a $10,000 scholarship to the winner, who has their title for a year until the next competition and a new winner in crowned. The organization has provided roughly $5 million to women pursuing their education each year.
Coleman has done an “immense” amount of training such as vocal lessons, mock interviews and dress shopping for the competition.
“As exciting as it is, it’s also incredibly draining,” she said.
The week will kick off with the Show Your Shoes parade, which is the same one that Miss America has done since 1922, Coleman said. All of the women will represent a shoe about their state that they are able to design themselves. Coleman said she decided to do a Dayton Wright Flyer on her shoes.
Cliff Park High School is a sponsor, and the students in the construction program are building the flyer that will be on Coleman’s shoes.
The woman crowned the winner of Miss Ohio this month will advance to Miss America in December.