Loryn Weddle, who just wrapped up her sophomore year at UC Merced, has figured out how to balance the demands of a full college life with the responsibilities of being Miss Merced County.
The management major is minoring in arts , has made the Dean's List, and carried 20 units last semester. In her spare time, she started the UC Merced Bobcat Girls dance team, joined the Tri Delta sorority and is an activities supervisor at the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation Center . And to round out this comprehensive list, Weddle is in the middle of preparing for the Miss California pageant in June.
While her commitments on campus create a strong sense of community with fellow students, faculty and staff , she is delighted to find that her duties as Miss Merced County are doing the same for her beyond the campus boundaries.
Since she was crowned Miss Merced County in January, Weddle has been busy with community service events, among them an appearance at a Chamber of Commerce fundraiser and selling raffle tickets at the North Merced Rotary Club crab feed. She also spent the day at a Youth-to-Youth conference at Cruikshank Middle School.
"The conference was for middle school kids from around the county," Weddle said. "I gave two hour-long seminars about being Miss Merced County. The girls were really interested and curious about me and the pageant, what it was like, make-up tips, how they can get
scholarships , and how
college is affordable" .
"These activities have really connected me to the Merced community. They are fun, and I get to know people in the community. It has made my college experience more rewarding."
Weddle was no stranger to community service before she entered the Miss Merced County pageant, and now that she is competing for the Miss California title, she is looking forward to continuing to do so at an even higher level.
"Reconnecting with your community encompasses doing anything you can," Weddle explained, "whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating to another cause, I feel it is very important to help others any way you can, by donating time or whatever you can, especially in this economy."
Preparing for the Miss California pageant has kept Weddle even busier than usual, with constant practice of both her talent and her interview demanding the bulk of her time and attention. A dancer for six years now, Weddle has chosen to perform a jazz routine to Britney Spears' "Circus."
On top of making her far more comfortable with public speaking, Weddle credits the advice and polishing she got from the Miss Merced County committee for giving her the skills and confidence to succeed in a recent job interview.
"These pageant experiences have definitely changed me. I always have room to grow, and I believe I still have a lot of growing up to do."
The Miss California pageant runs from June 24 to 27, the final day being Weddle's birthday. Perfect timing for the young woman, who is already looking forward to her first post-pageant treat.
"I'm in desperate need of a doughnut."