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7 women from ULM competing for Miss Louisiana crown

Published June 20, 2017

Seven young women in the Warhawk family are vying for the title of Miss Louisiana 2017 at this week’s 53rd Annual Miss Louisiana Pageant. Six of the women are students at the University of Louisiana Monroe and one graduated in May.

Showing “Talons Out” from the balcony of the seventh floor of the ULM Library are Miss Louisiana contestants from ULM, from left, Christina Gray, J'Lyn Henderson, Ashlynn Lanford, Lauren Ford, Baylea Huffman, Allison Newton, and Jo' Hillard. Jeanette Slater/ULM Photo Services

The contestants’ schedule is packed with rehearsals, appearances and events. The preliminary competitions start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and the finals at 8 p.m. Saturday, all at the Jack Howard Theatre at the Monroe Civic Center.

The Saturday finals will be broadcast on KNOE-TV 8 from 8-10 p.m.

Contestants from throughout the state are making Bayou Suites at ULM their home for Pageant Week. Monday the contestants and pageant officials were the guests of honor at a luncheon at ULM.

The students are, Miss Heart of Pilot Lauren Ford, Miss Union Parish Christina Gray, Miss Taste of the Twin Cities J’Lyn Henderson, Miss Cane River Jo’ Hilliard, Miss Monroe Baylea Huffman, Miss ULM Ashlynn Lanford, and Miss Louisiana Stockshow Allison Newton.

More about the ULM students:

  • Miss Heart of Pilot Lauren Ford — Ford is a fourth year doctoral student in the School of Pharmacy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015. Ford, of Monroe, was Miss ULM 2015. Her platform is “Prescription for a Bright Future: Choose Wisely, Act Kindly.” Her talent is playing the fiddle.
  • Miss Union Parish Christina Gray — Gray is a graduate student earning her MBA. A native of Winnfield, her platform is “Strength in Numbers.” Her talent is vocal.
  • Miss Taste of the Twin Cities J’Lyn Henderson — Henderson is a sophomore in elementary education. She was born in Monroe, and grew up in Shreveport and Monroe. Her platform is “Feeding the Hungry Heart.” Henderson’s talent is vocal.
  • Miss Cane River Jo’ Hilliard — Hilliard is a May graduate of the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. From Baton Rouge, her platform is “S.T.A.T.: Strategies Targeting Adolescent Thinking.” Hillard’s talent is vocal.
  • Miss Monroe Baylea Huffman — Huffman is a senior majoring in speech language pathology. She is from Delhi, where she is a teacher at Miss Brandy’s School of Dance. Huffman’s platform is “The Bucket Challenge,” which focuses on building the self-esteem of young children,
  • Miss ULM Ashlynn Lanford — Lanford is majoring in kinesiology with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy. She is from Pineville. Lanford’s platform is “Arts in Healthcare,” which is an international movement on how the arts have benefits in health care.
  • Miss Louisiana Stockshow Allison Newton  — Newton is studying music vocal performing and her talent is vocal. From Monroe, Newton’s platform is “Embracing the Neurodiverse.”

For more information on the contestants and the 53rd Miss Louisiana Pageant, visit www.misslouisiana.com.