(Nov. 8, 2019) Stephen Decatur High School graduate, Sierra Dacre, is competing in the People’s Choice Award for a chance to become a semifinalist in the Miss Maryland 2020 pageant.
Dacre will be competing against 95 other young women in the first ever People’s Choice Award in order to advance in the Miss Maryland contest. Each vote costs $1. People can vote as many times as they want.
Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. The winner will receive a crystal trophy and a guaranteed spot in the semifinals.
Dacre first discovered the competition while she was shopping online, and initially thought the ad was a scam, but decided to click on it anyway.
“I clicked the link and I genuinely thought it was a scam,” the 20-year-old said. “I was like, ‘This doesn’t seem real,’ but I applied anyways. I put in all of my information and I received a text message asking for a phone interview. I still sort of was just like, ‘There’s no way this is real. Someone’s trying to take my money or something.’ But I did the phone interview and I received an email a few days later that I was selected as an official state contestant.”
Prior to seeing the ad, Dacre had never competed in a beauty pageant before, though she does have experience as a competitive dancer. Unfortunately for Dacre, this pageant does not have a talent competition.
Instead, she will sit down for an interview with the panel of judges today, Friday in Bethesda, Maryland, who will ask her why she joined the competition and her plans with the title if she won.
On Saturday, she and the other 95 competitors will perform the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the event. Once the People’s Choice Awards votes are tallied, the semifinals of the competition will come to an end on Sunday, where the winner will be selected.
The winner will be Maryland’s representative in the Miss USA competition who could then go on to compete in the Miss Universe Competition.
Dacre decided to run for mental health awareness, citing her own experience with Bi-polar type 2 disorder.
“I’m extremely passionate about mental health awareness,” she said. “In junior and senior year of high school, I sort of let it define me in a sense. I let it get the best for me … I feel like there’s a stigma attached with mental health awareness and illnesses.
“If I win, I want to use that title and really push the end to the stigma attached with it,” Dacre continued. “It’s always gonna be a part of me, but it doesn’t stop me from doing anything that I want to do.”
She also wants to run on the premise of encouraging young women in the community to take a stand and get involved.
“February of this year, I was able to testify on the proposed [$15 minimum wage] legislation on behalf of the Harrison Group and the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association,” Dacre said. “The Eastern Shore is composed of primarily small businesses, so this bill would completely destroy us.
“But another part of the bill was to remove the tip credit aspect,” she continued. “I thrive off tips. That’s how I survive in the winter. I really liked being there and I just kind of want to encourage other young girls to get involved in their community for the things that matter, because although the bill was passed, the tip credit aspect was saved.”
Regardless of how this competition goes, Dacre plans to compete again in the future and wants to continue to inspire others.
“I think this could open doors to make new connections for me to meet a bunch of other women who also want to change the world in some sort of way,” Dacre said. “I want to meet other people who are as passionate about one specific thing or many specific things as I am, and I’m just really excited to kind of get out of my comfort zone. I’ve never done anything like this before. Whatever happens, I’m still going to take it as an amazing experience.”
Dacre is currently studying at Wor-Wic Community College and plans to transfer to Salisbury University, where she wants to major in political science with a pre-law track.
“I’m extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity to represent the town I grew up in, the town that I love and will always treasure,” Dacre said. “I’m just happy I get to represent it in the best light possible.”
To vote for Dacre, visit https://missmarylandusa.com/product/sierra-dacre/.