PHOTO BY DAVID OLANIRAN/MANAGING EDITOR FOR VISUAL AND MULTIMEDIA
Alabama State University hosted its annual Miss Freshman Pageant in the Ralph Abernathy Auditorium on Aug. 27. Nine freshmen competed for the title with Ferrin Lewis being crowned the 2021-22 Miss Freshman representing the class of 2025.
The winner was selected based on votes (70%) and the pageant (30%).
Campaigning with a platform of “Operation:1867,” Lewis plans to advocate for mental health, reach for excellence, and self-worth for the freshmen student body. She hopes to create support groups, mental health checks, and be an approachable student leader that people can speak to if they have any issues or concerns.
“I will accomplish my ‘reaching for excellence’ goal by telling the class all of the necessary components to strive for excellence and having someone come in and talk to the class about excellence and how to achieve it,” Lewis stated. “ I will accomplish my ‘knowing your purpose’ goal by stressing to the class that there is a reason why we have made it this far and let them know not to give up, although the road may be bumpy at times and we may have some ups and downs.”
As numerous freshmen expressed the lack of tutoring assistance and fellowship events, Lewis stated that she will discuss ideas with the administration to see if they could organize a freshmen-only event on campus to expose the class to their fellow peers. She also wants to create designated group chats so that the class can offer support and guidance to each other.
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Lewis decided to attend the university due to the campus life, the spirit, the love ASU have for their students, as well as the education.
“My mom, as well as my aunts, went to ASU,” Lewis said. “ I grew up on this campus as well as attended many summer camps ASU held such as Skycap, 3T, and Aspire. When my mom was enrolled, I used to go to her classes with her when nobody could watch me. It was almost like I was enrolled when I was in middle school!”
Being a student leader and representing an entire class was Lewis’ inspiration since she was a child.“I have always looked up to the Royal Court,” Lewis said. “They are dressed with poise, elegance, and honor. They represent the school while serving students and helping out with anything that the campus needs. For me, that was an organization that I wanted to be a part of.”
As the crowd and contestants awaited the results of the Miss Freshman Pageant, Lewis recalls being nervous. However, as the speaker announced her name, she was shocked.
“I cried,” she said. “I couldn’t have made this accomplishment without God and the freshman class.”
Lewis believes she was the perfect candidate for Miss Freshman because she possessed the leadership, communication skills, the ability to deliver, compassion, friendliness, as well as professionalism to serve her classmates well. Even if Lewis lost the election, she said she would have stuck to her promise of advocacy.
Hoping to be a prosecutor, Lewis is majoring in criminal justice and political science to represent the unjust and mistreated in the court system.
“In today’s society, it is not many times that you see an African American woman in the courtroom. I want to be that change,” Lewis said. “ With so many wrongful deaths and violent court cases where the victim, as well as their families, do not receive justice, I want to be that change. I want to make sure that suspects receive the proper jail time for the crime that they committed, willingly or unwillingly.”
At the end of her tenure, Lewis hopes to leave behind a legacy of change.
“I want people to know that I lived up to my platform, came up with resources to help the freshman class, served as their voice, and that I have made sacrifices to the class of 2025.”