BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON – Persistence pays off.
Ciera Pekarcik, former Miss Farmington and Miss Davis County, was crowned Miss Utah 2013 this past weekend. Pekarcik, who is currently Miss Panoramaland, has competed in the event the last four years.
“I was about to age out,” she said. “But even if I hadn’t won, I was going to walk away with peace because I knew I’d never stopped fighting. I wouldn’t have to look back and wonder what might have been.”
Pekarcik, who has also been named Miss Pioneer Valley, is used to following her dreams. Though she initially went to the University of Utah with the intent to study elementary education, a required communications course inspired her to change her major to broadcast journalism.
“It changed my life,” she said. “A fire was lit under me, and I knew it was what I was called to do.”
Getting crowned Miss Utah is changing her life as well. Monday started Pekarcik’s year of service to the state, complete with such an intensive schedule that she’s required to move to Orem to be more centrally located to all her Miss Utah-related engagements.
Her platform is child sex abuse recognition and recovery, and she’s worked with the Davis County Children’s Justice Center for the last several years.
“I volunteered with them long before I’d even heard about the scholarship opportunities of the Miss America program,” she said. “Becoming Miss Utah not only opens the door for me, but also for their message.”
Still, she’d love to get involved with even more state issues and programs. Organizations can contact Pekarcik by visiting missutahpageant.org.
“They call it a reign of service, and they mean it,” she said with a laugh. “I would love for Utahns to get me involved as much as possible.”
She’ll also be heading to the Miss America pageant this September, which will be moving back to Atlantic City for the first time in several years. The timing leaves her with only a few months to settle into her new role.
“Most young ladies have a year to get their states to fall in love with them,” she said. “I only have two months. I really need everyone’s help.”
No matter what happens in September, however, she’ll always have her memory of winning Miss Utah. If she forgets, the pictures will be there to remind her.
“I don’t regret any response I had, as ugly as it might have been,” she said with a laugh, referring to the photos taken of her crying after she found out she’d won. “The pure shock I felt was there in the pictures. It took me four years to get here.”