‘Get Out There and Serve’
East Carolina University vocal performance student Arlie Honeycutt, winner of the 2012 Miss North Carolina pageant, hopes to inspire others to join in community service. (Contributed photo)
ECU student to promote volunteerism as Miss North Carolina 2012
By Joy Holster
ECU News Services
A rising junior at East Carolina University hopes to inspire community service statewide as the newly crowned Miss North Carolina 2012.
Arlie Honeycutt, a 19-year-old Garner native studying vocal performance, won the Miss North Carolina title June 23 at the state pageant in Raleigh. As an ECU student, Honeycutt qualified to perform in the state competition as Miss Kinston-Lenoir, a program that accepts contestants from Lenoir County and the five or six counties surrounding it.
Honeycutt is an ECU Ambassador, the Alumni Association’s student service organization. She is also an active member of the ECU Chamber Singers; the Magnolia Belles, a service-oriented a capella group on campus; and ECU student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
The new Miss North Carolina is an exceptional representative for both the university and the state, said ECU professor Jami Rhodes, Honeycutt’s applied voice instructor. “She is incredibly talented, articulate and highly intelligent. She is a beautiful person inside and out,” Rhodes said.
Honeycutt’s personal platform as a pageant contestant was “The Domino Effect: Inspiring Volunteerism One Person at a Time.” That concept arose from her experiences as an ECU student volunteer.
“At ECU, I have discovered there are so many ways to give back and to help fulfill the university’s motto, ‘servire’ (to serve),” Honeycutt said.
“While you may not connect with all service activities, some volunteer experiences may really capture your interest,” she said. “The key is to find the activities you enjoy, and get out there and serve the community.”
One service project that captured Honeycutt’s attention is the ECU Ambassadors’ Special Populations Prom for individuals with mental and/or physical handicaps. The event provides a evening of music and dance for those who may not have had an opportunity to attend school dances or proms.
“The Special Populations Prom was eye-opening for me,” she said. “It influenced my decision to choose a volunteer-based goal as my pageant platform.”
In her role as Miss North Carolina, Honeycutt plans to travel the state to inspire others to join in volunteer efforts. She is especially interested in sharing her ideas with young people, she said, to explain how they can key in on their own personal interests and serve the community at the same time.
Volunteer service is contagious, Honeycutt explained. “Seeing one person giving back to the community through service can inspire others to do the same. That is the premise behind the domino effect.”
In statewide engagements, Honeycutt hopes to involve her audience in “mini-service projects,” like the Children’s Miracle Network project she developed as Miss Kinston-Lenoir. In those activities, Honeycutt led groups to create cards that would help brighten the day for hospitalized children.
Honeycutt received approximately $16,000 in scholarship awards as winner of the Miss North Carolina pageant. She hopes to use that funding for graduate school after she completes her degree from ECU. Honeycutt said she’s not certain where she will apply, but she’s confident about her chances of being accepted.
“The training I’ve received in ECU’s fantastic School of Music has prepared me to audition for any school in the state,” Honeycutt said.
Honeycutt is grateful to the ECU community for the support she has received both before and after the pageant. “I have received so many e-mails and Facebook posts, so many kinds words,” she said.
“I am fortunate to have the Pirate Nation behind me.”
Honeycutt will compete in the Miss America scholarship pageant Jan. 12, 2013 in Las Vegas.