Henry Gets One Step Closer to Her Dream of Being Miss America
May 11, 2006
RENO, Nev. - March
Story by Jason Duggin, Media Services Student Intern
When sophomore Dana Henry won the Miss University of Nevada Pageant on March 28 at Sammy's Showroom inside Harrah's, it was not the first time that the 19-year-old has worn a crown.
Henry, a defensive specialist on the Wolf Pack volleyball team, has been competing in beauty pageants for over 13 years. She won the 2004 Miss Klamath County contest and placed in the top 10 at the 2004 Miss Oregon competition.
"I started doing beauty pageants when I was six," said Henry, who hails from Klamath Falls, Ore. "From a very young age, I wanted to be Miss America."
Overachiever is one way to describe this talented student-athlete. Henry graduated from Klamath Union High School in just three years and was a three-sport athlete there. Upon arriving at the University of Nevada, she tried out for the volleyball team and earned a spot.
One of her biggest influences came from Olympic Gold Medalist Dan O'Brien, who was coached in high school by Henry's father, Kris.
"He told me to never stop going after my goals and chasing my dreams," Henry said of the Olympic champion. "He was such a great and positive guy."
Henry is a speech pathology and audiology major at the University of Nevada. In fact, for the talent portion of the Miss University of Nevada pageant, she sang and signed the song, "Love in Any Language" by Sandi Patti.
"I chose that because sign is a big part of my life," she said. "It was my foreign language in high school, and my major of audiology allows me to incorporate some of my education into the pageant."
Henry volunteers for the Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation in Minden, Nev. She is working with the foundation to create the first teen skin cancer awareness program in the nation. Henry has already given presentations on skin cancer awareness at elementary schools in Washoe County.
"The children are very receptive and enjoy learning about sun education," Henry said. "I have seen them implement their knowledge, and it is exciting to see them making positive health choices."
Henry has also been re-elected to a second team as an Associated Students of the University of Nevada senator for the 2006-07 school year.
"It's a matter of time management," she said when asked how she juggles her time. "I have been doing it so long I don't know how not to stay busy."
Henry earned a $1000 scholarship by winning the Miss University of Nevada pageant and will get one step closer to accomplishing her dream of being Miss America when he goes to the Miss Nevada pageant on July 1. The winner of that event will represent the state of Nevada in the Miss America pageant in January.
"I love doing the contests," Henry said. "I have met some great friends doing them over the years, and they help me with public speaking. Not to mention, they really help pay for school, which is nice."
Henry's favorite beauty pageant moment came when she was six.
"The current Miss Oregon pulled me up on stage for a picture, even though she wasn't supposed to," Henry said. "I was hooked after that!"