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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcat beauty queen prepares for Miss America pageant

Wildcat+beauty+queen+prepares+for+Miss+America+pageant

Few students have had to take semesters off to prepare for a national pageant.

Piper Stoeckel, a Prescott native and broadcast journalism senior, was crowned Miss Arizona last June and will be competing for the title of Miss America in January. Stoeckel is currently taking the year off from classes to focus on a competition she’s been involved in for a number of years.

“I had my eye on pageants junior year,” Stoeckel said. “I admired the community service and talent. I watched Miss Arizona’s 2011 winner, Jennifer Sedler, and saw her doing the most incredible things, and she really inspired me to get involved.”

Megan Alletson, a senior and journalism major at UA, is one of Stoeckel’s closest friends.

“[Stoeckel] really does adapt to any situation and I have yet to meet someone who didn’t like her immediately,” Alletson said. “She makes a fantastic Miss Arizona because she breaks any negative stereotypes of pageantry. She is one of the most intelligent people I know, is obviously stunning and most importantly really cares about her platform and making a difference.”

Stoeckel’s platform includes child abuse prevention and awareness at the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center. She is currently on their board of directors and volunteers with them. Stoeckel is also active within the Boys and Girls Club.

“As this year has gone by I want to take the time to empower the next generation in any way I possibly can. During my senior year of high school, I decided that was the one cause that I wanted to work for and improve,” Stoeckel said. “One of my closest friends in high school was abused and I remember thinking, that was one of the worst things that could happen to an individual. I feel like that is what I was caused to serve.”

Stoeckel said she draws much of her inspiration from her family. Her older brother, Karl Stoeckel, was deployed to Afghanistan a week before his sister competed for Miss Arizona.

“He told me, I want you to go into this wanting to serve while I am serving,” Stoeckel said. “He inspires me every single day. I want to use this position to selflessly serve in Arizona. It is an odd dynamic for me this year because yes, I have these amazing things happening, but at the same time I am very humbled that a very important person in my family is in an extremely dangerous and courageous position.”

Laura Lawless Robertson, who was crowned Miss Arizona in 2002, has known Stoeckel since she earned the crown in June. Robertson said Stoeckel’s dedication to her platform is what allows her to fit the Miss Arizona title so well.

“I think she is a woman of character,” Robertson said. “She is hard-working and devoted to what she does. Having walked in those shoes as Miss Arizona before, I know how important it is to be passionate. It is not measured by the fame you achieve but the change you make in the service of the state and she has that quality. On top of being beautiful and having the potential of doing great at Miss Arizona, she is a hard worker and as an Arizona sister, I treasure that.”

After the Miss America competition, Stoeckel said she hopes to finish her classes at the UA and get an internship for broadcast news.

“I’ve joked that I want to be Piper Stoeckel when I grow up, but in all seriousness I think she is a wonderful role model and no better person could represent the state of Arizona,” Alletson said.

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