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Purple Media Network

Embracing Elegance: Madison Simms, NSU’s 66th Lady of the Bracelet

Cree Roark
Madison Simms reading to elementary students for her “Reading to Dream” mission.

The auditorium was filled with cameras and people curious to see who would be crowned the next Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet. The participants stand uniform on stage dressed in their most pristine gowns and showcasing the grandest smiles in hopes that they would be crowned the title and fulfill a lifelong dream that only some students at Northwestern State University of Louisiana get to fulfill. The audience remained silent when the announcer then said “The 66th Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet is.”

Madison Simms, a junior biology major, achieved just that this past September and has been honored to carry that title for this year.

“Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet has been a long-standing tradition. I am the 66th winner of the Miss Lady of the Bracelet pageant, and Miss LOB is very special. Because it has a bracelet attached to it that is dedicated to all ladies that have won and worn the bracelet before me,” Simms said.

The crowned winner is awarded a complete scholarship and advances to participate in the Miss Louisiana pageant, potentially earning a chance to qualify for the Miss America pageant. Miss LOB is one of the official hostesses of NSU, where she attends major events that happen at NSU and has the ability to talk one-on-one with students, staff and parents.

For Simms, working to win the title of Miss LOB was the true definition of ‘third times the charm.’

“I competed in LOB in 2022, where I won the People’s Choice Award, which was exciting, and that was my first pageant ever. Then I competed in one more after that just to really get my feet wet. And then I came back in 2023 and competed for Miss LOB and I won,” Simms said.

Being that those three pageants were the first for Simms, it came with much preparation to make sure she could withstand the pageant endurance.

Working with a professional coach for six months teaching her how to properly do the interview portion, working with her Demon Dazzler coach on talent and then spending hours alongside her mom making sure she could properly walk in heels is some of the preparation that Simms does for her newest competition: Miss Louisiana.

Though these were her first pageants, pageant life was always around her. Both her mom and aunt had won the title of Miss Southwest Arkansas. Even outside of her family tree she was surrounded by reigning, future or past Miss LOBs.

“Since I’m from Natchitoches, and my mom worked at NSU for many years, and I had babysitters that competed in the pageant and even won. So, I had so many babysitters that were past Miss LOBs, which was the first time I learned about Miss LOB,” Simms said.

For Simms her childhood was surrounded with women she wanted to take after and learn from. The learning aspect was a big deal for Simms, and she often found herself struggling but wasn’t quite sure why.

“I had a learning disability and still do, called auditory processing disorder, which means that I can’t process speech very well,” Simms said.

This is what sparked her platform ‘Reading to Dream.’

‘Reading to Dream’ is a platform about raising literacy rates in Louisiana. Her goal is to help reading be the first thing children want to do instead of immediately reaching for an iPad. Simms aims to reach out to as many kids as possible to make sure that they find reading just as important as she does.

Simms has made it a mission to travel to schools in either the surrounding parts of Natchitoches or other parts of Louisiana to read to them and teach them the importance of reading. For her the kids are what keep her motivated in spreading her message.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now without them. I made these little coloring sheets, and I printed them out and brought them to every student that I have visited, and they’ve colored them,” Simms said. “Since I have collected them, I will take them with me to Miss Louisiana and use them to decorate my little dorm room door with them.”

As she continues her junior year of college, Simms is in the process of really planning her life and what is next when it comes to a career. For her, working with kids is still a big priority and something that she prides herself in.

“My goal is to be a pediatric occupational therapist, a doctor of pediatric occupational therapy. I really want to carry what I’ve learned throughout my entire life into my work. And being in an area where I can help other kids, physically with their motor skills, also intellectually with their education,” Simms said.

For Simms, the sky’s the limit. She strongly believes that there is a big world out there where there are many things that she can achieve. She is a firm believer in not rushing life and that it is important to live in the moment.

“I know that whatever I’m going to do, I know that I’m going to do it with passion and drive,” Simms said.

Beyond the crown, sash and bracelet Simms is a person with a story that goes far beyond her appearances and title.

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Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas, Current Sauce - Copy Editor
Kevin Thomas is a senior communication major. This is his third year on The Current Sauce staff and first and final semester working as Copy Editor. He hopes to continue his journey of writing as he hopes to fulfill his dreams of writing for magazines after graduation. He cannot wait for what this semester has in store and what’s next.

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