Reaching the world — one pageant at a time

Liberty student wins state title

LU Online student and Lynchburg resident Rachel Travis won the 2011 Mrs. Virginia title Feb. 5. The pageant was held at the Historic Colonial Theater in South Hill, Va.


Travis, who previously attended Word of Life Bible Institute in Hudson, Fla., is has a double major in psychology and religion through Liberty’s online program, in addition to participating in the pageant.

Entering only three weeks prior to the pageant, Travis was immediately caught up in the whirlwind that precedes the events. Preparing for the actual pageant is a time consuming, fascinating process. Few people fully comprehend the pre-pageant activities such as creating a platform, purchasing pageant wear and preparing for the interview.

The first section of the pageant is to demonstrate fitness, the second is a private interview and the final appearance is to model an evening gown, according to the Mrs. Virginia official website. The interview is worth 50 percent of the score, while the remaining events make up the difference.

The score determines who will move on to the final round. Following this decision the finalists are given one last question before the judges declare the winner.

Travis and her husband Mark Travis were married in Aug. 2006. According to Travis, her family and friends fully supported her decision to participate in the pageant.

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Travis said.

When asked about her favorite part of the experience, Travis mentioned that it was making friends with her fellow contestants.

Travis’ platform includes working with Freedom 4/24 and H.I.S. Ministries. Freedom 4/24 is an organization that focuses on raising awareness on the sexual exploitation of women. H.I.S. Ministries is an organization which is involved in spreading the gospel to children and teenagers throughout the world.

Travis strongly encourages women who are interested in participating in a pageant to do so.

“It’s a huge opportunity to help others and learn more about yourself. Dream big — you only live once,” Travis said.

Travis is currently working as a paraoptometric at the Virginia Eye Clinic as well as an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International.

The Mrs. America Pageant will be held March 31 to April 14 in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va., at the Greenbrier Resort.

Travis has been keeping a blog to record the events following the pageant. She invites students to follow her posts in order to keep up with the news as she continues on to the Mrs. America Pageant at

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