Photos courtesy of Miss Oshkosh Facebook
UW Oshkosh junior Katrina Mazier took home the crown on March 2 at the annual Miss Oshkosh and Miss Oshkosh’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant, which is within the Miss America competition.
Originally from Appleton, Mazier went to UW-La Crosse her first year and transferred to UWO her second year. Mazier also holds titles as Miss Fond du Lac 2016 and Miss Green Bay Area 2018.
Mazier said she has never seen a local pageant work so hard to promote the winner and it’s a complete honor to win.
“You are completely just involved in the community at all times, and they take you under their wing and love you and support you, and it’s a really great community that you have backing you,” Mazier said.
Mazier said there are three different competitions in the Miss America competition, which are local, state and national. In Wisconsin, there are 25 local competitions.
“Now that I’ve won the title of Miss Oshkosh, I’ll go on to compete for the title of Miss Wisconsin in June,” Mazier said. “If I were to win the title as Miss Wisconsin, I would go on to compete as Miss America.”
Co-director of the Miss Oshkosh Scholarship Program Michelle Hammett said all nine contestants did a fabulous job.
“We are thrilled [Mazier is] our winner and that we get to work with her during her year of service,” Hammett said.
Hammett said scholarship opportunities provide a way for students to pay for tuition costs. Mazier received a $3,500 scholarship, and she wasn’t the only one. Hammett said of the top five finalists, three of them were UWO students.
“The Miss Oshkosh scholarship program is one of the top scholarship providers in all of the local pageants in the Miss Wisconsin, Miss America system,” Hammett said. “This year we awarded over $11,550 [in] scholarships to the contestants, so every contestant who competes receives some type of a scholarship. I think each contestant received a minimum of $500.”
Mazier said the crown competitors wear has four points, each symbolic of an important pageant concept.
“The points are style, service, scholarship and success,” Mazier said.
Mazier said service is now referred to as a social impact initiative since Miss America was changed to Miss America 2.0 last year.
Mazier’s social impact initiative is Teens of Tomorrow- Teen Suicide Prevention Awareness, for which she’s raised funds to provide help for those who need help or are uninsured.
“Over the past almost four years now, I’ve spoken to almost 20,000 people across the nation about teen suicide prevention awareness,” Mazier said. “I have my own story with mental health that I like to share as well as sharing resources and advocating for those that are struggling and need the help that they can’t get.”
Mazier said as a suicide survivor, she has focused her heart, mind and soul on her platform for the past four years.
“Travelling to speak about teen suicide prevention awareness, having my own story with it, it really makes me want to connect with it and want to make a difference in our community,” Mazier said. “I don’t want other people to go through what I went through, the story that I have, and I want to share that. I want to change lives with that story.”
Mazier said in order to compete in a pageant, contestants must raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Whenever you compete in a local pageant, you have to raise $100, and that $100 gets donated to these little kiddos that are sick and hurting and really need the help,” Mazier said. “When I go on to compete at Miss Wisconsin this year, I’ll have to raise $250 for Miss Wisconsin, and if I were to win Miss Wisconsin, I would have to raise $1,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in order to compete at Miss America.”
Mazier said the Miss America Organization has taught her how to network, interact with different people, public speak and promote herself and her brand. She also said it has saved her life by bringing her back to a healthy lifestyle.
“I think it really teaches you how to empower other women while still lifting up yourself, and I think that this is a really great thing that this organization has to offer,” Mazier said.
Mazier said competing in pageants and maintaining a full-time status at UWO is a lot, as she is also working two part-time jobs.
“But I feel like my life would be weird or not complete if I wasn’t constantly doing something,” Mazier said. “Although it doesn’t leave a lot of time for, like, boyfriends or a lot of friends or opportunities like that, I’m receiving a lot of other opportunities that are benefiting me, like being able to volunteer in the community and focus on my social impact initiative.”
UWO senior Rachel Mazurek said Mazier has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is today and should be proud of her accomplishments.
“Katrina is such a great role model for the young women in Oshkosh and sometimes people just need someone else to share their story in order for them to have the courage to share theirs too,” Mazurek said. “I think she has the potential to inspire others and even change the lives of the people in this community.”