Elizabeth Safrit: A One-on-One Interview with the Reigning Miss United States
Jan 09, 2015 03:28PM
● By Jason Huddle
Elizabeth Safrit, Cabarrus Native and the Reigning Miss United States
It’s not every day that a county can boast that one of its own is the reigning Miss United States, or that she placed third in the Miss World competition. But Elizabeth Safrit – daughter of Lynne and Walter Safrit – has accomplished just that. While Miss South Africa won the overall title of Miss World, Safrit was named Continental Queen of Beauty for North and South America. As such, her new title is Miss World Americas.
A senior at the University of South Carolina, Safrit is pursuing a degree in political science with a minor in journalism. While there, she has become a Capstone and Woodrow Scholar; a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Scholastic Honor Society and Phi Sigma Theta National Scholastic Honor Society; and is a Dean’s List student. She is also a correspondent for the Charlotte-based news show, BNR Weekly.
In July, Safrit competed against women from all over the country to win the title of Miss United States, part of the Miss World program. Directly after Thanksgiving, she headed to London to compete in a three-week-long competition. “This pageant is so much more than any pageant that I have been a part of in the United States. It really is an exercise in endurance,” Safrit says. “Having the competition take place over several weeks and in so many diverse areas requires a lot of preparation and training in many different areas. For example, I was required to train in categories such as physical fitness...I trained for my talent with my coaches from Piedmont Dance Conservatory for many, many hours, perfecting my dance (ballet)...and I also spent every spare moment refreshing my knowledge of world affairs for the series of interviews that are part of our competition.”
But does a beauty pageant contestant, no matter how successful, deserve to be included in an issue highlighting “wonder women” of our community? Safrit believes so. “Miss World is...more than the traditional definition of what beauty is all about,” she explains. “It celebrates the modern woman and rewards women for being beautiful, not only on the outside, but on the inside as well, and for having an intense passion for giving back to the world around us. Being a part of the Miss World organization gives me the opportunity to make a difference every day, if even in some small way. Miss World rewards the most well-rounded contestant, the one who is beautiful because she is driven, intelligent, passionate and hard-working.”
While Safrit’s ultimate goal is to be a political broadcaster, she also hopes to continue to work with children. “During my time as Miss World U.S., I have been fortunate to visit with children in after-school programs, hospitals, boys & girls clubs and many other organizations. If I can say or do one thing to encourage these children or inspire them to reach for their dreams and to keep trying even if they are not immediately successful, I will feel that I have accomplished a great deal,” she says.
And for young ladies who have varying dreams of their own, Safrit has these encouraging words. “I have learned that at times you become frustrated when you do not immediately achieve something you have worked hard for. But if you don’t give up and you keep working, there are even better things in store for you down the road!”