Fresh with her broadcast journalism degree in May from the University of South Carolina, Dawn Nicole Logg always frames the bigger picture in her mind.
Miss South Carolina World 2015, Logg will spend five days starting Monday in the Miss World America pageant, at the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington. The winner of the crown Friday night will advance to the 65th annual Miss World pageant later this year.
Through her “Beauty With A Purpose” project, Logg has volunteered in promoting Operation Palmetto Employment, an initiative begun last year by Gov. Nikki Haley with the S.C. National Guard and S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (803-299-1639, 803-737-9936 or operationpalmettoemployment.sc.gov), going statewide to help service personnel, their family members, and veterans find their next career steps as civilians, and to widen the network of businesses with open arms for these individuals who have sacrificed so much in defending the United States.
Gay Logg said her daughter’s first glimmer of being a multi-tasking go-getter came “at a very early age, maybe 5 or 6,” already “completely in high-gear in all of her endeavors.”
“If she had a goal to accomplish,” Gay Logg said, “she worked like no one I have ever seen to make it happen; she would work for years if that is what it took. Her stage presence became apparent when she was cast in ‘Cats’ with the Carolina Forest High School Show Choir. I saw something in her that I had not seen before, and she truly came alive when she was entertaining or on stage for any reason. Her ambition and gift to handle many projects at once came naturally to her.”
After a week visiting family in Washington state, Dawn Logg spent a few minutes by phone from Columbia this past week to share what makes her drive to make a difference, not only for pageants, but all her life for the community at large. She also shared credit with her family and schoolmates for their support, and Bryan Beaman, co-owner of the Carolina Forest Performing Arts Academy, for “helping make me the woman I am today” and “the reason” her performing career blossomed, including two years with the Carolina Coquettes Dance Team in college.
Question | Having grown up recognizing the importance of volunteering for various causes, including Girls on the Run and the American Cancer Society, how close to your heart has promoting Operation Palmetto Employment been to help veterans begin a new chapter in their lives?
Answer | When I was a young girl growing up ... I needed role models. With working with the American Cancer Society: Whose family hasn’t been affected by cancer? When I learned about Operation Palmetto Employment, it was so new and fresh, and although it was something I didn’t connect with, I’ve always had the urge to serve those who served. ...
I just felt really inclined to help, especially because it was so new and successful. South Carolina is arguably the most military friendly state in the nation, and I want to help give Operation Palmetto Employment the publicity it deserves. ... It benefits the military families as well as the businesses that participate. That’s why I wanted to help; I knew it didn’t have a voice because it’s so new.
Q. | In immersing yourself in broadcast news in so much of your college studies, how do you see journalism in this instant, 24/7, and growing digital age continuing to connect with younger people, especially those who might not make TV or a newspaper their first choice for the latest, breaking developments?
A. | It’s something I’ve learned a lot about, growing up in the digital generation, and I want to work in television, something I really enjoy. The activity on social media is what makes journalism relatable, and viewers want to be able to relate to the people giving them information, because they trust them. ...
Social media is a huge way to connect with viewers. I don’t know of a news station that does not have a news web page or Twitter account. ... Television is still a big means of news delivery that viewers expect ... and social media is making it more continuous and relevant. With Miss World America (www.missworldamerica.com) ... being active on social media is a big part of the pageant. Miss World America wants a spokesperson, someone they can relate to.
Q. | Since moving from your native Evergreen State to South Carolina in 2006, how has your finishing growing up in the South enriched your life culturally?
A. | The opportunities here were right up my alley. Growing up, I wanted to be on stage, and the people in South Carolina took me under their wing, and pushed me to choose my dreams. ... Because people are so willing to help all the time, that’s been a huge influence in my life ... In high school, I took an interest in dance, and all of my friends encouraged me to try out for school plays.
Q. | How did your background of performance, such as in the Carolina Forest High School Show Choir and Carolina Coquettes Dance Team, instill self-confidence in front of crowds of people, and going before a national audience next week for Miss World America in the nation’s capital?
A. | The performance aspect is really important; it really translates if you’re comfortable on stage. I was able to memorize dances and songs, and go on stage and perform them. Pageants aren’t just putting on a dress and walking on stage. I will show them who I am. ... Most of us are competing for college scholarships. ... I tell people all the time that my interviewing skills have been obtained from competing in pageants.
Q. | When you think of winners from other pageants who have gained career popularity after their crowns, with what service, work or feat do you dream of being identified long term?
A. | I don’t really think that because of pageants, people are going to recognize me; they will recognize me as someone who really cares about interacting with others.
Q. | In what other ways do pageant winners serve as role models for young women, maybe making a difference in underpublicized or totally unnoticed channels?
A. | That’s the true philanthropy in it, that they continue their service – and continue to work just as hard – even after the national pageant, whether they win or not.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.
Follow Dawn Logg
What | In her quest for Miss World America
When and where | Pageant lasts from Monday-Friday:
▪ www.missworldamerica.com, including details on livestreaming of the pageant.
▪ For details on Operation Palmetto Employment, geared to service personnel, their families, and veterans: 803-299-1639, 803-737-9936 or operationpalmettoemployment.sc.gov.
▪ Miss South Carolina USA for 2015, Charleston native Sara Weishuhn, will compete in the Miss USA pageant, televised live, 8 p.m. July 12 on NBC (WMBF-TV 10/32, WECT-TV 6, and WCBD-TV 2). www.missuniverse.com/missusa.
Some Miss World highlights
▪ Contestants for Miss World America must be a natural born female, ages 17-25, a U.S. citizen, never married, and never having given childbirth.
▪ The Miss World pageant celebrates its 65th year in 2015.
▪ Elizabeth Safrit of Kannapolis, N.C., northeast of Charlotte, was second runner-up for Miss World in 2014, in London.
▪ Previous Miss World winners from the United States comprise Marjorie Wallace from Indiana in 1973 (for more than three months), Gina Tolleson from Spartanburg (1990), and Alexandria Mills of Kentucky (2010).
▪ Cleveland native Halle Berry was fourth runner-up for Miss World in 1986.