|Photo: Kevin Hedin|
So, let's see what happens when Emma Broyles visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Alaska crown?
To be completely honest, I was really not expecting to win the title of Miss Alaska! Hearing my name called on stage felt surreal and I definitely hesitated for a minute because I wasn’t sure that I actually won. After the competition, my family and I went to a local Mexican restaurant to meet the Miss Alaska Organization volunteers, candidates, and judges. Chowing down on nachos while surrounded by my family and friends was truly the best way to celebrate.
What had been the most pleasant surprise about your time as Miss Alaska?
One of my favorite things about being Miss Alaska is getting to be a part of the incredible sisterhood. I am constantly in awe of titleholders in the Miss America Organization and feel so incredibly grateful to know such intelligent and driven young women. Additionally, this title and this organization have offered me so many unique experiences and opportunities that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
You were recently able to appear in the iconic Show Us Your Shoes parade at the Miss America 100th anniversary celebration. What was that experience like?
I have always seen photos of the historic Show Us Your Shoes Parade and loved looking through the state costumes and shoes, so getting to participate in the parade was a dream come true. Putting together my costume was also such a fun aspect of the parade because it allowed me to embrace my creativity and showcase my state in a unique way. I also really enjoyed getting to see each candidate’s costume and shoes, and our class had some fabulous outfits!
How did you select your social impact initiative, “Building Community through Special Olympics”?
Special Olympics has been a significant part of my life for over 12 years, and my journey began when my older brother first became an athlete. Since then I have been a coach, president of the largest Special Olympics school program in Alaska, a unified partner, and an advocate. My family even received the honor of being named Special Olympics Alaska's Family of the Year.
As a sibling of an individual with an intellectual disability and Special Olympics athlete, I have witnessed the positive impact Special Olympics has on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and communities. Special Olympics is an organization that plays a critical role in every community, and I am so excited to continue to share its mission on the Miss America stage.
As a talented singer, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?
I absolutely love the thrill of performing! As many other performers will tell you, being able to express yourself through your art and feeling the adrenaline in your veins as you stand in front of an audience makes you feel so alive. When I’m performing, the world stops and I exist in a fantasy where my problems disappear and I know the trajectory of the story. I am freed of feelings of uncertainty because I have already seen the character’s path and I can simply communicate and embrace it.
You’re currently studying biomedical sciences and voice performance at ASU. Where do you see those fields taking you?
After graduating from Arizona State University I plan on attending PA school, though I ultimately hope to return to medical school to become a dermatologist. I knew that I couldn’t give up singing so I decided to pursue a minor in voice performance to continue my vocal studies.
If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
I would be Genie from Aladdin! Aladdin was one of my favorite movies growing up and Genie’s powers are top tier. At some point I would definitely create an unlimited buffet of every possible food.
If you had an extra ticket to see an Alaska Baseball League game, who would you take with you? Why?
I would take my brothers to see a baseball game! Though this question is a bit difficult because I would not be able to choose between my brothers, so I would likely end up buying an extra ticket XD.
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
Throwing the first pitch! Unfortunately, my hand-eye coordination is lacking, so I don’t trust myself. But someday I dream of having an epic first pitch like Simone Biles.
As always, I want to thank Emma for visiting with us, and for sending along the fantastic pictures to go with the interview.
As Emma continues her time as Miss Alaska, I encourage you to follow her title's Instagram and Facebook accounts. You should also check out the official Miss Alaska website. They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on!
I also want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss America crown this winter. It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!