15:05 PM

Bellevue University Scholarship is Top Prize for Allie Swanson

Winning the Miss Omaha competition comes with a quite a haul of goods and services, including manicures, pedicures, and tanning. However, what really appealed to 2018 Miss Omaha Allie Swanson wasn’t those beauty services, but rather a $6,000 renewable scholarship to Bellevue University.

Swanson, a graduate of Millard North High School, collected another scholarship when she was the third runner-up in the Miss Nebraska contest, which made becoming a Bruin an easy decision. Swanson had already earned her bachelor’s degree at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, but a master’s degree was on her mind.

“I began studying the different programs at Bellevue University. I was debating between the MBA and something with psychology and landed on the Master of Science in Leadership and Coaching,” Swanson said. “I was reading through the courses and just loved it. You get a little bit of business and a little bit of psychology.”

Swanson describes herself as a type-A personality. The assertiveness that comes along with that served her well during her time as a member of the Evangel women’s basketball squad. A six-foot, three-inch center, Swanson averaged 11.9 points per game during her senior season in 2017.

Swanson’s reign as Miss Omaha came to an end earlier this year, but she had already claimed more scholarship money as Miss Heartland 2019. She’ll have another shot at Miss Nebraska in 2019 before aging out of the competition. That event will be held June 2 -8 in North Platte.

A few of the many great organizations that Bellevue University supports with scholarship opportunities:

  • Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County Pageant
  • Miss Nebraska Pageant
  • Bellevue Invitational Drill Meet
  • Youth Salute
“It’s awesome because North Platte just completely embraces the contestants,” Swanson said. “It brings a bunch of new faces to North Platte. We spoke at the Kiwanis Club. We do a lot of service projects together. It’s a great way to bond with the other girls.”

The Miss Omaha contest was Swanson’s first foray into pageant competition, but she had some good insights into how they work. Her older sister, Megan, won the 2014 Miss Nebraska title.

“She always pushed me to do pageants because of the positive effects that come out of it,” Swanson said. “The people that you meet, the service opportunities that you get, and the scholarships that you have the opportunity to win.”

Swanson sang “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin in the Miss Omaha competition and “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” at the Miss Nebraska contest. A communications major in her undergraduate career, Swanson chose cyber safety and awareness as her platform.

“I go to schools and engagements and speak about digital media literacy and safety,” Swanson explained. “I talk about social media and encourage people to stay safe online. The great thing about the Miss America organization is that you have a platform. The Miss America organization is centered on service.”

Currently, Swanson is working as Society Engagement Coordinator for Smart Girl Society, an Omaha based non-profit working to educate and inspire smart and confident girls, women, and families. She’s also a certified instructor at the Barre Code, a national fitness chain with two Omaha locations.

Swanson is applying what she is learning in her leadership and coaching classes to all areas of her life, including pageants.

“It’s applicable to all the different things that I’m doing in my life with Miss Heartland and Miss Nebraska, at Smart Girl Society, and at Barre Code. I’m a basketball coach at Millard North as well. I love working with those girls,” Swanson said. “I can take all of the leadership skills I learn about in class and apply them to all of the different jobs that I do. The program is just really perfect for me and is a big reason why I chose Bellevue.”