While the pursuit of a crown is one reason University of Houston-Victoria junior Ashley Moulton will compete in the 2014 Mrs. Texas America pageant, it’s far from the only reason.
Moulton said serving as Mrs. Victoria is a way for her to get more involved in the community, meet new people and formulate a platform to help young women struggling with addictions.
She is majoring in psychology at UHV and is the first member of her family to attend college. Her career aspiration is to work with women who are trying to overcome substance abuse.
Moulton recently started volunteering for Perpetual Help Home, an organization in Victoria assisting women with breaking the cycle of incarceration and homelessness through making life changes.
“A lot of married women compete in the pageant multiple times because it’s fun,” she said. “But the top reason is because it allows them to continue to spread the word about different causes or charities.”
While the Mrs. Texas America pageant isn’t until April, Moulton is trying to fit in as much of the preparations as possible before the UHV fall semester begins Aug. 26.
“I really want to have the time to concentrate on my schoolwork,” Moulton said. “I love it here. I have enjoyed attending classes at UHV and getting to know my professors.”
Moulton, 29, is from Lancaster, Calif. In 2009, she moved to Houston where she studied kinesiology at UH. In 2012, she married Stephen Moulton, a lifelong Victoria resident, and enrolled at UHV.
“When I switched to psychology, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “I was working with football players at UH to learn athletic training, but I didn’t feel like kinesiology was really for me.”
While this is Moulton’s first Mrs. Texas American Pageant, she competed in several California pageants with friends from school while she was growing up. She never won a title, but the experiences were memorable.
“It was really exciting to be on stage performing,” she said about the past pageants. “The crown is always something I wanted as a girl. But the best part was spending time with the other contestants, having sleepovers and doing girly stuff.”
Unlike youth competitions, there are no set rehearsals or get-togethers for Mrs. Texas America delegates.
Married Texas women apply to be pageant delegates. Moulton was accepted and named Mrs. Victoria. While it’s not a requirement to represent Victoria at community functions, Moulton is happy to do so. She will wear her sash and crown at the Miss Victoria competition this weekend.
“I’ve only lived in Victoria for about two years, so this is a nice way to get to know more people and try to help out the community,” she said.
Moulton still is shaping her platform on how to best go about working with young women. She’s open to ideas from the community about what organizations or charities to work with. To find out more about her platform interests and for contact information, visit Moulton’s website at www.mrsvictoria.net.
The pageant was scheduled for December in Corsicana, but was recently postponed until April. The pageant consists of a fitness competition, evening gown modeling and a four-minute panel-style interview. The top 15 contestants will be selected from preliminary scoring. Another cut knocks it down to the top five finalists before the winner is selected.
Moulton has a lot to do between now and then. She previously worked as an eye technician but decided to give that up to finish her degree and get ready for the pageant.
“I was wearing scrubs every day for work, so I wasn’t feeling like a girl anymore,” she said as she laughed. “I wanted to dress up, plus I’m really passionate about helping young women.”