Cait Light, a Hope native and Spring Hill graduate, is set to compete in the Miss Arkansas pageant in Little Rock from June 16 through June 19.
Light, now 22-years-old, entered the pageant world back when she was 16 at the Hempstead County Fair Pageant where she fell in love with it instantly.
“I automatically figured out that that is something that I want to do and that that was something I wanted to pursue,” she said. “Ultimately I ended up in the Miss Arkansas organization with women I have looked up to forever. Some of my best friends have come from that organization and I’ve seen women just grow outstandingly and I can say that I have myself as well.”
Light says that she has most benefitted from the pageant world by making new friends and seeing her own self confidence grow.
“I used to be scared to talk to a group of five people and now I can talk to a group of 5,000 without hesitation,” she said.
Light Is going into the Miss Arkansas pageant as Miss Mid-South, however she originally was not supposed to be going to it at all as she was not crowned Miss Mid-South in a traditional style.
“I was actually not crowned that night,” she said. “I originally did not think I was going to Miss Arkansas, but something happened and an opportunity became open for me be able to compete. I said yes without hesitation because I knew that was something that I wanted to do. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind way but I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I know that’s where I’m supposed to be.”
Light, along with every single other woman competing in Miss Arkansas, have been training nonstop for that big day.
“For the past two years we’ve been preparing for this,” Light said. “I’ve taken interview lessons and I’ve practice my talent everyday. Anything you see happening on stage we have been practicing for the past two years.”
Light’s talent will be singing the song “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele and her social impact statement is “Let Your Imagination Soar, Read More,” something she is very passionate about.
“My social impact statement just stems from the fact that Ioved reading,” she said. “That’s something I’ve been passionate about forever and I kind of picked it up easily in school. Since making that my social impact initiative, I have figured out that there’s a major reading crisis in Arkansas and nationwide that needs to be addressed. Not enough people are aware of it. Since becoming an educator, I’ve been able to see that first hand and so I actually have the knowledge now to understand what I’m promoting.”
Light is a recent graduate from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in Elementary Education, something that she originally did not want to do as she started college with the plan to pursue a nursing degree.
“My mom was a teacher, she has been my whole life, and seeing the good and the bad sides of it, it seemed like they did a lot of work for not enough pay,” she said. “But then I took a class in college about education because I figured out that what I wanted to do originally isn’t what I wanted to do long term. Then I realized that that’s where my heart was and it has been ever since. I’m actually more excited now than ever about teaching so I know I’m in the right place.”
Light starts her new job teaching in Magnolia this fall and plans in a few years to go back to college for her masters in Special Education, but first she is aiming to go after her dreams of being crowned Miss Arkansas.
“That would be an absolute dream come true and something that I would never have thought would happen in a million years,” she said. “But now I know I have the capability to be Miss Arkansas and I know I have what it takes to win.”
Light and the other women will arrive in Little Rock this Sunday, June 13, and primaries will begin Wednesday, June 16 and go through that following Friday at the Robinson Center in Little Rock at 7 p.m. each evening. The finals will air that Saturday, June 19, at 7 p.m. on KATV.
For those unable to attend the competitions in person, each of the preliminary competitions and the finals will be streamed on Miss Arkansas’s official website, missarkansas.org.