Young Miss Five Elise Fuselier smiles sweetly but says very little. She is a person of action, not just talk. As Fuselier prepares to crown her successor at the eighth annual Five Hills Scholarship Pageant on March 27, she reflects on her personal growth during her journey as a titleholder.
“This year has not been easy nor was it meant to be. When I first began representing my title, I was very shy and I was not confident in who I was,” Fuselier said. “I think it is amazing how much I’ve grown as a person.”
The Copperas Cove High School sophomore dedicated her reign to focusing on the effect poverty has on children, not just physically but also mentally, and how she could alleviate some of those stressors.
“I was blessed with the opportunity to host the Krist Kindl Charity Pageant and it was an amazing experience. From set up to clean up, I enjoyed every moment,” Fuselier said. “At the pageant. we raised $2,200 to start a weekend meal program for students in need at Halstead Elementary School.”
Fuselier reflected on the “countless projects for the city” including trash pick-ups, repainting park benches, painting over graffiti, making a recycled outfit for the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Eco Spring Fling fashion show and more that she and royalty completed during their reigns.
“However, this year for me was about way more than just my title. It was also about building bonds and relationships with the people I was around and learning that the Five Hills Royalty is not just a pageant, it is a family...a sisterhood, to say the least. From breakfast before events to dinners at (Wendy) Sledd’s house, and supporting other titleholders’ service platforms, I’ve learned to cherish every moment.”
Fuselier said she never thought about what would happen when her reign ended.
“Now that it is coming to an end, I want to say thank you, not because it is the cliché thing to do, but because this pageant has had a great impact on my life,” Fuselier said. “The women I’ve been around consistently since June have taught me that who I am is beautiful. They have taught me that confidence is not something you are born with. It is something you work towards.
“They have taught me a lot of things in this year and it feels so unreal for this to be coming to an end. I say thank you for shaping me into who I am; thank you for giving me this opportunity; but most importantly, thank you for breaking my shell and showing me that talking to strangers isn’t the scariest thing you will have to do in life.”
Fuselier and the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty will crown their successors beginning at 1 p.m. on March 27 at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Ave. B. The public is invited to attend and face coverings are required.