She’s one of thousands of other Alabama college students, and on this day, the week before one of the biggest events of her life takes place, Savannah Droxler is waiting for class to start.
Back home in Pell City for the summer from her college classes at the University of Alabama, Droxler is taking a math class at the Jeff State Pell City campus to make good use of her time “off.”
She spent her first year at Alabama as a member of the Dean’s List and an active member of Alpha Delta Psi Sorority, but there’s yet another item of distinction for this 19-year-old.
She’s the 2014 Miss Alabama Collegiate, and come July 4, 5 and 6, Droxler will be one of 52 other young women gathering in Orlando hoping to become the next Miss Collegiate America for 2014.
It’s a big thing, the title Droxer could return home with, one that could translate into thousands of dollars in college funding, lots of opportunities for building life and career skills and sometimes, lots of fun as well.
Droxler’s beginnings on the pageant stage started as a toddler, but she didn’t venture outside of her hometown to pursue regional or state titles, her mother, Mitzi Carden said.
“We mostly did some around Pell City when she was younger, but that didn’t last into junior high and high school,” Carden said.
Her daughter had other things going on in her life, keeping her grades up and being a Pell City High School cheerleader, just to name a couple, and the pageants just weren’t part of the picture anymore.
That was until Droxler and her mother connected with one Tamara Adams, the owner of the salon she named Glitz and Glamour in Pell City.
“Tamara was the one who really encouraged Savannah to do this,” Carden said. “She said she thought Savannah would do well in this pageant.”
So, with Adams’ advice and expertise in the world of pageantry, along with her sense of style and appearance tips, Droxler went on to become the 2013 Miss Pell High her senior year, the first pageant she had taken part in since she was a youngster.
Next came the Miss Alabama Collegiate Pageant in August, held in Tuscaloosa at The Alabama Theatre, and Droxler walked away with the second of the two titles she had tried for in record time.
This time, she’ll face more contestants, but Droxler is unfazed.
She is looking forward to the pageant, says she’s ready, and has complete faith in her team of advisors, especially, with Adams.
Along with Adams, Droxler’s entourage will include her mother, of course; the rest of her immediate family, which means her step-father, Doug Carden; her grandmother, Frankie Underwood; her sister and brother, Dylan Droxler and Jayken Carden; and also, her aunt, Tanya Foster.
Everything “pageant” is ready to go, the tiny size 2 black taffeta and sequined gown; the 5-inch heel pageant shoes and other accessories; the white sequined romper for the “fun wear” segment of the pageant, and just as important as the other elements of pageantry, the mindset for “taking care of business.”
“She just gets out there on the stage and it’s like something comes over her,” Carden said. “We were just at rehearsals today, and Savannah wasn’t nervous or outwardly excited, but when we’re at the actual event, she just comes alive.”
Droxler laughs at her mother’s assessment of the way she transforms when she’s actually out in front of a crowd and the judges.
“I would just say that I can do pageants,” Droxler said. “It’s something I do.”
But the mother and daughter, along with the little sister, all enjoy a laugh about talk of Droxler following the Miss Alabama potential path.
In-between chuckles, the trio says simultaneously, “There’s no talent!”
Droxler is the first to admit she doesn’t have a marketable pageant talent, and says for now, she’ll stick to the pageants that are arranged with stage appearances, along with the all important interview event.
And that’s a strong point for her, Droxler said, answering a completely unexpected question under the gun hasn’t rattled her yet.
“But she’s really very shy,” her mother adds.
The Miss Collegiate America Pageants also include having a platform, and Droxler’s has been supporting the anti-bullying movement for youth.
She’s accustomed to having a concern for the needs of others in society, her sorority also has one which is focused upon addressing juvenile arthritis.
For now, Droxler said she’s majoring in public relations in college, and as soon as this week’s pageant is over, she’ll be back off to Tuscaloosa to return to being a full-time college student. But having the Miss Collegiate America crown tucked under her arm when she goes, well, “That would be fantastic,” she said. “I’m ready.”