At the age of five, Taylor Clark, senior studying music education and member of Kappa Alpha Theta, entered into the Sunflower Mentoring Program, which was the start of her journey to becoming Miss Kansas. As the youngest participant there, she was inspired by the older candidates’ talent and commitment to service.
At the age of 13, Taylor entered Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen, where she competed 5 times and ultimately won the title in 2017. Because of this, she was able to compete at Miss America Outstanding Teen, where she was a non-Finalist Talent and Outstanding Instrumentalist award winner. This opportunity allowed Taylor to serve the state of Kansas by speaking to communities and schools.
In 2019, Taylor won the title of Miss Augusta, which she held for two years due to COVID-19. Eventually, this led her to compete in the Miss Kansas competition, where she was selected as a preliminary talent winner and the Momma Pam Roomie of the Year award recipient.
At the Miss Kansas Competition, Taylor was also selected as a top-five Social Impact Award Finalist for her work with the social impact initiative, “Band Together: Music Education for All.” This initiative emphasizes the value that music provides in Kansas communities.
“As a music education major, I have seen firsthand the benefits of music in our K through 12 education system. However, it doesn’t stop there. Music can be used to heal those who are suffering physically, mentally, or as a form of healing after the pandemic,” Taylor said. “Additionally, I believe that music can be used as a bridge to bring communities together. Music can be used as an avenue to cultivate conversation that is meaningful and inclusive to all. I hope to share this message across Kansas and the nation this year.”
In addition to the Band Together initiative, Taylor gives back to the Miss America Organization, which is the largest provider of scholarships to young women in the world. Throughout her years of competing, Taylor has received more than $17,000 in scholarships which has helped her to continue her education at K-State.
While 2021 was the first year Taylor competed at Miss Kansas, she was awarded the title of Miss Kansas 2021!
Photo credit: Bill Rea
When asked how being a sorority woman and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta has played a role in her journey to Miss Kansas, Taylor said:
“When going through the recruitment process, Theta stood out to me because our values align very similarly with that of the Miss America organization. Both emphasize the value of being a leading woman. I knew I wanted to be surrounded by a group of dynamic women, women who encouraged me to be my best and strive to do better in all aspects of life. I have found this to be true with my sisters at Theta. No matter the situation, my sisters are there to support me, whether it be practicing interview questions, talking about current events, helping me with statewide projects, or even just talking about the experience, my sisters are there to lend a helping hand to help me be the best leading woman I can be.”