HIGH POINT, N.C., March 26, 2019 – High Point University has a crowned winner on campus who is helping North Carolina’s youth prevent and overcome cyberbullying.
Kenzie Hansley, a sophomore broadcast journalism major and business marketing minor from Surf City, North Carolina, was crowned Miss North Carolina Collegiate America 2019.
Hansley has been competing in scholarship pageants for almost 10 years. But Hansley says the title is much more than “just a crown on her head and a sash on her body.” It took her a long time to find her confidence.
“The worst thing about being a victim of anonymous cyberbullying is you’re hearing your own voice reading hateful messages like, ‘You’re not good enough,’ ‘You don’t belong here,’ or ‘You don’t have any friends,’” said Hansley, who was cyberbullied for three years through middle and high school. The situation eventually caused her to move from public school to a homeschool setting.
Hansley was forever changed by these experiences. But earning her crown and sash connected her to the pageant’s official national platform, B.R.A.V.E., Building Respect and Value for Everyone. The campaign promotes its mission through classroom, library and community presentations to school-aged children and their parents to create awareness and to promote a bully-free and safe environment.
“Being able to stand there with a middle or high school-aged student who is experiencing what I suffered is heartbreaking,” says Hansley. “But when I have that chance to sit one-on-one with that student, I can help change their entire outlook.”
Her pageant crown and path at HPU has skyrocketed her confidence to take on new leadership roles on and off campus.
“HPU has given me a new sense of confidence,” Hansley says. “My parents have seen a huge change in me since I’ve been here.”
Hansley is a university ambassador, vice president of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, and has joined the Civitan Club.
“I believe some things happen to you and some things happen for you,” Hansley explains. “I think my experiences happened for me because I can help young people overcome their challenges.”
Hansley will continue her support of B.R.A.V.E and will compete in the Miss Collegiate America pageant finals in Little Rock, Arkansas, June 24-29.