Selma native crownded Miss Alabama USAPublished 11:10pm Monday, November 25, 2013
For the first time in the contest’s history, Selma can now claim that it produced a Miss Alabama USA.
Jesica Ahlberg, a Selma native and former Morgan Academy student, was named Miss Alabama USA earlier this month.
Ahlberg was born at Vaughan Memorial Hospital and attended Morgan Academy until 9th grade, when her family moved to Florida. She didn’t participate in pageants until 11th grade, when she decided to try her hand at a preliminary Miss USA Pageant in Florida. Though she hadn’t competed before, she won in her first try.
“I actually just wore my homecoming dress that year and won,” she said.
In Florida, winners of preliminary Miss USA Pageants are required to participate in the next round, which is Miss Florida Teen USA. She didn’t win at the next level, but tried again the following year.
After turning 18, Ahlberg entered the Miss Florida USA competition and placed in the top ten.
After graduating from high school in 2008, she moved back to Alabama to attend Auburn University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in public relations.
She initially tried her hand at Miss Alabama USA, with the title of Miss Central Alabama, during her last year at Auburn and was the second runner-up.
Ahlberg said it was a great experience and prepared her for this years competition.
“It was just a crazy experience with being the second runner-up last year and competing again this year,” she said. “I actually had a flashback to last year. I felt like I was waiting for them to call my name as the second runner-up.”
But they passed her up for second and first runner-up and Ahlberg was named Miss Alabama USA 2013.
“It was the craziest feeling ever,” she said. “I was shaking trying not to cry. It’s been the most overwhelming feeling.”
The next day Ahlberg joked she had suddenly become famous. She logged into Facebook and had hundreds of friend requests and messages. Ahlberg said she was also recognized while getting a massage the following day.
She said the Miss USA competition will take place in in the spring, but for now she is focused on putting her newly crowned title to work.
“I’m definitely big on education and reading,” she said. “I really want to do a lot of things with children.”