April 22, 2019

miss Indiana in front of Brookside.

University of Saint Francis sophomore Alexa Marasovich aims to break some stereotypes in the world of beauty pageants.

Recently crowned USA National Miss Indiana 2019, Marasovich sports a resume of interests that puts her well on her way to making people reconsider their preconceptions. Marasovich is a Biology major with a goal to become a physician assistant.

“When I tell people here at the school that I’m involved in pageants, they’re surprised,” Marasovich said. “When I tell the pageant people my major and all the requirements and stress of school, they’re surprised.”

Marasovich, 20, began competing in pageants at age 12 and the story of her start includes some stereotype shattering, too. The often-presumed scenario of a stage mom pushing her daughter into the limelight couldn’t be further from the truth of Marasovich’s story.

Pageants were Marasovich’s idea. When she was 12, she first went to her mother Denise and told her she wanted to enter the Miss Three Rivers Festival pageant.

“I had to convince my mom to let me do it,” Marasovich said. “You always think it’s the other way around where parents are pushing their kids. My mom said, ‘If you’re serious about it, do the research about what you need, what you’ll be doing and what it’s going to cost.’ At 12 years old, I did all that.”

With the blessing of her mother, and father Ross, Marasovich won the pageant in her first time out. “After that, we were kind of hooked,” she said.

Marasovich estimates she has participated in 20 pageants throughout Indiana, and was an Indiana representative in a pageant in Orlando, Fla. She will return to Orlando to compete in the USA National Miss competition July 7-13 at Walt Disney World.

After being initially interested in pageants “for the pretty dresses,” Marasovich discovered participating has helped her self-confidence, speaking skills and communication skills, and has encouraged her in her pursuit of career goals. She was recently accepted as a patient care tech in the emergency room of Parkview Regional Medical Center.

The USA National Miss pageant also partners with Crown C.A.R.E.S (Creating a Respectful Environment in Schools) to share an anti-bullying campaign message.

“My personal platform is health and wellness, but I was a victim of bullying in middle school, so I took on this new platform as well,” Marasovich said. “Crown C.A.R.E.S wants to have the state title holders be advocates to go into schools and organizations and talk to kids about bullying and how it goes hand-in-hand with suicide.”

Marasovich will make two appearances per month as part of her service as USA National Miss Indiana, and will participate in an April national forum for contestants in Washington, D.C.

Marasovich has received helpful scholarships during her time in pageants and the winner of the USA National Miss title will receive a $30,000 scholarship. Marasovich emphasizes that contestants don’t have to win a pageant to earn scholarship money, as there are many other avenues within the pageant.

“Just because you’re on stage in a dress doesn’t mean you’re not smart,” Marasovich said. “I want to be an example of how you can be a strong woman in the medical field and pursue other opportunities as well.”