By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Sheniece Morton is currently enrolled in 19 credit hours at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. In addition to this, she works 40 hours a week in two jobs – one at the North Subway in Liberal and another as a tutor at Liberal High School.
So how does this young lady find time to be Miss Liberal and to prepare for the Miss Kansas pageant in June? Morton said although she has been rather busy lately, she has decided to set some days aside each week to work on what she needs to do to be Miss Liberal.
“I’ve been trying to schedule visiting with schools. I visited with Lincoln this week,” she said. “They work with my schedule really well, and most of the time when I have something scheduled, it’s always way in advance so I know not to set myself to work.”
Morton also attended a workshop in Wichita on March 27 to help prepare her and others for the Miss Kansas competition, and she said she got a lot of ideas on what and what not to do at the pageant.
“They also gave us information about our clothing,” she said. “They also brought people to give us ideas about how to wear our hair, for people who wanted to get corrections with their teeth, for people who were wanting to fit us into specific stuff so they knew our exact sizes.”
Morton said contestants likewise got to see their dresses for the opening number.
“We met a lot of new people,” she said. “They just gave us a lot of information that will prepare us for Miss Kansas.”
Morton was crowned Miss Liberal in February. This is her third year of competing in the pageant, and she said it has taught her a lot.
“Speech wise, it teaches you how to speak better, how to present yourself,” she said. “You learn a lot not just from yourself, but from other contestants and the people that are helping you backstage.”
Morton said she learns something new every year, and she builds on things she has already learned.
“I felt I went in with something the first year,” she said. “I was prepared for it, but I wasn’t sure of exactly what to do. I went in my second year. I was ready for it. I knew what to do, and my third year, I had everything together. I learned a lot more, and that showed a lot on stage.”
Morton’s Miss Liberal platform is college expenses.
“I chose that because I know a lot of people don’t have enough money for college, and they let the fact that they don’t have money for college keep them from going to college,” she said. “They just don’t use the scholarships and other opportunities that there are out in society for us to go to school very, very cheap.”
Morton said students must take the time to apply for scholarships and look into clubs in schools that would allow them to receive money from the school for books and tuition.
After graduating from SCCC/ATS, Morton plans to go to a four-year college. She is unsure exactly what she wants to do, but she knows it will be in the medical field.
“I keep changing my mind, so I’m not sure exactly what I want to do in the medical field, but I want to do something with medicine,” she said.