Makalyn Heaslett, 20, is a junior at Auburn University, where she is studying public relations. She is a member of the Sigma Lambda Chapter of Kappa Delta and has served as assistant new member educator and assistant Greek Sing chair. She has also served in Freshman Leadership Program, Emerge Team Leader, Successfully Orientating Students, Auburn University Dance Marathon-High School Relations Committee and Morale. Makalyn is a recipient of the Susan G. Deloney Endowed Memorial Scholarship and the Auburn University Dudley Sponsored Program Scholarship. She is a tap dancer, an avid reader and a huge Harry Potter fanatic.

Why did you decide to participate in the Miss Shelby County Pageant?

The Miss Shelby County Pageant is such a prestigious title to hold and has an amazing director, Pam Oliver, who inspired me to participate in the pageant.

What did you gain from this experience?

I have gained so many experiences in this past few months since becoming Miss Shelby County, such as service, passion, hard work and dedication.

What have you done, and what will you do, as Miss Shelby County?

I have been able to participate in Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day and Chipotle’s Philanthropy Day raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I’ve been a part of the grand opening of Cahaba Dermatology; I have been able to volunteer at Big For A Day, where we partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley; I was in the City of Harpersville Veterans Day parade; and I participated in the Princess Party for the local Girl Scout troops in Auburn. I was also in many more parades for the holidays and performed for the veterans in Tuscaloosa in December. I will do many things with my personal platform Girls INC throughout the year and anything that can help Shelby County.

What advice would you give other young women interested in participating in the pageant?

I would tell them to be confident in who they are. To be themselves and to work hard and prepare and it will get your far. I would also tell them what an incredible director Pam Oliver. She will set you up for success in every way possible.

What do you want to do after you graduate college?

I want to work in the sports and entertainment industry, where I can become a “fixer” of problems that athletes or celebrities face in the media.

What’s something interesting people might not know about you?

I have scoliosis with a 32-degree rotation in my spine.

If you could meet someone famous, who would it be?

I would love to meet Ellen DeGeneres because she is such a kind and giving woman. She uses her platform for good and is truly a woman of the people who embraces all types of people. She is always giving back to those in need, highlighting the people in the world doing good and always finds a reason to dance.

What’s the first place you would take a visitor to in Shelby County?

I would take them to Vincent during Christmas, where they can see the state’s largest living Christmas tree lit up beautifully.