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11 compete for Miss D.C. 2000 title

(Published January 24, 2000)

Three D.C. high school seniors and eight college students have been announced as contestants in the 2000 Miss District of Columbia Scholarship Pageant.

The contest, to be held March 25 at Wilson Senior High School, will be the first of preliminary contests held across the country to eventually determine who will be crowned Miss America in the fall in Atlantic City, N.J.

This year’s contestants:

•Nicole Alves, a senior at Wilson who plans to attend the University of Miami;

•Elisha Browder, a senior at Howard University majoring in public relations;

•Lynette Collier, a senior at Banneker Senior High School who plans to major in computer information;

•Jennifer Gillespie, a sophomore at George Washington University majoring in international affairs;

•Heather Hegedus, a senior at Georgetown University majoring in American government;

•Caroline John, a freshman at Georgetown University who has not yet selected a major;

•Rashida Jolley, a junior at Nyack College in New York majoring in music and history;

•Emilia Saunders, a senior at George Washington University majoring in psychology;

•LaShon Seastrunk, a senior at Howard University majoring in journalism and public relations;

•Sophia Sov, a senior at Banneker who wants to be a computer engineer;

•Diolinda Vaz, a sophomore at American University majoring in broadcast journalism and literature.

The theme of this year’s local pageant will be "Millennium–Campaign 2000," according to the Miss D.C. Scholarship Organization, which sponsors the contest.

Miss D.C. 1999, Toyia Taylor, will be on hand to crown her successor. Taylor was the recipient of the Bert Parks Non-Finalist Talent Award at the 1999 Miss America Pageant.

Tickets for the local pageant are on sale at a discounted price of $15 through Feb. 12. After that, the price goes up to $20. For more information about tickets, call (202) 543-1747 or e-mail

The Miss D.C. Scholarship Organization, an official franchise of the Miss America Organization, is charged with raising scholarship funds to help support the contest.

The Miss America organization is the single largest private source of scholarship assistance for women in the world, according to pageant organizers.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator