Brooklyn Dippo-Foderaro, a senior at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, was chosen Miss San Antonio 2013 at the Miss San Antonio/Texas Hill Country Scholarship Pageant on Oct. 21 at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Brooklyn was one of the youngest of 10 contestants in the Miss San Antonio competition for women ages 17-24. She also had been away from the pageant circuit for more than two years, after winning titles in two contests during her freshman year.
Busy during the school year with her studies and extracurricular activities and during summers as a camp counselor, Brooklyn didn’t return to competition until she entered Miss San Antonio (part of the Miss America system) at the suggestion of a pageant official who remembered her from previous pageants.
“I didn’t expect to win at all,” she says, smiling. “I entered just before the deadline, and I didn’t tell anyone about it. Nobody knew; my parents were the only people there.” In borrowed gowns, Brooklyn sailed through the pageant, which included a talent portion, private interview, and onstage question, as well as evening and swimsuit wear.
Having acted featured roles in school theater productions, she performed Juliet’s lines from the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” for her talent. The executer of a “Celebrate My Drive” teen safety-education event at TMI, she outlined for judges her proposed platform, “Drive Safe, Not Silly,” advocating against distracted driving for drivers of all ages. Texting or otherwise using a cell phone while driving, especially, “can be even more dangerous than drunk driving.”
Most likely her greatest strength as a contestant, the interview, says Brooklyn was “a very intellectual conversation” with the judges, who asked her opinions on issues such as global warming and the need to increase inner-city jobs in San Antonio.
As Miss San Antonio, she will make presentations about safe driving at schools, working toward making the case against distracted driving part of the culture, “the same way people understand ideas like, ‘Stop, drop and roll’ and ‘stranger danger.’” She’ll also appear at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, the Special Olympics and Fiesta San Antonio events.
To get ready for the Miss Texas pageant in July, Brooklyn will be working out with a personal trainer, networking throughout the city, and looking for sponsorships for the costs associated with pageant competition. Meanwhile, at TMI, she’s a football manager, a varsity swimmer and an officer in the Interact community-service club. She’s also a member of the National Honor Society and an Alkek Scholar, one of two recipients in her class of a four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship.
Recognized this year as a National Merit Commended Scholar, Brooklyn is applying to several Ivy League universities as well as the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in environmental engineering. If she wins the Miss Texas title, she would need to serve in that role for a year, including representing the state in the Miss America pageant. If it happens, she says, “I’ve been told that the title of Miss Texas is so esteemed, most schools would let me defer college for a year.”
Her current title and platform, however, are most important to her. During her year as Miss San Antonio, says Brooklyn, “My main goal is to meet with the governor and state representatives to talk about legislation against distracted driving, I’d like to re-open the conversation about it and take it statewide.”