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Local high school grad in Miss Md. competition

BERLIN — A Stephen Decatur High School alumna will take her second try at becoming Miss Maryland USA 2013 in November.
Taylor Sloan, member of SDHS class of 2010, is campaigning for her entry in the pageant while in process of earning a writing degree at Loyola University in Baltimore.
“Academics are my first priority, but this year, I have more drive and ambition,” Sloan said.
Last year, Sloan competed against about 100 other women at the Marriot Hotel in North Bethesda. Miss Maryland USA hopefuls go through a three-day series of judged competition that involves a question session, dance routine and outfit modeling.
Though Sloan didn’t make it to the finals last year, she is confident this year will yield better results.
“I’m working out harder and keeping up with a healthy diet,” she said. “I’m just trying to think positive and I want to move forward and make it to number one.”
Competitors strive for the prize package, but what is most coveted in the opportunity to move on and represent Maryland in the Miss USA pageant.
Sloan’s only pageant experience other than last year was a fashion show she participated in while a junior at SDHS, but her family has been surrounded by the beauty industry all her life.
Her grandmother, Carol Amedori-Long, has owned and operated Carmen’s Old Town Beach Hair Cuts in downtown Ocean City since 1994 with the help of Sloan’s mother, Tiffany Phillips.
“I know she can do it,” Phillips said. “She has a really big heart and I think she gets that.”
It is these strong, independent and goal-driven women that Sloan said has attributed to her courage to compete.
The Miss Maryland USA hopeful, who takes time from her studies to work as a consultant for cosmetic company Mary Kay, is also supported by her close connection to her father, Gary Sloan.
“He does so much for me and has really driven me in the right direction as far as life advice, college and making me the strong young woman I am today,” she said.
“Those are words every father would love to hear from his daughter,” Gary said. “I think her chances are excellent now that she has a little more experience under her belt and I’m proud of her for going after the spot.”
Each competitor supports a foundation, and Sloan’s choice this year is to advocate an organization supporting orphans in Haiti called Housing Education and Rehabilitation of Orphans (H.E.R.O.).
As the country is still recovering from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit in 2010, the foundation is attempting to raise $30,000 to provide a safe an secure environment for orphans affected by the disaster.
In order to compete in the pageant, each contestant is required to pay an entrance fee that can be paid by sponsors.
“I’m always looking for support. It keeps me going forward,” said Sloan.
If a sponsor wishes to assist Sloan in the $895 fee, a link to donate can be found on her blog,
Meanwhile, Sloan will continue her schedule of school and work until the competition begins on Nov. 2.