Beverly Reynolds was recently crowned Ms. Southern United States.

Hailing from Humble, at least for the past 13 years, local beauty queen Beverly Reynolds wants people to know that pageantry is “more than just what you see on TV.” The mother of one,  hard-working professional and former Tribune reporter was recently crowned Ms. Southern United States.

“Most systems have an aspect of community service, and encourage all participants to get out and make a difference,” Reynolds said, “As a queen, you have the unique ability to rally people together, as it provides a means to get out into the community and talk about your platform — something you are passionate about.”

Reynolds’ platform is particularly near and dear to her heart.

“In my case, I talk to a lot of people about adoption. My goal is that other families would become better informed about the resources available to further their own families through the gift of adoption, but also to know the challenges and risks,” Reynolds said. “My son’s birth mother is still one of my best friends today.”

Reynolds, originally from the Midwest, is no newcomer to pageantry. She competed in her first pageant as a teenager in 1995 as Miss New Berlin Teen in the Miss Wisconsin pageant. The following year, she won Miss Congeniality in the Fairest of Fair Contest at the Waukesha County Fair. She says she then took several years off from pageantry, but decided to return to the industry as an adult. She competed in her first pageant — in the Ms. category — this past February. She represented Humble in the Texas Regency International Pageant, and was awarded First Runner Up. After her initial win as an adult, she has kept quite busy.

“Since February, I have competed twice for Swimsuit USA and Bikini Promotions. Being onstage gave me the confidence to compete at the national level at the Ms. United Southern States of America pageant earlier this month as Ms. Texas Coast,” Reynolds says. “I won my division and was named Ms. Southern United States.”

She is also the reigning Ms. Lone Star State for the All Nations America pageant, and plans to compete at the national level again in 2017. She says this pageant system focuses on community service. Her platform is adoption and child advocacy — she is creating a scrapbook for the judges chronicling all of her pageant appearances, photoshoots and service opportunities. Reynolds has completed over 500 hours of volunteer work, primarily in the Houston area, since November.

Reynolds enlisted her son’s help (Blaine, 7) with her latest initiative, the Glad Greetings Project.

“We create greeting cards for hospitalized children and hospice care organizations, to simply brighten their day,” Reynolds said. “My process began by placing ads on social media asking people to donate blank greeting cards, which I would turn into cheery cards with generic handwritten messages. Each card or envelope is marked with a logo sticker, but the recipients can sign the cards and give them to someone special to make a difference in their life.”

Another way Reynolds has been making a difference is by judging children’s pageants. She says she realized very quickly that, when you wear your sash and crown, you are an instant role model. Her best advice to competitors? Just smile.

“When I think about the qualities of a pageant queen, I think of someone who has the power to impact others. I often use the word POWER as an acronym for the (required) leadership qualities: Personable, On-time, Well-spoken, Energetic, and Resourceful,” Reynolds said. “My advice is to believe in your power to help others, and don’t allow social media to guide how you view your own physical beauty. There are pageants for nearly every age category, and each focuses on something a little bit different. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.”