Ibby Dickson was crowned Miss University of Alabama 2023 during the competition held Nov. 5 at the Bama Theatre. She is a senior news media and political science double major from Sylacauga.
Dickson’s on-campus accolades include being a member of the Anderson Society, the Blackburn Institute and Capstone Men and Women. During the competition, Dickson also received the Spirit of Alabama award by unanimous decision of the judges and the Red Carpet award for evening wear.
Dickson shared a few words about her Social Impact Initiative and her plans for the next year as Miss University of Alabama.
How did you get interested in this type of competition?
I’m from a small town in Alabama so when someone does something, we all hear about it! I grew up watching Miss Alabama every year because of former Miss Alabama and first runner-up to Miss America, Scarlotte Deupree. She is from my hometown and has always been such an inspiration to me.
When I was eligible to compete for Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen, I was encouraged by current titleholders to do my first local preliminary. I competed a few months later and now I get to represent my college at the Miss Alabama Competition — still doesn’t feel real!
What is your Social Impact Initiative and why is it so important to you?
My social impact initiative is Mentoring Matters, a campaign to implement mentoring programs, promote and fundraise for existing programs, and advocate for youth in Alabama. I grew up with mentors who made a lifelong impact. These mentors guided me into leadership, challenged me to be better and held me accountable.
In high school, I realized that not everyone is provided with these types of individuals to empower them. I created my first mentoring program as a junior in high school and have been working towards creating more opportunities for youth mentorship and educating groups on how to implement mentorship in their daily lives.
What are some of your goals for your year of service as Miss UA?
I told the judges in my interview that Miss UA has the potential to serve in so many different capacities on campus and in Tuscaloosa. Besides promoting and implementing projects for Mentoring Matters, I want to share the incredible opportunities the Miss University of Alabama and Miss Alabama Organization offers for young women through scholarships and personal development.
I want to focus on student engagement and collaborate with UA-based groups, so we can further their goals and initiatives. I also plan to reach beyond campus to volunteer and promote organizations in the Tuscaloosa community. It is going to be a year full of exciting opportunities and I am thrilled to get started!
Other UA students who received awards during the Miss UA competition include:
Abby Sosa — First Alternate
Imani Muse — Second Alternate
Lydia Fisher — Third Alternate
Neeley Robertson — Fourth Alternate, Talent (Vocal performance of “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman) and People’s Choice
Rylie Dewley — Social Media Challenge
The Miss University of Alabama competition is an official preliminary to the Miss Alabama and Miss America competitions and is sponsored by the University of Alabama Alumni Association.
Jennifer Brady, UA Strategic Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org