BY JACLYN ROSE –
Ashlyn Fox, a senior at Mena High School, dreams of living a life that helps people. As the daughter of Benjamin Fox, a retired Navy serviceman, and Tina Fox, who manages an online Republican activist group, her goals include working in radiation therapy and being a light to those suffering from cancer. “I just want to help people, even in a small way. I want to know that I can make a little bit of a difference in the lives of those going through their hardest times,” explained Fox.
Born in Pensacola, Florida but raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Fox moved to Mena the summer before her fifth grade year. “I enjoyed being in the military family, I didn’t have to move around too much because by the time my parents had me, my father was settled as an air traffic controller in Virginia Beach. We moved back to Arkansas when my dad retired to be closer to his family. My dad always dreamed of owning a ranch so we moved here for that,” Fox said.
Fox grew up very shy and struggled with speaking in front of people but after competing for the Mena Chapter of the FFA and several beauty pageants, she has been able to grow past her fears and develop into a confident young lady with big dreams. “I started doing pageants because I thought it would be a good memory to look back on, also because it’s very beneficial to me. Both pageants and FFA have been so good at helping me be in front of people. I really think FFA helped me even gain the confidence to do pageants but before both I couldn’t stand up in front of people without being nervous,” explained Fox. As a freshman in high school, Fox’s FFA team took state in Creed Speaking and Opening and Closing and this year she plans on competing in Food Science. Fox is a Mena Bearcat Cheerleader, the social events planner for JAG, and is also active in FCCLA and Relay for Life.
To date, Fox has competed in three pageants. She won Junior Miss Arkansas Rice Festival last year and plans on competing in the Miss Division this year. She placed first runner-up in Miss Polk County last year and won the title this year.
As the reigning 2014-2015 Miss Polk County, Fox hopes to use her influence to teach the younger generation that commitment is important. “I hope to show that it’s so important to be there and be dedicated to what you are doing,” said Fox. “Following through and sticking with your goals is so important.”
In the future, Fox plans on competing in the state fair pageant in Little Rock and hopes to attend The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville next fall and major in Pre-Radiation Therapy.
“I am thankful to live in Polk County. I enjoy all the outdoors stuff, it’s free entertainment. The big city may have lots to do but you have to spend a lot of money to do it. Here, if you want to do something, you can gather up some friends and go for a hike and just enjoy being outdoors. Plus its fun to live far away from the city, because you can make day trips out of going to the movies, and it makes going out of town more special,” explained Fox.