Have You Met?

At 22, Morgan O’Murray has already lived a charmed life. She currently holds the crown for Miss Colorado 2002, is the first woman in her family to have graduated from college; she’s gorgeous, she’s a giver and she has her head on straight.

Morgan grew up in Colorado Springs with an older brother and two younger sisters. Her mother raised her as a single parent and she was especially close to her grandfather, who was clear from the beginning that education would be the key to her success. “My grandpa was very supportive,” says Morgan. “I think it was more important to him than it was to me that I graduated from college.”

In high school, Morgan was involved in numerous activities, from student government to cheerleading. She then went on to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. And this is no small feat considering she was simultaneously competing in beauty pageants across the country.

“I started getting involved in pageants in the 9th grade when a family friend who ran a local pageant needed one more person to compete in the teen category. So I did it on a lark, not thinking I’d get into it,” says Morgan. “My mom said well that was fun, but this is it, it’s not something we’re going to do all the time and then we both realized we loved it. I loved it because you just develop who you are so much more, through all the interview and etiquette coaching, and you get to dress up! And, if you win, the crown gives you a megaphone to accomplish what you want to do that year and get your message across to a lot of people.”

Morgan was Miss Teen Colorado USA in 1998, and also went on to Miss Teen USA in the summer of 1998. Concerned that she needed to bump up her dancing skills a notch, she also had the pleasure of being a Denver Broncos cheerleader for two years. She then went on to the Miss Colorado competition and won it last June. “When they announced it, I didn’t think I was going to win and my jaw just dropped open and it was really exciting and I cried and did the whole beauty pageant teary thing,” she said.

Unfortunately, Morgan didn’t win when she went to Miss America last September in Atlantic City but “I learned a lot,” she says and “met some pretty amazing women and established some great friendships.”

So what’s next after her year of Miss Colorado is over? “I have to find a job!” she says. “I have also applied the El Pomar Fellowship program and that’s a two-year non-profit leadership development program where you learn how to lead a non-profit and you work on the front lines with Colorado non-profits for two years.”

Which social event is your favorite? Any events that benefit children such as the Valentine’s day “All My Heart” dinner for Children’s Hospital, Dance Radio Disney, All About Kids Expo.

What are your volunteer activities: As Miss Colorado 2002, through the Miss America Scholarship Organization, you have a platform that you promote for your entire year of service and mine is Asthma in America/ Improving the Quality of Life. I work for National Jewish and the Department of Heath on the Colorado Quit Line, I’m also a speaker, spokesperson and presenter for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Association for their asthma forum in Washington DC in June and do various other work for the Miss America Scholarship Organization.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met? Wayne Brady from “Whose Line is it Anyway” TV Show, because he’s funny and I’m looking forward to meeting Vonetta Flowers, the first African-American to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, as part of a two-woman bobsled team, in April.

If your life were a movie, who would play your part? Halle Berry

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? That I have a keen attention to detail.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Multifaceted

What word would you like others to use to describe you? Sincere

What was your first job? When I was ten I was a cashier at the Top of the World Store in Wyoming. It was just a two-week job when my grandparents took me fishing in the Bear Tooth Mountains. They paid me in merchandise.

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? Nothing. I believe that your experiences are what define your character

What is your greatest indulgence? Chocolate and sunglasses

Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to sing

What is your current state of mind? Content

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m the first woman in my family to graduate from collage and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

What is your most treasured possession? My Bible

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loneliness

What is the quality you most like in a man? Sense of humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Sincerity

Favorite books / writers? The Left Behind Series, by Tim LaHaye, Toni Morison

What is the best advice you have ever received? Education will be the key to my future

What is your motto? If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again because dreams are something you never give up on.