Spanish Fork beauty queen Dexonna Talbot was crowned Miss Utah 2019 on June 15. This is her second trip to the scholarship competition. In 2018, Dexonna competed under the Miss Spanish Fork title and one the swimsuit and talent competitions. This year, the 19-year-old had moved away from home and competed as Miss Greater Salt Lake.
Dexonna is excited about the opportunity the Miss Utah title gives her to serve others and promote good causes. She will participate in a bi-montly Miss Utah Monday where she will be highlighting different service organizations. “Hopefully we can get their message across and attract more people to those organizations,” she said.
Dexonna’s own social impact initiative is called Servesteem: Increasing Self-esteem Through Service. She started it four years ago when she first began participating in pageants. The idea for Servesteem came from the time Dexonna spent serving a disabled uncle who lived with her family while she was growing up. She found when she was with him she felt better about herself because she was doing something worthwhile for someone else. She started in her uncles honor and memory.
On her website, www.servesteem.com, she says, “I believe we are the most beautiful versions of ourselves when we are in the service of others. We can learn to love not only the people we serve, but also ourselves by small acts of kindness each and every day.”
Dexonna hopes the serving others can help boost self-esteem and especially combat the poor self-esteem tees sometimes develop as a result of social media. Her website states, “Everyday we log on to our social media accounts and are shown pictures of beautiful people living extravagant lives. It tends to take a toll on our self esteem. I want to change this. I want to use social media in a positive way and switch up our daily routine.” Servesteem social media sites post pictures of service and encourage followers to get out and serve.
“When we are serving we’re not only helping those around us, but gaining something as well,” she said. “Those who serve one hour a week feel better about themselves, less likely to engage in risky behaviors.”
Dexonna has been in the news before for her big heart and desire to serve. Last year, a Utah teen with Autism was elated to be asked to a school dance, only to find out the invitation was a mean-spirited prank. When Dexonna heard about the situation, she jumped into action. Even though the teen was a total stranger, she went to his school and invited him to be her date to the dance in front of all his peers.
“I just knew I couldn’t let it go without doing anything,” she said. “No one deserves to have bad memories about their high school experiences.” Dexonna said people opened the floodgates to make sure they had a great time, providing a free limo service and free meal. She really enjoyed being able to make him feel so special. “I didn’t know him before, but now we’re really good friends. We go to lunch and hang out, he’s a super cool kid.”
Dexonna will compete in the Miss America 2.0 Competition later this year. She said there have been some negative feelings about the program in the past, but she wants people to know what a positive difference it can make. “Service, scholarship and education, that’s what this is, it empowers women to go out of their way to make something amazing and make something of themselves.