Sierra Minott hoped for a low-key existence during her final semesters at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The psychology major from Fort Myers returned to school last fall after a year on the road fulfilling her duties as Miss Florida 2008.
|Sierra Minott, far left, with members of the PBA mission team in Sweden.|
"I wasn't really sure how to handle it," Minott, 22, said of her transition back to being a full-time student. "But God was calling me to live out the platform He had in store for me."
That has included continuing her crusade to inspire young girls to seek lives of purity, a theme she emphasized in her countless public appearances as Miss Florida. Her love of working with young people has led her to an internship this semester with the student ministry at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach.
She graduates from PBA this month, joining more than 300 fall graduates at commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
After graduation, Minott plans to remain in the West Palm Beach area for the next few months. In addition to continuing her internship, which allows her to work with high school-age girls, she also is appearing in the musical comedy Crazy For You, which opens at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in late March.
Minott, whose minor is musical theatre, auditioned for the play as part of a class assignment. "I was just going to see what would happen," she said, adding that she was surprised to be called back to a second audition a few months later.
Earlier this year, she played the role of Ilona Ritter in the University's production of She Loves Me. "That was such a treat," she said.
In addition to performing on stage, she starred in a series of television commercials for the University. She also is writing a book.
However, her future goals are leading her on a more spiritual path. She was part of a six-member PBA mission team that traveled to Sweden this summer, and she was a Point 58 leader during her sophomore year.
"That was a big year of growth for me," she said. "That was the beginning of God really turning my heart toward ministry as a full-time career."
She plans to enroll in seminary later this year, and she hopes to start her own ministry catering to young girls.
"I want to change the youth culture of our nation and of the world. I have a lot of girlfriends who feel the same way," she said. "There isn't a lot out there for young girls run by young girls."
She also hopes to create a line of purity rings for girls. Her own purity ring continues to be a conversation starter, much as it was during her reign as Miss Florida, she said.
Looking back on her years at PBA, Minott said she is thankful for her professors, who took an interest in her personally as well as academically. She said her younger sister, Nicole, now is considering attending PBA.
She said she also is grateful for the friendship of former Alumni Director Deborah Bowmar-Jaffe, who Minott says helped her emerge from her shell when she came back to PBA.
"I owe her a lot," she said. "She really challenged me to step out and embrace the journey that God has put me on."