The lights were dimmed and the spotlight was shining on the final two contestants. Those few moments felt like an eternity for Bellevue resident Evelyn Clark. But when the announcer finally announced her as the winner, the crowd cheered and she couldn’t believe it. On Sunday, Nov. 4, Clark, 27, was crowned Miss Washington USA 2019.
“I was shaking and crying. I felt like they took so long to say the winner’s name,” Clark said about the crowning. “It was definitely an out-of-body experience. It didn’t fully hit me until later that night. There were a lot of tears.”
Clark has been competing in pageants since she was young. She’s competed in National American Miss, Miss Washington Teen USA and after a pageantry break, Clark returned to compete in Miss Washington USA. She said she took time off to gain life experience. It’s been a 10-year-long journey of competition, but she finally reached this moment.
“This past year I was focusing more on my mental state,” Clark said. “I focused on getting my mind right, and finding peace with myself, and truly being okay with myself if I didn’t win. I was calm and relaxed, and I focused my last year on truly digging deep and finding out who I truly am and what I want.”
At a young age, Clark struggled with self-esteem and confidence issues. Kids in school would tease her and she took things personally. Clark said she wasn’t “mentally tough” enough to get through it. She shared how when she was in fourth grade, she received a brochure for National American Miss. It was a hard time for Clark and her parents encouraged her to compete in the pageant.
“I did great. I had so much fun. I fell in love with it. I fell in love with being on stage,” Clark said about her first pageant. “I pursued it. I ultimately got into pageants to gain confidence and self-esteem. I saw all the benefits of it.”
Clark now takes pride in being a role model for kids, and she has volunteered for multiple programs. Promoting self-love and self-esteem is important to Clark. She’s worked with local organizations in her hometown — Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club. Clark also wants to advocate for charities that bring awareness to breast cancer research and awareness.
Aside from being Miss Washington USA, Clark works as a paralegal for a law firm in downtown Bellevue. Clark also enjoys commercial fishing in Alaska with her family, where she is an owner of a set net operation.
Clark’s next steps are to prepare to compete for Miss USA, continuing work as a paralegal, fishing in Alaska and possibly starting a blog.
To learn more about Miss Washington USA, go online to www.misswashingtonusa.com.