09 Sep 2013

MDCC alumnus crowned

Betty Aden is now Ms. Mississippi Senior America

by: D. Reed Abraham, MDCC Public Relations

Add beauty pageant winner to Betty Aden's long list of accomplishments. At the young age of 71, Aden was recently crowned the Ms. Mississippi Senior America 2013 and will represent Mississippi in the Oct. 20-25 competition for the national Ms. Senior America title in Atlantic City.

"I am thrilled and so very excited to have such a fabulous opportunity. So often as people age, we think life is over and we are to sit in rocking chairs and let life slip by," says the Moorhead, Miss., native, Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) alumnus and former MDCC dance team coach.

Her dream as a young child was to become a princess, and it's a dream that has now been realized for Aden. "Last year I was invited to go to Jackson to meet the 2012 Ms. Senior Mississippi. Not only did I meet her, I met former Mississippi winners and other state winners from across the south. The electricity of these women impressed me," she said." As a little girl, I dreamed of being a princess. Well, these women were all queens for real, and I felt the urge to be a part of such a group. I had always wanted a pageant gown, but who would have thought at the age of 71, I would have an opportunity to get one and to be in a real-live pageant."

At the state pageant, Aden and the other contestants were required to provide their "Philosophy of Life" in 35 seconds or less, as well as present a talent, participate in an interview component, and model in an evening gown.

A graduate of Moorhead High School, Sunflower Junior College, the University of Mississippi and Delta State University, Aden worked as a junior high physical education teacher before coming an instructor and dance coach at MDCC until her retirement in 2002. Aden was selected as the MDCC Alumnus of the Year in 2006, was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and received the Trojan Spirit Award in 2013. The school's dance studio is named for Aden's mother, Helen Aden, who served on the board of trustees and made uniforms for the dance team.

When not competing in pageants, Aden stays busy with the Delta Rockers, a senior ladies' performing dance team of women ages 60 to 80.

"At times, even my own children think I'm off my rocker, but I am enjoying living and feel blessed for each moment. This is a prime time of life. I'm proud to say that I believe faith in God, a love for people, and what we do for others is important in life. Exercise is vital to keeping one active, too. God gave us the gift of life, and what we do with it, is our gift to God," Aden says. "As I focus on the Ms. Senior America Pageant, I can hardly wait to meet the outstanding women from across our country that have the same zest for life. What a bucket list accomplishment for us all."

The Ms. Senior America Pageant bills itself as "the world's first and foremost pageant to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the Age of Excellence. It is a search for the gracious lady who beset exemplified the dignity, maturity, and inner beauty of all senior Americans."