By Hailea Boykin
Born and raised in Augusta, Quinn Shelt is determind to make a difference. As the current Miss Augusta, Shelt, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Communication Studies, is using her tenure to advocate for Alzheimer’s research.
Growing up her mother worked in marketing at an assisted living home which is where her Alzheimer’s advocacy began. “It’s important to help inform [the public] and [caregivers] that care for them,” Shelt explains.
But, despite being a well-spoken and passionate young woman, Shelt wanted a bigger stage for her advocacy. Before graduation, she competed in the 2022 Miss University of Georgia Scholarship Competition (licensed by the Miss America Organization) and was presented with the Congeniality Award and fourth runner-up behind Savannah Stanley, Sarah Templeton, Elaine Metcalf and winner Audrey Kittila. “These are all incredibly talented and well-spoken young women,” says Shelt. “Everyone uplifts each other.”
Despite her competition placement, Shelt never envisioned participating in future pageants until the end of the Miss UGA Scholarship Competition. Good friend and former Miss Georgia, Karson Pennington, encouraged Shelt to participate in the Miss Augusta Pageant. “She thought that I would be really successful if I were to compete at any local competition,” she remembers. And she was right, Shelt took home the Miss Augusta crown for 2022.
As an Alzheimer’s advocate, Shelt knows that it is important to educate youth about the disease. “I didn’t understand it when I was younger,” she mentions, “not a lot of people do. You don’t learn about [the disease] if you aren’t directly exposed to it.”
Shelt’s Augusta Favorites
• The Masters
• Betty’s Branch
Her positive influence and knack for public involvement started at a young age. From the time she could walk, until seven years old, Shelt took gymnastics at Hayden’s Gymnastics, and even won the state championship for her division in 2007. In middle school, she switched gears into cheerleading and competitive dancing, “It was a lot of running all around the place doing activities,” she recalls.
During her four years at Grovetown High School, Shelt was involved with SkillsUSA where she competed in the category of job skills demonstration or job interview that allowed her to prepare for the workforce. Eventually she served as co-president and the school’s SkillsUSA chapter was voted top 24 in the nation in 2018. Her first job was working at the Masters in Berckmans Place, though she mentions that she hasn’t been able to go to the course as a patron yet.
While at UGA, Shelt served as a member of the University Judiciary organization and created a new executive council position. Although those aren’t leisure activities for most, she mentions that these are things she loves doing.
From her time in the Miss UGA Competition, Shelt learned a lot about herself and her competitors. “It’s all about young women inspiring other young women,” she says. Up next on her agenda is the Miss Georgia Pageant June 15–18 in Columbus, Ga. Shelt will also be working at the Claridge Law Firm for a gap year before applying to law school.
Top left photo by Jocelyn Pena, top right photo by Matt Boyd
Appears in the June/July 2022 issue of Augusta Magazine.