On Feb. 22, Ashley Ott became the fourth UC Davis student in four years to be crowned Miss Sacramento County, proving that it takes not only beauty but brains to win a beauty pageant.
With a legacy of UCD alums behind her, Ott will be graduating this June with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in cellular biology with minors in Chicano studies and art studio. She is applying to medical schools with the goal of obtaining a medical degree in pediatric oncology.
Ott will use her pageant scholarship toward her future education.
The Miss Sacramento County pageant is affiliated with the Miss America program, the largest scholarship foundation in the world for young women. More than $49 million is awarded annually to the 70,000 young women who participate in the pageants.
Ott will represent the Sacramento area at the Miss California Program in June. That winner then goes on to compete for the title of Miss America and more than $50,000 in scholarship money.
During the past three summers, Ott traveled to Honduras with Global Medical Brigades to set up mobile clinics and deliver free medications to families in remote areas and, during that time, helped raise more than $45,000 worth of medical supplies and medications to donate toward this cause.
Last year, as part of her senior project for the Davis Honors Challenge, she co-authored a book about the role of emotional healing in doctor-patient relationships. Once it is published, she plans to donate completed copies to cancer support groups in the Sacramento area.
In 2012, Ott was awarded the UC Davis Gold Community Service Award in recognition of her passion for volunteerism.
Each Miss Sacramento County contestant is required to adopt a platform, an ideal that is important to her in her community and that she is willing to support with community service. Ott has worked with the Children’s Miracle Network for the past five years and is excited to continue her involvement during her reign while promoting her platform, Trading Cope to Hope — Increasing Awareness and Support for Children with Cancer.
For the next year, Ott will work with Sacramento area hospitals to improve the experiences of children in their pediatric oncology units and to educate and inspire children to take charge of their health from a young age.