Kent State graduate student wins Miss Ohio

Neville Hardman

It was Sarah Hider’s last chance to enter Miss Ohio before the 24-year-old exceeded the age limit.


Hider, a graduate student studying public administration, was crowned Miss Ohio on June 20 and will compete in Miss America in September.


“It’s something I’ve been dreaming of, but now it’s more about the scholarship,” Hider said, who will be using her $10,000 in winnings to pay for school. Hider is completing her master’s degree online through Kent State.


Hider competed against 21 other candidates in Miss Ohio, but she said the group has been like family. They even celebrated her birthday with her, which fell during the competition. Hider said she wanted to win Miss Ohio since she was nine years old.


“You want to be in the top five, but at the same time, you want your name to be called as Miss Ohio,” Hider said.


Hider lived in Chicago, Columbus and New York, which she said gives her the life experience she needs to compete in Miss America.


“My experiences have made it easier for me to relate to people,” Hider said.


Hider said she will take time off school to compete, which is what attracted her to Kent State’s online program.


“I will be doing a lot of appearances, which gives me opportunities to practice public speaking and my talent,” Hider said, whose talent included her vocals.


Hider already started her appearances. She attended a Wooster city school board meeting Tuesday night where she spoke about the education she received in her hometown. She also signed autographs at Richland Mall on Sunday morning after being crowned.


Graham Automall in Mansfield gave Hider the keys to a Chevrolet Cruze, which she said she is able to drive during her year of being Miss Ohio. She wants to use the car to travel to Washington, D.C. because she’s allowed to put as many miles on the car as she wants, allowing her to “use her title to witness history.”


Anthony Molina, coordinator of the master of public administration program, sent Hider a congratulatory email. He said he heard her name announced on NPR on his way to work.


“Even though she’s young, I think the program is a good fit for her because it’s about public service,” Molina said. “I think she’ll be very successful in the field.”


Molina said the competition isn’t something he normally follows, but wanted to be supportive and send her the best.


“(Miss Ohio) means everything to me,” Hider said. “It’s a job. I’m representing young women who want to go to school and want scholarships.”


Hider will leave Tuesday, Sept. 1 for Miss America in Atlantic City. Miss America begins Sunday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Contact Neville Hardman at [email protected]