Leila Sabet *SENIOR 2018* #IotaSpotlight
"For the past four years, and especially as one of her execs, I have seen how Leila holds herself to the highest standard as a woman, friend, sister, citizen, student, and leader. She is an example I have had the privilege of learning from throughout my college career because she so humbly leads with her heart and with the best interest of others. Leila is not only distinguished for the mark she has made in this community, her contagious laugh, and bright personality, or her ability to connect with people, but for her instinct to step forward, smiling, when everyone else steps back." -Reeves Trivette
Although she has been a spotlight in this chapter since the day that she stepped through the door, we would like to showcase our former president, Leila Sabet, as our next senior to take the #IotaSpotlight. This past Wednesday, Florida State University named Leila the Panhellenic Chapter President of the Year! We were were not surprised! Leila has blown our chapter members away to say the least. She managed to not only tackle such a difficult position, but she handled it with such grace and passion. From start to finish, Leila transformed our chapter. From the big tasks, to the little details, Leila accomplished every challenge thrown her way. As she fulfilled her presidential duties, Leila still made time for every individual sister, as well as her various extracurricular activities.
"It is hard for me to put into words how much this position helped me grow as a woman in Leadership. I was put in so many difficult and uncomfortable positions that pushed me to improve and overcome my greatest weaknesses. I am so much more confident in my vision and mission after serving my chapter as president. I am forever grateful for how deep this sisterhood goes, and the people that believed in me every step of the way." -Leila Sabet
Besides her obvious accomplishment of being our chapter's former president, Leila has spent her undergraduate career tackling many different roles in ADPi, as she impacted the community in various ways. Within Alpha Delta Pi, Leila has also served as the Executive Vice President, where she essentially served as the right hand man to the president at the time, Olivia Martins (Leila's big!). With service being such a key value to Leila, she also served ADPi as the Community Service Chair.
Outside of Alpha Delta Pi, Leila spends her time working on her studies, and in various extracurricular activities. Leila will be graduating with a degree in Psychology, with a certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies. Throughout the last four years, Leila has been involved with FSU's Mental Health Council, The Center For Leadership and Social Change, Office of Servant Leadership, Student Government Association, Who We Play For, Dance Marathon, Eating Disorders and Body Image Psychology Research Lab, and FSU MEDLIFE. Leila has also been involved in the Garnet and Gold Key Honor Society, FSU's honor society, and has been welcomed into their Senior Hall of Fame.
Leila has recently been crowned Miss Tallahassee! Over the years, she has fallen in love with the Miss America Organization. As an incoming freshman, Leila was Miss Northeast Florida 2014. Then, she became Miss Ponte Vedra 2015. We can't wait to support Leila as she competes for her dream job this June: Miss Florida, and hopefully Miss America after that! "With the job of Miss Tallahassee 2018, I have the incredible opportunity to represent the community that has given me so much more than I could’ve ever imagined in a span of just 4 years! I am honored to say the least." -Leila Sabet
Our absolutely incredible Leila, we do not deserve you. The legacy that you will be leaving on this chapter will radiate for years and years to come. Since nearly our entire chapter has something sweet to say about you, we thought that we would leave some of their many kind words below. Happy graduation former sister prez! We hope you know just how much you're loved!
"Leila is my best friend. She has the biggest heart and everyone knows it. She always goes above and beyond to make people feel loved and confident. She is even more beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She has grace, strength, and the purest character." -Anne Marie Connor
"Leila Sabet is one of the most genuine, loving, determined, driven, humble, kind woman you will ever meet. She is a light in this chapter and she would do anything for anyone, especially her sisters. She is involved in so many different organizations and is constantly going to meetings and running around, but she always manages to carve out time for her sisters. It doesn’t matter if you’re her best friend or if you’ve only met her once, she would do anything for you. She is the perfect representation of what it means to be an ADPi and is someone I look up to and strive to be more like every day." -Abby Rice
"She is the most amazing, down to earth and inspirational person I have ever met. During recruitment, Leila played a huge role in me wanting to go ADPI. The way she carries herself is so unique and special. She's has leadership roles in so many organizations on campus and played a huge rollin motivating girls in our chapter to become a part of something outside of ADPI. She is such a great person and I will miss her so much!" -Kyra Raithel
"Leila is a shining light and sparkles so brightly in every way. Her loving heart and kind soul are just a few things that make her so special. Her work ethic to be the best leader she can be and ability to grab everyone's attention in a room full of people is incredible. Every word that comes out of her sweet soul is worthy to hear. Her beauty on the inside is just as beautiful as her beauty on the outside. She is my role model who truly amazes me. Her fun loving, hardworking, free-spirited personality inspires me." -Alexa Kaufman
"Leila Sabet was the reason that I chose ADPi. During recruitment, you could tell that everyone in the room respected her the minute that she spoke. She always lights up a room whenever she is around because of her constant positivity. I think she is one of the main reasons many girls in my alpha class wanted to be an ADPi." -Maddie Fortner
Seminole Spotlight: Miss Tallahassee's Leila Sabet on pageantry and purpose
EMMA MOODY | STAFF WRITER
1:29 p.m. EDT Apr. 8, 2018
On Friday, I had the chance to sit down with Florida State’s very own Leila Sabet. Sabet is a graduating senior at Florida State wrapping up her degree in psychology with a certificate in advanced leadership studies. Sabet is also involved in campus groups such as Garnet and Gold Key Honor Society and the Panhellenic sorority Alpha Delta Pi, where she served on the executive board and as president. However, the reason for our meeting was not to detail her many impressive on-campus accomplishments, but one of her more recent feats.
On Saturday, March 24th, 2018, Sabet was crowned Miss Tallahassee in the Miss Tallahassee pageant held on FAMU’s campus. For Sabet, this is step one in her journey to becoming Miss Florida and, fingers crossed, Miss America. Sabet and her director, former Miss FAMU, Dr. Denise Barrett agreed to sit down with me to tell me a little bit more about the incredibly complex world of pageantry which is much more prevalent on our campus than you might think.
To be honest, before this meeting, I had a very surface level understanding of pageantry. One that came from one too many weekends spent binge watching TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. However, it was comforting to hear Sabet say that she actually had the same surface level misconceptions about pageantry before she started competing. How did Sabet get bit by the pageant bug? A high school dare.
“My junior year of high school we had a pageant and I was on the dance team. I had a good relationship with administration at my school, and my friends were like I dare you to do it and I said ‘Why? I’m not a pageant girl.’ I had this perception of pageantry that was inaccurate.”
But after accepting the dare and winning the pageant, Sabet realized pageantry actually reaped benefits far beyond a crown and sash. Pageantry gave Sabet a bigger voice and greater presence in her community. A year before competing in this high school pageant, Sabet’s father was diagnosed with advanced heart disease. It was a trying time for her family and especially scary for her and her sister as they watched their father get seven angioplasty stints to unblock five of his major arteries.
“My sister and I didn't take it very well because, you know, we almost lost our father. I kind of dropped off the face of the Earth for a little bit until my friends helped me get my feet back on the ground. That’s when I started competing [in pageants]. Yes, it was a dare, but I knew that I could have that platform to speak about heart disease. I didn't know when I'd be ready to, but once I became Miss Ponte Vedra High School, I started speaking to young students about how to be healthy and live an active lifestyle.”
With this newfound passion for pageantry and a platform near and dear to her heart, Sabet put in hours of work towards fine-tuning her image both physically and mentally. Competing on the Miss America circuit means participants must be aware of the four points of the crown: scholarship, service, style and success. It is these four points that propel contestants to continue to better themselves and contribute to the advancement of each of these areas.
In terms of scholarship, the Miss America organization awards millions of dollars each year in scholarships to its participants. For women like Sabet, this is of huge importance as her undergraduate and possible graduate studies have come out of her pocket. Furthermore, the organization has raised over $16 million for their charity of choice, Children’s Miracle Network, and each participant then focuses on their own platform, which usually incorporates the point of service.
For Sabet, that personal platform is heart disease awareness and prevention through which she has spent time speaking to young students about living a healthy lifestyle. We then have the style point, which Sabet assures is the most fun. Contestants are expected to stay up to date on the latest fashion trends in order to better relate to their audience. Finally, it is success that ties it all together. Dr. Barrett explained why these four characteristics are so important for contestants to embody,
“What I love is you can have it all. You can be beautiful, you can be smart, you can be intelligent, you can be articulate, and, as Leila said, all of those four things folded in together help create a successful woman. And that’s our goal, helping women achieve their goals in life and helping others achieve their goals in society.”
Now, as Miss Tallahassee, Sabet’s commitment to succeeding on the pageant circuit goes far beyond herself. She’s representing the entire Tallahassee community as she continues on to becoming Miss Florida with high hopes that the title turns into Miss America.
“The amount of support I’ve gotten already is incredible. I feel so loved, it's insane, I've never received this much support as a titleholder. But I think going forward just having those opportunities to be a part of the community, speaking to people, things like this honestly; It's all preparing me for the job of Miss Florida. Getting to speak about my journey and my mission, my vision, my goals.”
If you are looking to get into the wide world of pageantry, Dr. Barrett has this advice for you,
“Step out on faith and go for it. As Leila said, you'd be surprised how things come together. We're fortunate to live in a day and age where everything is available to you. We have a number of resources. Reach out to people, ask for advice, look online, the sky’s the limit… Don't let fear hold you back. You can always find a reason not to do something; it's a matter of putting one foot in front of the next and going for your dream.”
Many Florida State University student organizations host their own pageants on campus including various Greek life sororities and fraternities as well as different cultural clubs. Florida State also has a long line of successful titleholders such as Miss Florida 2017, Sara Zengand third runner up at the Miss America pageant in 2014, Victoria Cowen.
We hope Sabet will join this list of successors as she continues on. She will compete in the Miss Florida preliminary competition during the last week of June. The new Miss Florida will be crowned on Finals Night, June 30th, 2018. The dates for the Miss America pageant have yet to be announced, but we can expect them to occur sometime in September. We wish Leila Sabet the best of luck as she continues on!