International pageant title holder scores most points on stage and in her community

Allison Wilkinson gets crowned at pageant

International pageant title holder scores most points on stage and in her community

A llison Brown Wilkinson, ’09, has applied what she learned from Georgia College to shine as Delta Zeta’s “35 Under 35” honoree, as well as an international pageant winner.

In August, this wife and mother of two won the title of “International Beauty of the Nations.” Wilkinson received the highest cumulative score for all categories and age groups at the Omaha, Nebraska

Allison Wilkinson, '09
Allison Wilkinson, '09
 competition.  She also was nationally recognized in July as one of Delta Zeta’s “35 Under 35” program, which spotlights outstanding young professionals who’ve achieved success by making a significant impact in their profession before the age of 35.

The Delta Zeta Sorority honored Wilkinson for her leadership, initiative and dedication to her career. They applauded her motivation by challenges she overcame, her community volunteerism and force as a role model. Being a member of the Lambda Pi Chapter while attending Georgia College both as a first-year student, a sophomore and graduate student garnered many benefits for Wilkinson. Her achievements have led to several long-lasting friendships.

“Lambda Pi gave me the drive to give back and do something more in life to help others,” she said. “I love being a part of groups that help make me a better person. Surrounding myself with positive friends and family gives me the drive to make an impact on society.” 

Allison Wilkinson (second from right) and members of her sorority made Easter baskets for local children in need.
Allison Wilkinson (second from right) and members of her sorority made Easter baskets for local children in need.

Wilkinson created the non-profit “Queen of Bags Initiative, LLC” in 2016 after learning some children in the foster care system do not have a knapsack of their own and use trash bags for their belongings.

“It became my mission to stop this,” she said. “As an adoptive mother, I know my child could have been in the foster care system had his biological parents not made such a selfless decision for him. For those who are not as fortunate as him, I want to make sure they know they are special, loved and wanted by giving them a bookbag containing a teddy bear, blanket, hygiene kit, coloring book and crayons.”

Her involvement in pageantry encouraged her to be a voice for foster children who are often forgotten. 

“Lambda Pi gave me the drive to give back and do something more in life to help others. I love being a part of groups that help make me a better person. Surrounding myself with positive friends and family gives me the drive to make an impact on society.”
– Allison Wilkinson

“After suffering from infertility, adopting my son, Judson, then giving birth to my son, Tucker, I knew I had to inspire others by sharing my story,” Wilkinson said.

She started entering beauty pageants when she was 30 years old. As a lifetime dancer and cheerleader, being on stage was something that Wilkinson was used to. However, she credits Georgia College for contributing to her poise and determination. 

Allison Wilkinson wins the title of "International Beauty of the Nations" in August 2020.
Allison Wilkinson wins the title of "International Beauty of the Nations" in August 2020.

Wilkinson was a ballet dancer with the Georgia College theater and dance department for six years, performing at spring concerts and in the Nutcracker.

“Having the opportunity to act in the Nutcracker’s party scene and solo gave me the experience to be on stage and not be afraid of the audience,” she said. “If you can dance a solo in pointe shoes, you can walk on stage in a swimsuit and heels.”

Georgia College Professor Emeritus of Government and Sociology Dr. Jerry Fly was a positive role model for Wilkinson, who majored in business management and minored in dance. He encouraged and motivated her as early as high school.

“Although I never cheered at Georgia College, Dr. Fly was an instrumental part of my gymnastics and high school cheerleading,” she said. “He even let me come practice with the GC cheerleaders a few times when I was in high school. Having him as a professor was a warm welcome my freshman year, because I had an adult who I knew and trusted to go to if I needed help.”

Wilkinson also learned time management, prioritization and business professionalism through the Master of Business Administration program at Georgia College.

She currently works as director of Payroll Services at Georgia College. In that role, she makes sure Georgia College employees are paid accurately and in a timely fashion. Typically, behind the scenes, Wilkinson consults with employees about taxes, timecards and accrual balances. This ensures all accounts are reconciled for auditing purposes, as well.

“My job is all about timing and deadlines,” Wilkinson said. “Through group projects in graduate school, I learned how to set deadlines and get things done, so I wouldn’t slip behind.”

Her business classes also helped build a foundation where she could speak confidently.

“Public speaking is a huge part of management and pageantry,” Wilkinson said. “By working in groups to build professionalism and speaking in front of my peers at pageants, I build skills that many people spend years trying to get comfortable doing.” 

Allison and her two children Tucker (left) and Judson have knapsacks ready for local foster children.
Allison and her two children Tucker (left) and Judson have knapsacks ready for local foster children.

She hopes to quell the worries of foster children whom she helps through speaking at pageants and her nonprofit organization. 

“I hope they know there are people out there who care about them and love them,” said Wilkinson. “Through the ‘Queen of Bags Initiative,’ it’s my goal they will see that there is hope and positivity in the future.”

Whether it’s through her workplace, sorority or pageantry, Wilkinson simply wants to help others.

“I love helping others and giving back,” she added. “I want my children to grow up knowing that helping those in need is a way of life. I do my best to include my husband and kids in as much community endeavors as possible in hopes of setting a positive example for them and those around me.”

Read more about Allison Wilkinson.