ANGOLA — She is a Trine University freshman now, but Lydia Tremaine has been a role model for young women across Indiana, and nearly the nation.
Tremaine, a Kendallville native, was the 2018 Miss Indiana and competed in the 2019 Miss America pageant, appearing on stage in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and on national television. She won one of the pageant’s preliminary competitions, taking the talent title for her vocal performance of Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” and finished in the top 15.
The Miss America organization, one of the top scholarship providers for young women, offered financial assistance for Tremaine to attend college. She was able to receive a full scholarship for Trine, a partner with the Miss Indiana organization.
She decided to major in psychology because of a passion for mental health and helping others that grew during her experience traveling as Miss Indiana.
“Going into schools across the state last year, I realized how common it was for anxiety and depression to hold our students back,” she said. “I went into my year as Miss Indiana thinking I wanted to be a teacher, and left all my school visits realizing I wanted to help our next generation with their mental health.”
Transitioning from traveling across the state to normal college student was bittersweet, Tremaine said. Being Miss Indiana taught her time management skills, which prepared her for college; however, she sometimes misses her school visit days and performances as Miss Indiana.
“But I love being back in the classroom and wearing sweats with no makeup every day,” she said. “Even though it’s been a weird transition, I keep myself busy with work and theatre.”
She recently was cast as Kate in “The Wild Party” at Three Rivers Music Theatre in Fort Wayne. The musical will run Feb. 21 to March 14.
Tremaine is sometimes recognized on campus from her performances in pageants. She’s open to discussing her experience as well as breaking down any misconceptions of pageant programs. She wants people to know that the stereotypes of pageant organizations aren’t all true and they shouldn’t be lumped together.
“The organization I competed in has nothing to do with physical beauty, but instead promotes service, scholarship and success for young women,” she said. “It’s been really exciting to educate people on how our organization is truly beneficial and empowering to young women.”
She is enjoying her experience at Trine, particularly the community the university offers.
“I also feel like I get so much out of my classes, and it makes me passionate about being back in school,” she said.
Other favorite aspects include, “the quality education, the fact there’s so much to do on campus and when the cafe serves pierogies, because potatoes are life.” She plans to pursue performing during her time at the university, and plans to attend graduate school for psychology after graduation.
“I’m not 100% on what that looks like yet, but I’m excited to dive into my passions more here at Trine to find which path will be best for me,” she said.