It took Amanda Joseph four tries to become Miss Louisiana, but the LSU student from Pineville woke up Sunday with her sights set on the 2008 Miss America pageant and on promoting her platform of art education for underprivileged children statewide.

“As Miss America, you will not always be competing in swimsuit and talent, but they are always speaking,” she said. “Speaking is something that I definitely want to work on.”

Joseph will represent the state at the Miss America pageant early next year in Las Vegas. Until then, she will work on preparing for the event and promoting her agenda of arts education and working with service organizations for children including The Children’s Miracle Network; Right Choices, Right Now and Louisiana Cares About Children.