From Army medic to pageant winner, Weber State freshman takes chances
OGDEN, Utah — Loryn Merrill plans on a career serving patients as a paramedic, much as she served her nation in the U.S. Army and now serves her city as Miss Roy.
She can’t think of a better place to continue her service streak than the medical field.
In the Army, Merrill worked in a clinic where, among her many duties, she gave vaccinations, managed medications and performed examinations to gather information for providers. Outside the clinic, she treated soldiers injured in training exercises.
“I did a lot of COVID swabbing, tracking and tracing as well,” she said.
Merrill completed her Army training in Oklahoma and Texas. She was stationed in Hawaii and served a rotation in Indonesia. While the Army provided her with new experiences and allowed her to travel the world, prior to arriving at Weber State University for the fall 2023 semester, she took on a challenge unlike anything before.
She entered the 2023 Miss Roy Scholarship Competition.
Armed with confidence and communication skills she developed in the Army, she won the crown. As Miss Roy, she loves making appearances and being involved in service projects for the city. Her professional network has grown to include members of the city council, local police and firefighters, and Roy Mayor Robert Dandoy.
Being Miss Roy also gave Merrill an opportunity to pursue a passion, encouraging young people to meet, spend time with and learn from senior citizens.
“In Roy, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people over age 70 who live alone and just have nobody to spend time with them,” Merrill said.
Merrill has worked with volunteers at assisted living communities to meet the need, and she encourages others to get involved. In her day job, she also provides companionship and helps with daily tasks for adults with disabilities at a group home.
Merrill will compete for the Miss Utah crown in June 2024.
Aside from preparing for the pageant, she recently earned her EMT certification and is completing prerequisites for WSU’s paramedic program. After some time saving lives as a paramedic, she eventually wants to help patients as a physician.
Right now, however, she is just hoping to ace her medical anatomy class.
“It’s really, really challenging, but that’s kind of what I was hoping for,” she said. “It has definitely stretched my abilities and I feel like I’m learning a lot.”
Jaime Winston, Marketing & Communications
Bryan Magaña, public relations director