Miss Rhode Island Ivy DePew: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Miss Rhode Island Ivy DePew suffered a medical incident during the preliminary competition for Miss America 2015 this past week. Read on for the details on her trips to the hospital, all about how she didn’t finish high school, and the story of her family friend who died from AIDS.


1. At the Preliminary Competition, She Fainted Onstage

On Tuesday evening, September 9, 2014, the first preliminary competition of the season was in full swing. DePew was standing in the back row of contestants at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall when she collapsed during an awards presentation and she fainted. Dena Blizzard, the pageant’s host, told the audience that DePew overheated, though it was determined that she suffered dehydration. Daily Mail writes:

Sam Haskell III, CEO of the Miss America Organization, said Tuesday that DePew was alert and talking as she left Boardwalk Hall with her family en route to a hospital.

Fortunately, DePew was released from the hospital following her fainting spell and is ready to compete for the crown. She was actually hospitalized twice as she returned to the hospital Wednesday afternoon for a follow-up. Then, she competed in the Wednesday night preliminary competition.

It was later confirmed that DePew was actually suffering from a rare form of a sinus infection.


2. DePew Never Finished High School

ABC6 Reporter Mark Curtis stated that:

Now here is an interesting fact about Ivy Depew. She never finished High School, but she did earn her GED, and later went on to earn a Master’s Degree here at Brown University.

Thanks to all of DePew’s scholarship winnings from pageants over the years, the Miss America Organization has paid off her tuition costs.


3. Her Career Ambition Is to Become a United States Congressman

Miss Rhode Island hopes to one day become a congressman and her platform for the competition is United We Stand: Supporting Military Service Members, Veterans, and Families.


4. A Close Friend of Hers Died From AIDS

Prior to becoming Miss Rhode Island, DePew’s pageant efforts were in Tennessee, winning the crown of Miss Chattanooga 2009 and competing for the title of Miss Tennesee. Her platform then was for HIV/AIDs Awareness. DePew told The Chatanoogan:

My platform is HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention. In 2005, a very close family friend passed away due to complications of the AIDS virus, and it has deeply affected me and my family. I am currently the Development and Communications Intern at Friends For Life, a nonprofit located in Memphis that provides many different services to people living with HIV. As Miss Tennessee, I hope to tie in my platform with “ A Safe and Drug Free Tennessee” and spread awareness throughout the state … I feel that my platform fits closely with the state’s platform “A Safe And Drug Free Tennessee.” With the title of Miss Tennessee, I would have the opportunity to speak to young people across the state and spread awareness and education. I would like to see HIV education implemented in middle schools and high schools across the state of Tennessee.


5. Her Mother’s Boss Is Her Inspiration

As far as DePew’s inspirations in life, her mother’s boss is actually hers. She previously told The Chatanoogan:

My biggest “American Idol” would have to be my mother’s boss, Cathy Fletcher. She became paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 14 and has never let her disability affect her. She is the strongest person I know and has become my “Auntie Cathy” in so many ways!



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