Local Teens Head to Raleigh for Pageant
Six local teens are competing in Raleigh the week of June 18 in hopes of being crowned Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen. They will compete in evening wear, interview, talent and fitness; each girl has a charitable platform she is dedicated to helping.
Amy Felix is Miss Capital City Outstanding Teen. Felix, a Seven Lakes resident, has been doing pageants since she was 12.
Now 14, she is gearing up for her quest for the teen crown. To prepare, Felix has been practicing her talent, a tap dance, every chance she gets.
The talent portion is her favorite part.
"I dance 24/7. That's my comfort zone," Felix says.
But she is less enthusiastic about formal wear and high heels.
"I'm scared I'll trip in my heels and fall on my face," she says.
Felix's community service platform is Relay for Life, a cause near and dear to her heart. Felix's mother is a cancer survivor.
The hardest question in pageant interviews was about her mother.
"I had to hold back tears," Felix says.
Before each pageant, Felix eats her ritual Pixy Stix. She says she's been enjoying the pageant circuit, but she dreams of being on Broadway or being a pediatrician.
"Eventually I'll decide," she says.
Elizabeth O'Brien, of Aberdeen, is Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen. And she wants to set the record straight: "It's not like 'Toddlers and Tiaras.'"
O'Brien, 13, began pageants when she was seven after being approached by a pageant director.
Her platform is "Footlockers for Soldiers," in honor of her military father.
She has been working with her interview coach in preparation for the upcoming competition. Interviewing is a concern of hers.
"It's the first time you see the judges," she says.
During the interview portion of one pageant, O'Brien was asked, after revealing her dream of being a neonatal surgeon, if classical music soothes a fetus.
"I'm 13. I didn't know!" she exclaims.
O'Brien plays the piano and enjoys getting ready for the pageants.
She admits that her "blankie" accompanies her to each pageant. If she won, O'Brien says she would give a piece of the crown to each of the contestants.
Miss Durham Outstanding Teen is Pinehurst resident Morgan Hendrix. Hendrix is most excited about the talent part of the pageant.
"I tickle the ivories," she says jokingly in reference to her piano talent.
Fourteen-year-old Hendrix does push-ups before going on the stage to help with nerves. Childhood friend Elizabeth O'Brien encouraged her to join the pageant scene in fourth grade.
"I'm concerned about the vastness of the stage," she admits.
But Hendrix says she enjoys the adrenaline rush of competing.
Her cause is supporting the needy with donations of "Birthday Bags" containing cake mix to various coalitions.
"If I won? I would like to take my nephew to Disney World," Hendrix says. "We'd meet Mickey Mouse."
Alessandra Gironda, of Southern Pines, was 9 when she saw an advertisement in the paper searching for pageant participants. Now 16, Gironda is Miss Moore County Outstanding Teen.
Gironda is heavily involved with dance. Her platform "Plie with Purpose" gives underprivileged children a chance to be involved with dance. Gironda's talent is lyrical dance.
Gironda has been preparing mentally for the upcoming pageant, especially the interview portion.
"I'm terrified my mind will go blank," Gironda says.
Mr. Giraffe, a gift from her mother, accompanies Gironda to her pageants.
"My favorite part is meeting the girls. There is such a pageant cliche but they're all really down to earth," says Gironda. "We're all here to make a difference in our communities."
Miss Greater Carolina Outstanding Teen has been doing pageants for a year. But that hasn't slowed 16-year-old Paige Adkins at all.
Preparation for the Pinehurst resident has centered on "really getting involved in the community."
Adkins loves her crown because of "getting to use my crown as a microphone for causes." Her platform is fighting eating disorders in teens.
"We (pageant girls) don't just dress up in pretty dresses," she says.
"I'm just making sure I'm prepared," says Adkins of the pageant. Adkins is a tap dancer.
After pageants, Adkins indulges in a Wendy's Jr. cheeseburger deluxe.
Rachel Brittain is Miss Greater Sandhills Outstanding Teen.
The 15-year-old is from Fayetteville and has been doing pageants since she was seven. She dreads the long car rides to pageants but loves pageants themselves.
"I listen to my favorite Justin Bieber songs," admits Brittain on how she prepares to take the stage.
Her platform is "Passionately Pink for the Cure," benefiting the Susan G. Komen fund.
Brittain is a vocalist, but enjoys the interview segment of the pageant the most.
"You get to be yourself and have fun," she says.
How would Brittain spend her dream celebration?
"After I won, I would go to Krispy Kreme and buy a dozen for myself," she says. "And not share."
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