Ten Outstanding Years

Ten years ago, I was a slightly awkward overachieving High School Senior with a love of public speaking and musical theatre. 

A friend of mine suggested I try pageants, and after I was done laughing at the idea I went all in. 

The result was this:

I was crowned Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen 2007 and I had so much fun that year. 
My year of service taught me so many new skills that a lot of girls take for granted.
How to walk in high heels.
How to use a blow dryer.
How to apply mascara. 

I learned the basics of presenting myself in public, of having a public presence, and I earned scholarships that helped pay for my college expenses. 

I gained sisters. 

Eight months later we would be Chi Omega sisters as well. 
Fun fact: this photo features a future Miss SD, a future Miss KY, and a future Miss MS among others.
We were young. They gave us a limo in Las Vegas. What else would we do?

I met people from all over Vermont. 

I even won an award at Miss America's Outstanding Teen- Non Finalist Interview. 

Most importantly, being Miss VT's OT taught me that I wanted to be Miss Vermont someday and made me ready to take on that job when my time came a few years later. 

Miss Vermont 2007 and Miss Vermont 2010!

I am an enthusiastic proponent of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen program. Over the ten years since I got involved it has changed, grown, and I've watched hundreds of young women benefit from the scholarships and skills they have earned through the national program and programs at the state and local levels. 

Tonight a new Miss Vermont and a new Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen will join our sisterhood and I can't wait to welcome them both with open arms!

If you have a teen girl at home, I hope you'll consider encouraging her to get involved.  

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