Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen candidates and their families arrived in style Monday morning during a special brunch honoring their service and accomplishments at the Mexico Elks Lodge. Centralia’s Schyler Angell, daughter of Russ and Sally Thomas of Paris and Justin Angell of Centralia. was one of them.
Several of the Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen candidates were recognized as finalists for various awards, which will be given on Friday night at the Missouri Military Academy campus. Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Director Steve Wilson announced finalists for the Barb Wilkins Paperwork Award. The award is given to a teen who completes all her paperwork thoroughly and meets every deadline.
Throughout their year of service, the Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen candidates devote a portion of their time raising money for the Miss America Organization’s partnership philanthropy, The Children’s Miracle Network. Angell was also recognized as one of the top 9 fundraisers in the class of 2019 for CMN. On Friday, one of the teens will receive the CMN Miracle Maker award, meaning she raised the most amount of money for the charity.
Wilson also announced that this year, the organization is doubling the amount of scholarships it awards to the class of 2019. This year, the local titleholders will receive $28,000 in scholarships. Out of that amount, the winner of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen will receive a $6,000 scholarship.
In addition to the awards, Miss Missouri Chairman of the Board Ann Jolly greeted the attendees and promised a week full of celebration. She said the pageant’s anniversary marked 50 years in not just the same city, but also the same location, a feat that many state pageants in the Miss America organization have not been able to reach.
This year’s Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Ashley Whipple addressed her fellow titleholders with a little advice and encouragement.
“I want you to focus on the moment and capture everything around you,” she said. “Take it all in so you can remember all of it at the end of the week. I truly cherish the friendships I’ve made in the organization and all of the memories I’ve made.”
Ashley’s mom, Donna Whipple echoed the sentiment.
“You focus on winning, but the bonus was all of you and all the others in Missouri who were so supportive,” she said.
The Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen pageant kicks off Wednesday on the Missouri Military Academy campus with preliminary competition. Friday night, the judges will select a winner who will continue to the national competition in Orlando later this summer. Tickets are available online at the Miss Missouri website or through the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce office.