Ladies prep for Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen

By Denise DuBois

Fifty young women from 39 communities across Alabama will arrive in Sylacauga tomorrow for the 2018 Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen Pageant.  Three performances will be held at B.B. Comer Memorial High School beginning on Saturday.

Preliminary competitions will begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. On Sunday, the final competition culminating with the crowning of Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2018 will begin at 2 p.m. CT. The top 15 will be announced followed by evening wear competition.

Then the top 10 semi-finalists will be announced and they will compete in physical fitness and talent, narrowing the competition to the top five contestants.

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2018, Jessica Baeder of Alabama, will serve as mistress of ceremonies on Saturday and will be featured on Sunday.  The performances will also feature Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2017, Lauren Bradford of Gulf Shores, and Miss Alabama, Jessica Procter of Tuscaloosa, will serve as mistress of ceremonies on Sunday. About $500,000 in scholarships will be made available to contestants.  Each contestant will compete in private interviews with the judges, physical fitness, talent and evening wear.

Admission is $20 per person for each performance, and tickets can be purchased at the door.

In addition to receiving the crown and representing Alabama at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando this summer, the winner will also receive offers of a four-year scholarship to the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, the University of Montevallo, and Jacksonville State University; a four-year renewable scholarship to the University of North Alabama, and a one-year scholarship to Wallace State Community College.

 

Questions with Miss Smiths Station’s Outstanding Teen Merrill Ann Culverhouse

Q: What have you learned this year as Miss Smiths Station’s Outstanding Teen?

A: This year as Smiths Station’s Outstanding Teen has been a learning process after a year off after having back surgery. Learning how to listen to my body and take care of my needs has been a learning process.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments this year?

A: This year I have designed the second specialty license plate in the nation to bring awareness and funds to colon cancer patients, received a proclamation from Governor Kay Ivey declaring March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month in the state of Alabama and received the Point of Light Award for my community service towards my platform, among many other awards.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the state pageant?

A: I am most looking forward to the talent competition! I have danced for 13 years and have always enjoyed entertaining others.

Q: What have you learned about yourself through this pageant process?

A: Through competing, I have found out that I am capable even when I don’t think I am— I have to have confidence in myself.

Q: What is your advice for young girls who see you with a crown who may want to compete?

A: I would tell them to go for it because it is absolutely worth it. I’ve learned how to be a well-rounded individual and I know for a fact that I can use the skills learned in pageants and apply them to any job.

Q: Why did you choose your platform?

A: My platform is colon cancer awareness because my dad was diagnosed at age 43, which is below the recommended screening age. My platform is so close to my heart because 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer— it may not seem like a lot, but it is when that 1 is your dad. I encourage everyone to have a healthy relationship with his or her doctor and do not wait to be screened because the test can save your life.

Questions with Miss Phenix City’s Outstanding Teen Mary Catherine Dulaney

Q: What have you learned this year as Miss Smiths Station’s Outstanding Teen?

A: Through being Miss Phenix City’s Outstanding Teen I have learned the importance of being yourself. As a teenager, I feel like many teens think they need to try to fit into a mold to impress people when really the most impressive thing is to stay true to yourself.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments this year?

A: This year I have raised almost $3,000 that will go toward building a well in an African village. I raised the majority of the money by selling T-shirts that I designed myself! Also I have created my own Web site! It’s www.thegivingwell.net if you would like to visit and donate! Another exciting thing I have done this year is, I have written and illustrated a children’s book called David’s Choice!

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the state pageant?

A: The competition itself is so much fun, but I’m also excited to see all of my Outstanding Teen sisters! We always have such a good time when we are together!

Q: What have you learned about yourself through this pageant process?

A: Through my whole Outstanding journey, I have learned how truly blessed I am. With my platform I teach others how not everyone in the world has access to clean drinking water. One of the saddest things I learned is that a child dies every 60 seconds from a preventable waterborne illness. I’m trying to change this.

Q: What is your advice for young girls who see you with a crown who may want to compete?

A: I would tell them that this organization is one of the best ones out there! It is so uplifting and empowering. Also, through competing, you will learn so much about yourself and make friendships that will last a lifetime!