I am proud to be an Arkansan! I’ve grown up Calling the Hogs, and I have been an Arkansas Razorback fan for as long as I can remember. I have lived in Little Rock my entire life, and I am a senior at the Historic Central High School. My friends and family call me “Bear Bear.” I was born January 21, 1997, only 14 short months after my oldest sister, Madison. She is a freshman at the University of Arkansas. My little sister, Payton, is a freshman in high school. My mom, Karyn, is an elementary Gifted and Talented Teacher and my dad, Keith, is a mechanical engineer and manager of our family business. I have an adorable 10 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Alex.
It’s really no surprise that one of my favorite things to do is model a fabulous pageant wardrobe. I have always loved to dress up! It is hard to find a picture of me before I started pre-school when I wasn’t in some kind of costume. I used to walk around the house in my mom’s old heels when I was tiny! In elementary school I had some incredible teachers that instilled in me a love for reading. I have been hooked ever since. Although I average about a book a month, The Harry Potter Series is still one of my all time favorites. I am also absolutely crazy about puppies and babies! Even with my busy schedule, I make time to babysit my adorable neighbors and walk my dog.
Growing up as the middle child of 3 girls has been an interesting and exciting experience! My mom dressed us in matching outfits until my little sister went to kindergarten. (Yes, that would make me almost 9. I know! There are no words.) It’s true what they say about no one understanding you and loving you like a sister. Although we fight and fuss as often as we get along, having 2 best friends forever by my side is the one of the greatest blessings in my life. My favorite memories of our time together have been made on our “Spring Break Adventures.” For the past 5 years my parents have surprised us with the name of the destination for our family trip on Christmas morning. These trips have truly been some of the best presents I’ve ever received.
My family has always been very active. As a child I learned to swim and water ski as well as play tennis, golf, soccer and basketball. I took gymnastics classes and started dancing at age 3. My first recital dance was choreographed to “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” I was a member of a traveling competitive dance team for many years. Although I am not currently on a team, I take technique classes weekly. It is one of my favorite ways to stay active. Hiking and spending time at the lake are other typical ways Arkansans stay fit. I love being in the water and look forward to tubing, waters skiing and knee boarding each summer.
Entering high school brought many new opportunities for growth and change. I eagerly began participating in clubs and organizations as a way to plug in and make a difference in my school and community. My sophomore year I was chosen to attend the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Seminar. I had no idea at the time that this long weekend would set me on an unexpected path. The things I learned at HOBY about leadership and service literally changed my life. I have always enjoyed helping others, but the conference helped me realize I don’t just enjoy volunteering, I have a heart for service. I was thrilled to return to HOBY last spring as a Junior Counselor to share my passion with other youth. Some of my favorites and most impactful volunteering experiences have been made mentoring athletes at the Miracle league, attending elementary school events, making classroom visits to inspire children to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program, and a summer internship with the American Heart Association.
I was introduced to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in my elementary PE class. The program later became an inspiration for my platform Be Proactive, Get Active. As a student ambassador for the organization, I have the opportunity to partner with players from the NFL and other youth leaders around the nation to help find creative ways to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic. The organization provides me with all the tools, resources and support I need to inspire children to participate in forms of physical activity that they enjoy and empower them to start making healthy food choices.
There are a few things most people don’t know about me. I am a certified scuba diver. I don’t get to go often but when I do, I always enjoy it! I also LOVE drama. No, not the kind of drama you’re thinking of! I try to avoid “girl drama” at all cost but you can’t keep me away from a good play, musical or production! I’ve never seen one I didn’t like, but Wicked will forever be my favorite. An official Wicked makeup artist made me up like Elphaba during a visit to my drama class at school last year. It was awesome!!! My friends were green with envy. And last but not least, I watch Christmas Vacation with my family every year while we drink eggnog out of moose cups.
As Miss Teen International I am looking forward to a year overflowing with many opportunities for new adventures, new friendships, and new ways to serve. Let’s join together and inspire one another to be more than we thought we could ever be! “Whatever you believe in, believe in it all the way!” –Walt DisneyFOLLOW MISS TEEN INTERNATIONAL'S BLOG