If you’ve been reading about each of this year’s Miss Nebraska and Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestants, THANK YOU!! And perhaps you’ve noticed, even questioned why, many of these local titleholders do not live in or have ties to the areas they are representing. How does that work??
Today’s featured titleholder is a PERFECT example. Her hometown of Chester, Nebraska, sitting right on the Nebraska/Kansas border, had an estimated 232 people at the time of the 2010 census. 2.1% of those were between the ages of 18-24. Half of those, young ladies. That’s two and a half women eligible to compete for Miss America. Kinda hard to have a local pageant with 2.5 contestants.. leaving talented, driven young women with dreams of Miss America looking outside of town.
This young lady looked north.
MISS KEARNEY CRANE FESTIVAL 2015 ALLISON TIETJEN
“I joke that since there is no Miss Chester, Miss Kearney is for sure the next best thing,” Allison told me recently. “I have tried to make the trip to Kearney for appearances as often as I can.”
And Allison has traveled much farther than that now very familiar 2-hour road trip. Click here: last year as Miss Heartland 2014, Allison told me about her trip to Washington DC with a plane of Vietnam War veterans as part of a Nebraska honor flight. Supporting and spreading awareness of American veterans is important to Allison, the focus of her personal platform ‘United We Stand: Remembering Our Veteran Heroes’.
“It really is the reason why I am competing today, knowing that I can truly help students understand and appreciate the service and commitment of our US military,” said Allison. “I want to help kids have an overall sense of gratitude towards our military.”
Allison has visited a number of schools, each time ready with a ‘lesson plan’ to give kids a hands-on experience that will also benefit veterans. Allison calls it the Miss Crane Festival Flag Challenge.
“First, I have an open discussion with students over the military branches,” said Allison. “Then, while we are making flags, I ask them what they think the American flag represents and what our flag means to them. On the back of their flag I ask all the students to write a thank you note to a veteran, and this is where I challenge them to give it to a veteran. I always ask the students to share with me if they deliver a flag and I have been amazed by the responses I have received back.”
Allison, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student active with Alpha Phi, also earned the Gold Award with Girl Scouts, the highest rank a female scout can achieve (comparable to the elite Eagle Scout ranking for male scouts.) She continues to volunteer with and advocate for the organization.
“Girl Scouts has been such a huge part of my life growing up that I want to encourage as many young girls I can to not only join, but to stay involved with it even when they get older,” said Allison. “Girl Scouts and the Miss America Organization truly have the same goals in mind: creating great female leaders and community service.”
Allison considers all of this community service a privilege, not a chore. In her interview with me, she talked about raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and playing piano for the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home using phrases like ‘I get to.’ While you can see in these pictures and feel from Allison’s stories the impact she’s likely having, she describes her own growth as a person as immeasurable.
“Competing for Miss Nebraska has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Allison. “Miss Nebraska and the Miss America Organization are relevant because [they] truly change young women’s lives in a positive way. Overall, our year of service and experiences outweigh any scholarship that we will receive, although those are really amazing as well!”
Miss Kearney Crane Festival 2015 Allison Tietjen (R) with Miss Kearney Crane Festival’s Outstanding Teen Merrilee Prill
Allison’s advice to anyone following her journey is find what you love and put it to good use. When her small town of 232 didn’t have a road to Miss America, she found one that did. But make no mistake; Allison will always find her path back the ‘Village of Quilts’, the ‘Gateway to Nebraska’. I think it’s a safe bet no matter what title is on her sash, Chester, Nebraska will always call Miss Kearney Crane Festival, Girl Scout, champion for veterans, Allison Tietjen, THEIR Miss America.
Follow Miss Kearney Crane Festival 2015 Allison Tietjen
To contact Allison about appearances and events, and for more information on the Miss Kearney Crane Festival Pageant click here to visit the organization on Facebook.
For information on becoming a future contestant, contact Directors Megan Goeke and Jenna Lukasiewitz at 308-708-0678 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Miss Nebraska Pageant will take place June 3-6, 2015 in North Platte. Click here to visit the organization’s website, to visit the pageant on Facebook, to follow the pageant on Twitter, and to follow the pageant on Instagram.
To read more about the Miss Nebraska Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.