Let me tell you about my friend, Alex..
Alex wears MANY hats. She is a momma to sweet baby Jackson. She is a proud wife. She is one of the stars of the #1 rated KETV First News, drawing nearly 9,000 followers on Facebook, thousands more on Twitter. She is also a former Miss South Dakota, record-breaking swimmer, accomplished vocalist.. the list goes on.
Alex is also the former ringer 1st basewoman for Team Paparazzi.
Typically in slow-pitch, coed softball, when a girl gets up to bat you hear a cry from a guy somewhere on the field… ‘MOVE IN!! GIRL UP!!’
A word to the wise.. NEVER say that when you see THIS girl step into the box. Alex grinds her hands on the bat and UNLEASHES fury.. usually catapulting the ball over the head of whichever dude yelled to move in.
Alex is STRONG. CONFIDENT. POWERFUL. She is proof you CAN be all of those things AND be talented, beautiful and sophisticated.
Next up to bat.. Shelbe Stroh, a young lady on a mission to crush any steretypes you may have about pageant girls, and what they can or can’t do.
Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography
“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a pageant girl?” Shelbe asked me recently. “Is it glitz and extravagant dresses? Or is it the dedication to scholarship, community service, leadership and integrity? The Miss America Organization has shaped me to be the confident, independent and self-sufficient young woman I am today.”
Shelbe is a 17-year old who is as diverse and involved in her community as she is striking. She’s smart, taking AP classes at Elkhorn South High School and making the Rotary Honor Roll, while also taking part in FCCLA, SADD and National Honor Society. Shelbe earned recognition at the 2015 BBB Integrity Awards and as a Gregg Young Great Kids of Omaha award recipient.
Outside of school, Shelbe is part of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, she volunteers at the Hope Center for Kids, and she models for Omaha Fashion Week.
Photo courtesy Kathy Rae Photography
One more thing.. ever since she was a little girl in glasses, Shelbe has been kicking a soccer ball.
A few years ago, Shelbe found an organization that encompassed all of the qualities fine tuned by taking part in these activities… the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen program. Shelbe is currently Miss Kearney’s Outstanding Teen 2016.
This June, she’ll compete with more than a dozen of teenagers from across Nebraska who excel in any number of activities in and out of the classroom, on the stage or on the field, in front of a crowd or with one other person.
“I have made connections with people across the state and along the way I have learned a little bit about myself,” said Shelbe. “With each community event I attend, I witness the sparkle in a bystander’s eye as I flash a smile or spark casual conversation. I have come to realize that the small deeds I do have a major impact on lives of others.”
Shelbe and her sister queen, Miss Tri-Citites Outstanding Teen Ashly Helfrich
Just as she is trying to change stereotypes about pageant girls, Shelbe wants to alter how girls and women view themselves through her personal platform, ‘Fit and Fabulous: Shattering The Negative Body Image of Young Women.’
“Instead of focusing on that ‘perfect image’ by resorting to unhealthy habits, I want young girls to discover the long term effects of a healthy lifestyle and reap the benefits!’ said Shelbe. “As a teen, I know it’s hard coming to terms with your body, but finding the satisfaction in exercise and smart eating will radiate positive vibes and inspire others.”
Part of Shelbe’s message is her own story of pain and disappointment. In October 2014, Shelbe tore her ACL in a club soccer game, and spent the next 9 months building herself back up physically and emotionally. When she couldn’t turn to soccer, she found yoga and other ways she could stay active.
“I take pride in my athletic physique and want to empower young women to take pride in their own bodies as well. Confidence is the key to success,” said Shelbe. “Loving yourself along the way will make the journey that much more meaningful.”
Shelbe also credits her mom for supporting her throughout her recovery and during every activity she’s taken part of, pageants included.
“I want to make a special shout out to the one who taught me to always wear my invisible crown, my beautiful momma,” said Shelbe. “Thank you for making me the strong young woman I am today. You are such a blessing to me!”
And THAT is what Shelbe Stroh wants to bring to the table as Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.. the message that no matter what hat you wear, from soccer player to beauty queen, from student to star, WE ARE STRONG.
Women of the world, we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to. Wear YOUR invisible crown.. and be darn proud of it.
“Above all, I want to be remembered as the girl who put her heart and soul into everything she did,” said Shelbe. “I’ve failed many times, but I am so full of life and have this dream to change other peope’s lives.”
CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Kearney’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Shelbe Stroh
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHELBE?
For more information about the Miss Kearney/Miss Tri-Citites Outstanding Teen Pageant, visit THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER. For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Megan Goeke at email@example.com.
For more information on becoming a Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestant, contact Director Heather Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or Director Kali Tripp at email@example.com.
To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!