When recently asked what his mommy does for her job, my son Easton said ‘my mommy tells the news at the train station.’
YES. Yes I do.
We are now marking our 8th month in our new home at 7 Burlington Station. This place just RESONATES history. The floor tiles are the original pieces that travelers walked on when the station opened in 1898. We have our afternoon story meetings just yards from the same tracks where trains carried countless passengers arriving in Omaha. Everything from the walls, to the ceiling, to the clock upstairs.. all original and restored.
Certainly not the original architects, perhaps not even those who followed decades later, envisioned that this beautiful building would someday be home to one of the country’s state of the art television facilities. However, the Burlington is still a hub. This is still a place our city turns to to connect to the outside world. Let’s call it FATE. Some things were just meant to be.
Case in point.. Chadron’s Aubree Noble, perhaps fulfilling a destiny always meant for her.
Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photograpy
“I’ve pretty much been a part of [the Miss America system] my entire life,” Aubree told me recently. “My mom was the Miss Chadron/Miss Northwest Director along with Marleta Hastings. Every year, I helped with the pageant, even if it was just small parts of it. I loved watching the girls advance on to the state and national pageants.”
And Aubree, like so many other titleholders, watched in awe as Miss Nebraska became Miss America in 2010.
“My biggest role model was Teresa Scanlan,” said Aubree. “It amazed me when she became Miss America. Her impact she made on the world during her year of service inspired me to get involved in pageants.”
When Aubree was old enough, her mother stepped down from her position as a local pageant director to allow her daughter to compete to become one of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teens. Still, Aubree need one more person’s approval to seal the deal.
“Miss Fur Trade Days Outstanding Teen Brooklyn Stack and I have been best friends since pre-school,” said Aubree, now Miss Dawes County’s Outstanding Teen. “We also said that we would do pageants together and be what people call ‘sister queens’. Well, we may not have won the same pageant, but we have been doing events alongside each other all year!”
And with every event, from Chadron to North Platte and beyond, Aubree has made even more connections she describes as life-long friendships.
“Some of my fellow titleholders and I talk daily. We’ve bonded,” said Aubree. “I love this system because even though we are competitors we are still friends and supportive of each other in every aspect of each other’s lives.”
Aubree is using her year as Miss Dawes County to spread awareness of her personal platform, ‘Read to Succeed!’, based on her own development with reading and the impact it’s had on her life.
“Studies show that kids who read more often tend to do better on tests,” said Aubree. “Also, they tend to score higher on their ACT. I never scored as high as my classmates on the state reading tests, but when I made it my goal to improve my reading, things changed. My scores improved and reading then became one of my best subjects in state testing. Last summer alone, I read 19 books! My favorite thing in the world is escaping to another world through a book. My goal through my platform was to make kids excited about wanting to read.”
Aubree is also a passionate dancer with 13 years of training. She’s completing her second year on the Chadron High Dance Team, a squad that placed 7th at state in 2016. The sophomore is also involved with math club, speech, student council, she’s a class officer, and she golfs, shooting a hole-in-one at a meet this year. Outside of school, Aubree plays piano and volunteers at the Chadron chamber of Commerce. She credits her family for their constant support in all of her activities, bonds strengthened in tragedy when Aubree’s father died a few years ago.
“My family is most important to me in my life,” said Aubree. “They are my biggest supporters and my favorite ‘fans’ in everything I do from school functions to pageants. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without them.”
They’ll have a busy summer; Aubree, on the Leadership Team for Future Business Leaders of America, recently finished first at state in Website Design, beating out 43 other submissions. She’ll compete at nationals this June.. AFTER she competes for the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.
‘I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.’ — Forrest Gump
Maybe this title is Aubree Noble’s fate, a breeze that’s swirled around her for most of her life. But this young woman has worked hard to achieve her successes. She has persevered despite hardship. She’s using her ‘destiny’ to her full advantage, and appreciating every step of the journey.
“I have benefitted from this program because of the confidence it has given me,” said Aubree. “It’s a great way to build self esteem! Even after competing in one pageant, you’re a new person. You learn something new about yourself each time you compete.”
Maybe.. that the road you’re walking is the exact place you’re meant to be.
CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Dawes County’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Aubree Noble
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!