We are the Heartland, the Midwest, the centermost point of the United States. We are urban and rural. We are Fortune 500 and the Future Farmers of America. We are closing in on 2-million strong.. emphasis on the STRONG. And hardworking. And kind.
I joke that my Nebraska coat has many colors. I’m a proud Papillion native. Omaha is where I’ve found success. Gretna is now home. I count down the days every year until my annual trip to North Platte, I spent several years cheering on my Huskers in Lincoln, the list goes on and on.
Every young woman competing this year to become Miss Nebraska or Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen has their own state story.. one, a Tiger proudly representing her community of 1700.
Miss Gering’s Outstanding Teen 2017 Hope McCoy
14-year old Hope McCoy calls Mitchell, Nebraska home. The small town about 20 miles northwest of Gering is what spurred Hope to put on a crown and sash and step into the spotlight.
“I decided to compete in local pageants because I love being a party of my community,” Hope told me recently. “I have been in pageants since I was six years old and I loved it. Being a part of it felt like being more involved; I love meeting new people and making new friends.”
Hope describes herself as petite, unique and caring.
“Unique because I don’t like to blend with the ‘crowd’,” said Hope. “I love being different from other girls. I love being who I am! I have always cared for people no matter what. Whenever we get a new student in school, I always make sure that I go and talk to them and make them feel welcome.”
“There are so many amazing girls that compete [in Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen], and I have made so many new friends with all of them,” said Hope. “The other part of the experience is gaining new knowledge. I want [people] to know this is not just about the gowns, makeup and the crowns. Pageants can help you get into good colleges just like any sport. You gain knowledge doing pageants, not just walking in a nice dress.”
All of this, insight and opportunity she is using as part of her role as a leader throughout Mitchell and beyond.
In addition to her studies at Mitchell Junior/Senior High, Hope volunteers and takes part in appearances to benefit Children’s Miracle Network and as part of her personal platform of service, Read Across America.
“Ever since I was very little I have always loved reading,” said Hope. “So when I decided to compete in pageants I wanted my platform to be about reading. I want to go to libraries across the state and read to children. I want to go and help out the elderly in my community with anything they need me to do. I want to sing in all of the care centers for elderly people, and I enjoy hearing their stories. Any volunteer positions in my community, I want to be part of.”
Our state motto is Nebraska Nice.. and I’d argue you’d find proof of that mentality in communities from Omaha to Mitchell. It’s a common thread that unites us no matter what our background, demographic, profession or community. And it’s a message Hope Isabella McCoy hopes she’ll get to deliver in person as Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.
“My goal in general is to go to Children’s Miracle Network, talk to all of the children and get their stories,” said Hope. “I would love to sit there and make them laugh and smile. Also, just to help out with anything that I can around the state.”
For more information about the Miss Gering/Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Program or for information about becoming a contestant, CLICK HERE to follow the organization on Facebook. You can also email Director Kyla Ansley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant takes place April 21-22 in Omaha, Nebraska.
To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2014-2016 click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!