This year, the night before a new Miss Nebraska is crowned, generations of our royal family and their fans will gather to celebrate 80 years of the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program. Our first recorded Miss Nebraska, Ruth Lenore Jones, was crowned in 1937. Each year, we have not only sent an incredible state representative to compete at the Miss America Pageant, we have united and celebrated a class of extraordinary women from all corners of Nebraska.
A clip from the Lincoln Journal Star, June 30, 1968.
As Miss Nebraska 1968 Diane Boldt was crowned, 1st Runner Up Charlene Warneke applauded alongside the rest of the Class of ’68. That year’s Miss North Platte continued to be involved in our program for years after, eventually passing on that passion to her granddaughter Alexandria.
Miss York County’s Outstanding Teen 2017 Alexandria Warneke
This weekend, 50 years after her grandmother finished as 1st Runner Up, Alexandria Warneke will compete to become Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.
“I am passionate, committed, and will work hard to convey a positive image of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen while promoting science education to girls,” said Alexandria. The 17-year old is a junior at York High School, who hopes to one day become an environmental attorney. That passion for science led Alexandria to focus her year as Miss York County’s OT on her platform, ‘Where a Beautiful Brain Can STEM From.’ Click here to read the York News-Times story on Alexandria!
“As a [female] student interested in science, I find myself in a minority at school,” said Alexandria. “Fortunately, I am lucky to have many female science teachers to look up to and parents who have helped me thrive in a world where girls are outnumbered. I strive to be a role model for young girls to show them how much fun they could have exploring new things in the world.”
Alexandria has visited science fairs and classrooms across her area to share her platform. She talks about Margaret Hamilton, who wrote the coding and invented the software in the 1960’s that helped get Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. She talks about the 66% of girls in fourth grade who say they are interested in science and math, and the less than 18% who end up majoring in engineering, or the 0.4% (yes, less than 1%) that major in computer science. She also shares her own achievements in STEM fields; Alexandria has received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, she’s a member of the state champion Science Olympiad team, and she’s currently taking four college-level courses at York High School.
“Currently, the world needs a lot of help from all of us to keep its natural resources and put a halt to further damage we cause,” said Alexandria. “As Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, I will be able to be a role model for many more young girls, and together, women can do amazing things to allow the world a brighter future.”
Alexandria notes she wants all girls to hear they can be brilliant AND beautiful, something she’s demonstrating to everyone who’s followed her journey.
Alexandria was chosen as a Prom Ambassador for the Black Swan Dress Boutique in Lincoln, modeling designer gowns for the business’s annual showcase. She is also an award-winning dancer who has performed for the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company. At school, Alexandria also participates in FBLA, Mock Trial, Show Choir, York Dukes Dance, Musical and Speech.
“I am beautiful, I am smart, I am outstanding,” said Alexandria.
Agreed. And I guarantee one of the proud women who would echo all of this and be one of Alexandria Warneke’s biggest cheerleaders… her grandma, Charlene, who paved the way for this fateful journey 50 years ago. Charlene Warneke died in North Platte in 2010, but last weekend, her granddaughter took a few minutes to take in all of her grandma’s accomplishments, and reflect on what’s to come in her own future.
“I had an emotional talk with my family over Easter lunch, about my grandma Charlene Warneke,” Alexandria posted on Facebook. “I’m so proud to be following her footsteps by competing for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen next week! The Miss America system is in my blood, so Grandma, I will have you in my heart and mind during this amazing experience.”
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!