Tag Archive | gering high

Little Big Shots

Confession:  I ADORE KIDS.  Especially my own, but really, all babies and toddlers.  They are so innocent, sweet, cuddly, all of the above!  When I see a child doing something uber-impressive, like singing or dancing, I simply MELT from cuteness overload!

Case in point.. my friends Amanda and Bill’s little girl, JoJo.  At just 3 years old, this sweet thing is an AMAZING singer!!  She’s got an innate gift for remember lyrics and melodies, and was simply BORN to be a star!  When she sings her first national anthem at an Omaha Storm Chasers game, I will be the FIRST in line to buy my ticket!

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CLICK HERE to hear JoJo’s rendition of the national anthem (the hand gestures?!?!? I MELT!!)

Some kids just HAVE it, they have a special gift in their heart to perform.  At just 11 years old, Carsyn Long was selected to sing for Nebraska’s Miss America, Teresa Scanlan.

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Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“Funny story: I went to use the restroom and of course, in walks Miss America herself!” Carsyn told me recently.  “As soon as she walked in, I was completely starstruck!  She ended up talking to me and touching me on the shoulder, and I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I ran out of the bathroom crying!”

A fitting encounter.. Teresa, the youngest Miss Nebraska ever crowned and the youngest Miss America since 1937, inspiring a girl who would become ‘the youngest’ in many of her future endeavours.

“At that time and still to this day, Teresa represented everything I wanted to be as a woman,” said Carsyn.  “Not only did Teresa exemplify the four points of the crown wonderfully (as I hope to do), but she sparked a fire in an 11-year old girl that has gotten me involved with this organization and has made me the young woman I am today.”

THIS organization.. is the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen pageant.

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Carsyn was crowned Miss Scotts Bluff County’s Outstanding Teen 2016 last summer, right before she started her sophomore year at Gering High School.

“I love anything and everything that has to do with performing,” said Carsyn.  “Put me on a stage, and I’m at home.”

SHAYLAS PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo courtesy Shayla’s Photography

At Gering High, Carsyn is involved with her school’s theater department, harmony show choir and speech team.  This year, she became the youngest person on the speech team to medal at state, winning Nebraska’s Class B title for Oral Interpretation of Drama.

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Carsyn’s fellow state champion and dear friend is also the woman who encouraged her to compete for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, Allison Baird, who became Miss Scotts Bluff County the same night Carsyn was crowned.

“My role model without a doubt is my older sister queen (and your future Miss Nebraska!) Allison Baird,” said Carsyn.  “This girl is absolutely incredible.  She is such a Godly girl and offers her whole heart to anything she does.  I truly admire her wisdom, drive and her belief in others.  Allie is part of the reason I ever competed in my first pageant in August!”

As Allison set out to spread awareness of her platform, (Click here to learn more!), Carsyn also prepared a personal message and campaign to share with others.

“My platform is called the ‘Heart of Art: Keeping Fine Arts In Schools’,” said Carsyn.  “Performing is something I’m really passionate about and so I wanted to incorporate that into my platform.  Through my platform I’m creating awareness, working towards improving funding, and offering more opportunities for kids like myself who have found their niche in performing.  Even in my school, our fine arts program could use some improving, so that really motivated me as well to make a change.”

Carsyn has attended community events, spoken at schools, and volunteered through her area (in the picture above right, delivering flowers to brand new moms in the hospital on Mother’s Day!)

“The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Organization has really been a strong outlet for me to reach several different audiences while promoting my platform and volunteering,” said Carsyn.  “I hae been able to offer my talents and time as well.  I’ve really been opened up to so many new opportunities and have made some amazing friends along the way.  Through this organization, I’ve been able to improve my poise and social skills.  I’ve truly been able to carry out the concept that it isn’t the crown that makes you a queen, but it’s what you possess in your heart.”

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Carsyn Long has a heart for art.. a passion for singing and speaking, and a drive to pursue her goals and dreams until they are reality.  Those are big goals for a young lady who just turned 16.. but remember, some kids just HAVE IT.

“I want to have the kind of impact that Teresa had on me to young girls,” said Carsyn.  “As Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, I would be able to promote my platform, the Heart Of Art, but I would also be able to leave the legacy and impact I have always strived for in this program and to people everywhere.”

SUNNY FRECKLES PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo courtesy SunnyFreckles Photography

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CLICK HERE to follow Miss Scotts Bluff County’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Carsyn Long on Facebook

For more information about the Miss Scotts Bluff County Pageant, CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook page and HERE on their website. For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Cheryl Engelhaupt by phone at 308-783-2940 or at 308-635-8615.

For more information on becoming a Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestant, contact Director Heather Edwards at heatheraloseke@gmail.com or Director Kali Tripp at kalinicoletv@gmail.com.

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The 2016 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant takes place June 8-11 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Fur Trade Days 2016 Alex O’Connor!

NEXT.. Miss Platte River’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Emma Young!

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!

Special Feature, Nebraska’s Outstanding Teens

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” — Maya Angelou

Yup.  I posted that.

I apologize for the language, but I think Ms. Angelou is pretty accurate with her assessment.  And if one of America’s most respected authors/poets wants to swear, who I am to change her quote??

Now, meet the young women taking charge and living these words.

all the teens wo chelsea all the teens wo morgan

The 9 ladies competing for the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teenager.

This relatively new honor is the sister-organization of Miss America.  Women competing for Miss America must be at least a senior in high school, and may range in age from 17-24 years old.  Miss America’s Outstanding Teen allows girls ranging in age from 12-17 (in some cases, 18) to participate as well.  Just like their ‘Miss’ counterparts, these young ladies compete in talent, evening gown, interview, and a modified fitness portion (no swimsuits, instead a choreographed routine to display health.)

Today, in a special feature, meet the nine teenagers from across the state hoping to become Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.  Several of these young ladies were eager to share a little more about themselves as they prepare for North Platte!

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BreaHanna Harlow

Alliance, BreaHanna Harlow

BreaHanna is 16, from Scottsbluff, attending Leyton High School.

“I’m competing because I love teaching others the struggles underprivileged students go through,” said BreaHanna.  “I believe that if you can convince one person, you can convince the world.”

BreaHanna is a cheerleader at Leyton High, works at the Buckle, and says she really enjoys the comfort of her family.

“Pageants have taught me that beauty isn’t everything,” said BreaHanna.  “All you need in pageants and in life overall is a great personality and knowledge about the future and past.  My motto is always believe there’s a better solution to everything and that all you need is support.”

Click here to learn more about the Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Allie Boggs

Chadron, Allie Boggs

Allie is 16, from Gering, attending Gering High School.

Her Facebook page is loaded with pictures showing Allie participating in Cheer/Dance at school, including District competitions.

Senior pictures also show off Allie’s love for dance, especially ballet.

Allie also competed last year at the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen pageant.

Click here to learn more about the Miss Chadron’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Shelbe Stroh

Crane Watch, Shelbe Stroh

Shelbe is 15, from Elkhorn, a freshman at Elkhorn South High School.

“School has been my number one priority,” Shelbe told me.  “I have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout my first year of high school, I am a member of Elkhorn South student council as well as DECA, FCCLA, and SADD.  I play soccer and plan to play volleyball for the school in the fall.”

Shelbe also volunteers in the Omaha metro area, helping the homeless and near homeless.

“I [spend] my time at the Open Door Mission serving dinner and working with the youth in the Lydia House,” said Shelbe.  “I also volunteered at the Special Olympics bowling games.”

In what little free time she has, Shelbe says she enjoys poetry, finding new songs for her playlist, hitting the gym, and adding to the ‘tie-dye and hipster fashion’ collages in her bedroom.

“Pageants have allowed me to improve my leadership, communication and thinking skills,” said Shelbe.  “I have grown as a person, for I have tested my strength in mind and body.  I love the gratification that comes along with success.  Each day, I strive to improve myself and feed off failure to obtain success.”

Click here to learn more about the Miss Crane Festival’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Caylen Calderon

Gering, Caylen Calderon

Caylen is from Scottsbluff and attends Scottsbluff High School where she plays volleyball and is a member of the choir

Browse through Caylen’s photos and one thing is clear–she LOVES being a sister.

Family and friends are a definite priority for this young lady.  They were by her side as she was crowned Gering’s Outstanding Teen, and no doubt they will be cheering her on in North Platte!

Click here to learn more about the Miss Gering’s Outstanding Teen program.

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chelsea Arnold

Northwest, Chelsea Arnold

Chelsea is 16 from Crete.  She attends school at… well, that’s part of Chelsea’s story and her personal platform, ‘The Importance of Individualized Education’.

“My primary goal is to help students reach their full academic potential by exposing them to different models of learning,” Chelsea told me recently.  “Whether in a traditional school, home school or as an online student, it’s important to explore differing learning styles and resources.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ or standard education.  Every individual learns differently and I am passionate about exposing people to new ideas.”

Chelsea has attended private, public and charter schools in Florida, California and Nebraska.  She says the traditional classroom didn’t work for her.

“I left traditional school nearly halfway through my sophomore year and took up classes full time through the University of Nebraska High School online,” said Chelsea.  “I couldn’t be happier with the education I’m getting right now and I want every student to have that feeling!”

Chelsea said her new schedule allows her more time to pursue other passions including theater, singing and modeling.  Chelsea recently appeared on the cover of Oriental Trading Company’s catalog.  She also volunteers in her free time.

“When Children’s Hospital would like to have a craft hour or needs someone to man the phones for a telethon, I can be there!” said Chelsea.  “I call Bingo twice a week at Tabitha Nursing Center as well.”

Chelsea will stay busy until the day she arrives in North Platte; she is currently on a 3-week cruise to Alaska via Vancouver, Canada!

Click here to learn more about the Miss Northwest’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Morgan Holen

Omaha, Morgan Holen

Morgan is 16, from Omaha, attending Elkhorn South High School (the Storm will be well represented at Miss Nebraska!)

Morgan is following in some beautiful footsteps; her mom, Jodi, was Miss Nebraska 1988.  Just like her mother, Morgan has a passion for dance.

“I have been dancing for 13 years and dance roughly 18-20 hours a week both for my school dance team and for my competitive dance team, Kitty Lee Dance,” Morgan told me a in a recent interview.

Morgan says one of her favorite things about being Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen is volunteering.

“With my title I have been able to volunteer for activities like IHOP National Pancake Day, Race to 50K, and the telethon through Children’s Miracle Network,” said Morgan.  “My favorite activity is sponsoring craft hour at Children’s Hospital.”

Morgan is also spreading word about her personal platform of service, ‘Random Acts of Kindness’.

“Many of us have heard about the person who paid for the car behind them at Burger King or Starbucks, but random acts of kindness don’t require money,” said Morgan.  “Each one of us has the ability to make a difference in someone’s life every day.”

Morgan also encourages all young ladies to think about participating in Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen program.

“I believe whole-heartedly in the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organizations and would strongly recommend any teenage girl to be a part of it,” said Morgan.  “This organization not only provides scholarships, but also encourages poise, confidence and service.  I have seen contestants gain success on and off stage no matter where they placed in the pageant.  The experience gained is valuable for all who participate.”

Click here to learn more about the Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Alexis McGlone

Panhandle, Alexis McGlone

Alexis is 15, from Mitchell, Neb., attending Mitchell High School where she is a member of the show choir, volleyball team and the cheerleading squad.

Her photos on Facebook show a VERY busy young lady, climbing mountains, participating at Maranatha Bible Camp, even taking part in flour fights!

Alexis has also competed in the Miss America system before, and has many photos alongside girls she’s competing with.

With only a few weeks to go before the state pageant, Alexis is getting ready, singing in front of crowds at her school.  As one friend commented, ‘great practice for the pageant!’

Click here to learn more about the Miss Panhandle’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Allison Baird

Scotts Bluff County, Allison Baird

Allison is 16, from Gering, Neb., attending Gering High School. (The Bull Dogs will also have two contestants competing for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen!)

Allison, or ‘Allie’ is active in drama at her school, recently starring in the musical Cinderella.  She’s also on the dance/cheer team, and part of the state runner-up speech team at Gering.

Allie is also a member of the show choir.  If her albums on Facebook are any indication, she is a VERY busy young lady, constantly smiling and surrounded by friends!

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Grace Heggem

Western Nebraska, Grace Heggem

Grace is this year’s youngest competitor, just 14 years old.  She is from Scottsbluff and attends Community Christian School.

“I’m doing this pageant because I’m excited to improve my speaking skills and I think it greatly helps in improving maturity,” Grace told me recently.  “I also, of course, am looking forward to making lots of memories with some amazing girls.”

Grace says she loves to play the piano.  She is using her year as Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen to spread awareness of her personal platform of service, mentoring.

Grace has been on the honor roll multiple times at Community Christian School, maintaining an A average throughout her 7th grade year.

She also runs track, finishing as a top competitor in the 200 meter run in her division.

Click here to learn more about the Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen program.

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Each of these young ladies will at some point probably talk, laugh and take photos with THIS young lady..

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Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2013, Samantha Washington

One year ago, this teenager was just like all of the girls you just read about; working hard in school, practicing to be a better singer and dancer, and volunteering to make her community a better place.  All of those qualities helped Samantha earn the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

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She summed up her year of service in a post on the Miss NE OT Facebook page in January.

Hi everybody! I just wanted to share a picture that sums up my whole year. 2013 has been a year to remember. It’s been a year of change. for one, I started out 2013 being 5’3″ tall…I am now 5’7.5″ and of course… I’m 15 years old. But I’ve really changed as a person over the year. When receiving the title of Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, I was a little nervous. 15 years old, still very immature, going into my sophomore year of high school and just awkward. But having this title has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me (as you can see from the picture below) I’ve met so many friends, new family members (the MNOT crew), tried new things. And grew…physically and as a person. Not too long after the pageant I had found out that my friend had committed suicide. Which forced me to mature to the best of my ability. While at nationals, I and the other 51 girls talked for hours where I brought up the passing of my friend. Those 51 girls helped me realize that no matter what you’re going through, you’re never going through it alone. Something I soon said to my friends back home. This organization helped me see that no matter where I go or what I do in life, as time goes on you meet people who change your life, your legs may grow, your feet may grow, your arms may grow, but most importantly, your heart WILL grow to make room for your growing inventory of lessons, family, advice, friends, kind words and everything that you receive over your travels.  Thank you so much everybody for helping me grow (:
 
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WHO WILL BE NEXT?

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Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2014 will be crowned June 7, 2014 in North Platte.

For more information, check out the organization online or on Facebook.

You can also follow the organization on Twitter.

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