Tag Archive | Just Shoot Me Photographics

When I Grow Up

I’ve written quite a bit lately about young women inspired by strong, beautiful, talented women who came before them.  Over and over again, I’ve heard of these teenagers and college students volunteering, working hard to better themselves, trying to make a difference for others, all because of someone who they saw doing the same thing when they were a little girl.  How often did these girls watch acts of kindness or moments of greatness and think ‘I want to be just like her when I grow up!’

Ladies and gentlemen, THAT is the power of the Miss America Organization.

It’s an endless cycle of GOOD that I’ll share proof of yet again through the story of Cherokee Purviance, an outstanding young woman representing a place she calls ‘the best hometown in America’: Alliance, Nebraska.

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Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“I chose to compete because when I was a little girl, I looked up to Megan Dimmitt, a Miss Nebraska contestant many times in the past, and also my first ever piano teacher,” Cherokee recently told me.  “Role models like Megan drove me to compete and start teaching piano students of my own.”

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Click here to learn more about Megan Dimmitt, Miss High Plains 2014!

With her role model’s complete support, Cherokee pursued Miss America’s partner program, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, in 2015.  Using the skills Megan taught her, she took the same stage her mentor had for so many years, and competed for one of our state’s top honors.

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Photo courtesy Kamie Stephen for the North Platte Telegraph

Cherokee didn’t take the title, but she went home to Alliance with even more zest for the program she’d heard about for so many years, and everything each titleholder is entrusted to carry out.

“I wrote an essay last year about breaking pageant stereotypes,” said Cherokee.  “One thing that I wrote in that paper was that people who say that pageants are all about the beauty, clearly have never experienced the MAO Teen organization.  This organization has taught me to grow in my passion for my platform.”

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Yes, despite an extensive piano background and a self-described knack for music, art and history, this program fueled Cherokee’s desire to serve and help others.  When she was crowned Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen 2016, Cherokee was determined to increase her efforts to spread awareness of dyslexia

“I chose this as my platform because it is something I struggle with everyday that doesn’t get enough attention from parents and teachers,” said Cherokee.  “I have strengths other students don’t because I am dyslexic.  I am more artistic and musically inclined than students without dyslexia.  Dyslexia is my greatest struggle and my greatest strength.  I am passionate about teaching this to other teens, possibly preventing drastic measures such as suicide due to thinking they are not smart or are ‘stupid’.”

Cherokee has also volunteered to help children in need shop for Christmas paresents, she’s taken part in local Girl Scout events, and helped with community activities across Alliance.  She is wrapping up her sophomore year at Alliance High School, where she’s in show choir and the school musical and she accompanies her choir on piano.  In addition, Cherokee plays tennis, dances and paints (her work was recently recognized by Nebraska 4H!)

At all of these events.. someone small is watching Cherokee.  In Alliance and perhaps elsewhere, there are undoubtedly little girls looking up to her, just as she looked up to Megan years ago.  And just as her mentor stood under the bright lights at Miss Nebraska stage and inspired someone else.. Cherokee hopes to now hear those same words, ‘when I grow up’.. as Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

just shoot me photographics

Photo courtesy Just Shoot Me Photographics

“I would be a great role model for children and teens of all ages,” said Cherokee.  I would be able to spread word of my platform to parents, teachers and [those] close to my heart, teens and children whose self esteem has been brought down because they no longer think they’re smart.  I would be give me the chance to promote my platform on a wider spectrum and to be an advocate for those suffering children and teens.”

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WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHEROKEE?

2015 * Girls And Dolls

For more information about the Miss Alliance’s OT/Miss Harvest Moon Festival’s OT/Miss Panhandle’s Outstanding Teen pageant, CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook page.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Melinda Cullan by phone at 308-710-5593, or by email at maot.alliance@gmail.com.

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 Kearney 2016 Stacy Pospisil!

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

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!

Nebraska’s Top Model

Anyone watch America’s Next Top Model?

Anyone?

C’mon..I know SOMEONE out there used to DVR it every week like me. Legendary Supermodel Tyra Banks chooses several dozen potential models from casting calls across the country.  These young women must then take part in photo shoots, commercials and experiences to best prepare them (and test them) for the high-pressure world of professional modelling.  Aside from the cat fights, gossip and inevitable tears during makeovers (‘Tyra cut my hair!!!! My life is OVER!!!’), there was a time I. LOVED. THIS. SHOW!!  ANTM was my binge TV–I’d watch marathons while doing laundry all Saturday or on a rainy day off from work.

Over the seasons, Tyra revealed details about a tough adolescence.  She told ABCNews: “I was thin, I was 98 pounds, I was 5 foot 9, I was an inch shorter than I am now.  So that is not just supermodel thin, that’s just, like, what’s-wrong-with-her thin, and I had very low self-esteem because nothing I could do would make me gain weight.”

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Hard to believe now, looking one of the world’s most beautiful, successful women..

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..but Tyra Banks will NEVER forget those years.  Now worth an estimated $90 million as a model, host, producer, author, etc.. Banks donates time and money to numerous causes devoted to young women, including her own TZONE program, aimed at leadership and life skills development, and the Tyra Banks Scholarship, a scholarship fund for African American girls.

They say life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.

Cue Nebraska’s Top Model.

Just Shoot Me Photographics

MISS ALLIANCE’S OUTSTANDING TEEN 2015 SHANIAH FREESEMAN

(Photo courtesy Just Shoot Me Photographics)

“I can describe myself in three words: I’M A FIGHTER,” Shaniah told me recently.  “I was insecure about myself when I was younger and I didn’t feel like I fit in.  I was the girl with the glasses, I looked like a string bean with long legs (given the nickname daddy long legs), and I had crooked teeth.  What I didn’t realize until later is that God created me unique.”

Shaniah, a high school student from Gordon, Nebraska moved from Nebraska, to Colorado, back to Nebraska when she was younger.  Making new friends compounded the feelings she already had about not fitting in, but Shaniah says she was determined to keep her chin up.

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“My faith and my family are what really helped me through this change,” said Shaniah.  “Family means so much to me, and I love being able to say that God has blessed me with these amazing people.”

Shaniah is determined to share her story, both her challenges and what empowered her, to others who need a boost.

“I know what it’s like to be in their shoes,” said Shaniah.  “I use what I’ve had to go through to make me a stronger person that helps motivate others to overcome their challenges as well.”

That message is now part of Shaniah’s personal platform as Miss Alliance’s OT, ‘Overcoming Adversity’.  Shaniah recently visited Gordon Elementary to read to students and just to talk to them about never giving up when there’s a bump in the road.

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“I have always loved kids and making kids smile always brightens my day!” said Shaniah.  “Not only is it amazing for me to tell my stories, but I am all ears to people who have things they’d like to share with me.  I am striving to be a leader in my community and a role model to others.  Everyone has their own difficulties, but I am here to show people that it is possible to get through them.”

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  Shaniah is also busy with her own activities, including her church’s worship team, multiple youth group/bible studies groups, and singing opportunities through church as well as through Miss Alliance’s OT events.

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“I have [performed] the National Anthem at multiple events such as basketball games, a wrestling tournament, and the NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) banquet.  I have also shared my love for Christ through music, by singing solos at church, talent shows, at the Sandhills Alive music festival, as well as just kicking back and singing with my family and friends,” said Shaniah.  “When I think of pageants, I think of an opportunity to share my love for Jesus through music and show people that beauty is what’s on the inside.”

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Shaniah adds that the Miss America Organization reinforces her belief that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and has helped her build poise, public speaking skills, determination and confidence.  That girl who was once self-conscious, embarking on a scary, new adventure just days before school began in a new town, now holds her crowned head high.

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“Even though I have long legs, now I’m a starting varsity volleyball player,” said Shaniah, who also plays basketball, competes in track and is a member of her school’s color guard.  “My teeth have straightened out and I have learned to accept myself for who I am.  No matter what people might tell me, I’m beautiful in my own way and I keep telling myself that.  I don’t let the difficulties tear me down, I let them build me up.  I can’t wait to continue sharing my platform, and inspiring others, all while being associated with the Miss Nebraska Organization!”

Tyra, if you’re reading this.. feel free to contact Shaniah but just hold off for a few weeks; this Top Role Model’s already booked through June, ready to compete for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

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(Photo courtesy Just Shoot Me Photographics)

Follow Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen 2015 Shaniah Freeseman

 on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter.

Click here for a special feature on Shaniah on the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Facebook page!

To contact Shaniah for appearances and events, click here to visit the Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen pageant on Facebook.

For more information about the Miss Alliance’s Outstanding Teen pageant, including how to become a contestant, contact Director Melinda Cullan at 308-710-5593 or by email at maot.alliance@gmail.com.

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The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will take place June 5, 2015 in North Platte.  Click here to visit the organization’s website or the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant on Facebook and on Twitter.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Gering 2015 Kaylee Carlberg

NEXT.. Miss Western Nebraska 2015 Chrissy Townsend

To read more about the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.