|3/5/2014 9:45:00 PM|
CHS teen Jessica Miller
earns Miss Lake Chelan crown
When it was time for the 2014 Miss Lake Chelan to be crowned, Jessica Miller says she heard the announcement, but didn't register that is was her name that was called.
"I was shocked, wasn't expecting anything really but the experience of being in the pageant. It didn't really hit me until I saw Sarah Kunkle, the former Miss Lake Chelan, bringing me flowers," Miller said.
Then it hit her.
"I cried and saw my whole family cheering," she added.
The newly crowned teen stays busy with a fulltime running start schedule, cheerleading, playing music and even knitting during her free time.
After high school, Miller says she plans to attend a four-year university where she hopes to follow in her mother's footsteps as an elementary education teacher.
"I might also want to teach music to elementary kids," she said.
Miller got her start in wanting to teach elementary kids by helping out in her mother's classroom at Brewster Elementary School.
"I've shadowed local teachers as well," she said.
The same love of children is what drew Miller to running in the Miss Lake Chelan pageant last month.
"I've always known I wanted to do (Miss Lake Chelan pageant)," Miller said.
From a young age, seeing princesses in pretty dresses and crowns, Miller says she's always wanted to be just like them. Now, she hopes to pass along hopes and dreams to young kids as former royalty did for her.
"I love working with kids, I love to be a role model for the little girls to look up to in the community," she added.
But the road to the crown was a tough one, with additional time management skills needing to be garnered. Through the busy schedules on the road to the selection ceremony, Miller says she got a deeper look into the local community, its generosity and its kindness.
"The pageant took a lot of time and effort, but it was really cool to see how much everyone was willing to support us," Miller said.
All Miss Lake Chelan contestants were awarded scholarships for their participation, each girl walked away with at least $750. But as the newly crowned Miss Lake Chelan, Miller was awarded $2,550 towards higher education.
"I am over the moon, I'm really excited about this," Miller said. "I can't believe the genorosity of the community, I'm just so proud to be part of Chelan."
Other than being a role model to aspiring royalty, Miller says she's most excited about getting to represent her hometown.
"Being Miss Lake Chelan means I get to show how much pride I have for where I live, I love getting to tell people I'm from Chelan," she added.
Miller says she will wear the crown with pride, and keep the characteristics of a good role model as part of her daily goals.
"A good role model would be compassionate, kind, caring, not quick to judge, put yourself in someone else's shoes."
The feeling of having an impact on a young girl's life, is something that Miller will cherish for years to come. And, it began almost immediately after she was crowned.
"The night of the pageant a young girl came up to me, she was just staring at me. I let her hold my crown. It was honestly the highlight of my night."
For Miller, wearing the crown will get her more familiar with young children, and help her in her road to becoming an elementary teacher.
"I love that (children) are so innocent, the world is so new and fascinating. They see everything with young eyes," Miller said.
On the path to discovering herself, getting to be the role model she's always wanted to be, being awards funds to further her education and being given the ability to represent the town she loves, Miller has one thing to say:
"Thank you so much."
"I mean, I just got $2,550 to go to college. I just want to say thanks to everyone for being so supportive. One of the main reasons I'm proud to be from Chelan is because people are so willing to represent us, support us and Chelan," she added.
In this busy teen's free time, Miller says she loves spending time with her friends, or locking herself in her room for hours writing and playing music.
"I also like to bake and knit," she added.
Other activities Miller enjoys is singing at her church, Real Life Lake Chelan, where she sings almost on a weekly basis.
"I just love singing," she added.
Amber Schlenker can be reached at 509-682-2213 or by email
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