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First Miss Mt. Pleasant and Outstanding Teen crowned
Miss Mt. Pleasant Scholarship Organization hosted their first pageant over the weekend
Jan. 30, 2023 12:17 pm, Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 8:25 am
MT. PLEASANT—Saturday night, the new Miss Mount Pleasant Scholarship Program crowned Mariah Martinez as the first Miss Mt. Pleasant and Elizabeth Maine as the first Miss Mt. Pleasant Outstanding Teen at the Heatilator Performing Arts Center.
An audience sprinkled with sparkling crowns filled the Heatilator Performing Arts center as Five young women competed for the title of Miss Mt. Pleasant, and four teenagers competed for the Outstanding Teen title.
In a beautiful light pink sparkling gown, chosen by her mother, Martinez accepted her crown as Miss Mt. Pleasant.
Martinez is currently a third year special education educator at Rock Island and Milan School District. She aspires to be an Elementary Principal in the future.
During the interview portion, Martinez answered the question, “When it comes to overcoming obstacles regarding a lack of resources to young women, what specific resource do you provide, time energy, or something else?”
“I think it is a combination of all of them,” she said. “When you dedicate your time to mentor girls, the resources do follow.”
“Your community truly does amplify the work you are doing and provides for these girls,” she replied.
“Every day when I walk in as an educator or advocate for women, I ensure that every girl feels loved, that we have the resources, the communication, and that this girl becomes a pivotal part of this society as a leader.”
Along with claiming the title of Miss Mt. Pleasant, Martinez also took home the Miss Top Interview Award.
Right now, Martinez actively participates in leading girls through L.O.V.E. Girls Magazine.
“Imagine a little girl, just thirteen years old, desperate for a purpose, and doesn’t believe that her life holds value,” Martinez expanded on her social impact initiative during the pageant. “She finds L.O.V.E. Girls Magazine, a safe place for her story to be told and heard.”
“L.O.V.E. Girls Magazine is more than a magazine,” she said. “We are a community. A community full of love where our girls become leaders in our communities, overcome challenges and value themselves, as they empower one another.”
“Every single girl has a story, and yours deserves to be heard,” she said.
During the talent portion of the pageant, Martinez took the stage in an orange jumps suit and delivered a compelling monologue concerning the inconsistent opportunities afforded to students in the public school system.
“My number is 133619, and my sentence is 12 years,” Martinez began.
She tells a story of riding a bus and contemplating her existence. “They took away art and music, and I hear chatter that the library is next,” She said. “I mean, what’s new? They banned half our books anyways.”
Martinez told a story of a rundown building with a lack of resources filled with theft and violence.
“This place is none other than the average low-income school in the United States of America,” Martinez said. “Why should I be condemned to this kind of education based on where my parents stay or how much taxes my neighbors pay?”
“I’m begging you to see education inequality that 40% that people that look like me are experiencing,” she said.
As she peeled off the orange jump suit, “But that’s not where my story ends,” she said. “Thank you to the educators that helped me make it through. I looked up to you so much, I became one of you.”
“I worked hard and I achieved. I graduated with three degrees,” Martinez stated, “to prove that this uniform no longer defines me.”
Other Miss Candidates included first runner up Alana Lair, People’s Choice Victoria Young, Regan Tucker, and Ava Courneya.
Liar, of Iowa City, performed a jazz dance for talent.
She also spoke about her social impact initiative of promoting Oral Health with I-Smile which aligns perfectly with her aspiration to become a dental hygienist.
Young, of Davenport, aspires to become a trauma surgeon, and passionately advocates for girls participation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Arts).
She performed a color guard routine for her talent.
Regan Tucker of Moline, Illinois, hopes to become a pediatric nurse.
She performed a solo of “For Good,” from Wicked for her talent.
Tucker wishes to empower young adults to volunteer in their communities.
Much like the new Miss Mt. Pleasant, Courneya of Minneapolis, MN., works in education and aspires to become a school superintendent.
She also performed a monologue for her talent.
Courneya’s social impact initiative focused on supporting urban public schools.
Miss Mt. Pleasant Outstanding Teen Elizabeth Maine from Wapello hopes to become a high school math teacher and dance coach in the future.
Maine showed off her dance skills in an expressive musical theater dance to “They Just Keep Moving the line,” by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for the talent portion of the evening.
In an iridescent cream, pink, and blue gown, Maine, obtained the Teen Top Interview Award with her impactful answer to the question, “Other than your social impact initiative, which issues do you think are impacting teenagers the most?”
“Definitely would have to be our mental health,” she answered quickly.
“Struggling myself with suicidal thoughts and depression,” Maine answered while holding back tears. “And I see my friends struggling with these issues as well. We need to have those resources available for teens so they can get the help they deserve.”
The social impact initiative close to Maine’s heart is The Key to Life: It’s in Your Blood which encourages people to make blood donations to those who need it the most.
Other teen contestants included Ashton Coder, Olivia Harringotn, and Eleanor Gordon.
Coder of Cranston plucked the petals from a flower as she delivered a self-written monologue about finding her sunlight.
This monologue paired well with her social impact initiative The Sunflower Project.
Coder hopes to become a taxidermist.
Harrington, from Milo, aspires to work in public service with a non-profit.
She delivered an energetic baton routine to a Megan Trainor song and spoke on behalf of her social impact initiative R.A.I.S.E (respect, accept, include, support, educate) Autism Awareness.
Eleanor Gordon of Shueyville aspires to become an elementary education administrator.
Gordon also performed a baton routine for her talent at the Miss Mt. Pleasant Pageant Saturday evening.
During her moment to expand on her social impact initiative, Gordon spoke about Be Kind to Every Kind.
Both Miss Mt. Pleasant and Miss Mt. Pleasant Outstanding Teen will go on to compete in the Miss Iowa pageant later this year.