fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Hot Florida Days, Award-Winning Nights

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 21:50

DYE_3744They’re at it again to a slightly more lively crowd but just as much heart. For the second of three nights, fifty-three teens represented their home states. Tonight recognized judges in particular. In addition to a special reception following the program, audience members serenaded distinguished judge Chris Judd who celebrated his birthday today.

Another group of young women rocked the stage and showed off their workout gear but not before all fifty-three contestants flexed their muscles in the lifestyle and fitness in sportswear production number. Exemplifying healthy living throughout each night of competitions, this portion of the show promotes a higher standard of living. Contestants of all shapes and sizes are competing for the crown this week proving that beauty radiates from the inside out.

Celebration was in the air, not only for birthday boy Chris Judd, but also for three more teens who were awarded preliminary scholarships and four teens who received medals. The Duke of Edinburgh award was presented to Outstanding Teens from Connecticut, Maryland, Alabama, and South Carolina who were honored for their volunteerism, physical fitness, skills, and expedition.

The preliminary scholarship award for talent was bestowed on not one but two teen contestants who tied for their performances Wednesday evening. Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen Jameson Kenerly performed a lyrical twirl to “Once Upon a December,” and Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Laura Leigh Turner tapped to “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. The talent portion of the program counts for 35 percent of the total score. In addition to preliminary scholarships, an instrumental talent scholarship will be awarded to two contestants this week.

Accounting for 20 percent of the total score, evening wear and on-stage question tests contestants’ confidence and poise. Preliminary scholarship recipient Andolyn Medina, Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen, has these qualities in spades. She was asked how she remains a positive role model in times of adversity.

Andolyn says that although the media at times portrays teens in a negative light, children of this age group should continue to show others the passion they have inside them. She added teens are a great group of people, “I would know, I am one,” she said.

Tomorrow’s program will welcome Teens in Training Camp participants and Precious Princesses on stage. Stay tuned!

Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer Photos: Allen Dye

MAOTeens 'Got the Moves Like Jagger'

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 22:06

DYE_2982_1When Miss America’s Outstanding Teen execs Kim Parrish and Kristin Black said this year’s teen program was going to be surprising, they weren’t kidding. With all-new music including Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger,' and performance routines, contestants wowed and entertained judges and audience members alike.

To date, the MAOTeen organization has provided its contestants with more than $4 million in scholarships. This year continued the tradition toward higher education. Scholarship recipients from the MAOTeen class of 2013 will receive more than $120,000 in-cash scholarships and thousands of dollars of scholarships from universities across the country. The 2013 titleholder will be awarded $25,000 in cash scholarship money.

Two scholarships in the amount of $500 each were awarded at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s program including awards for talent and for evening gown and on-stage question. From opera to tap to self-composed piano ballads to a fiddle rendition of “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” teens set the bar for all other elements of the program extraordinarily high. Winner of the talent competition and scholarship recipient Molly May, Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen, sang “I am Changing,” a number she chose because “it felt natural,” she says. Molly sang the song for her local pageant and has been singing it since she was a little girl. Along with that experience, Molly still feels some nerves on stage, but she kept them at bay with high hopes and a little help from above.

“I pray and just say God’s will be done. It was a miracle though, because I have been sick,” she says.

Molly plans to put the scholarship money toward buying college books. She’s hoping to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

But talent is more than a well-practice routine. It encompasses grace, poise, and confidence which is where the evening wear and on-stage question competitions measure contestants’ charm. Questions for contestants Tuesday night were written by their fellow teens, and the winner of the competition, Jessica Richards, Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen, received a $500 scholarship for her witty and selfless response. She was asked, if she was invisible for a day, what the first thing she would do is. Jokingly, Jessica said she’d first play a prank on her little brother (whom she also adores). Then she would set out to perform kind acts in her community.

“Little acts of kindness bring the biggest smile to my face. I’d love to do that under cover,” she said.

Wednesday night’s program continues the festivities. Stay tuned for fourpoints’ coverage of the event and to read about the crowning of the Princess Camp!

Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer. Photo: Alan Dye. Tuesday night preliminary scholarship recipients Jessica Richards, Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen, and Molly May, Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teen, pose together after the program.

Launching Careers Thanks to MAO

Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:55

8-6_Headline_News_PhotoThe Miss America program teaches its contestants and titleholders many lessons. For Miss Oregon 2004 Brooke Roberts, the most important one was how to be a true saleswoman. Brooke was able to develop her skills in sales which in turn allows her to flourish in her career and life in general.

As a contestant in the Miss Oregon and then Miss America pageants, Brooke had to convince judges and strangers that she was cut out for the role of a titleholder. During her year of service, her job was to sell the program, sell her platform, and convince others that she was the right woman for the job.

When her year was finished, she took on a new role as news anchor for a local CBS affiliate. She became an entertainment reporter, traveled the world, and hosted and produced documentaries. She found her true calling as a home shopping host.

After Brooke was crowned, several doors opened up for her, and through networking, she was able to brand and market herself in order to make good use of each opportunity and create more.

"At every corner I found ways to get the Miss America program exposure while putting my own personality on the airwaves. Through experience and hard work, I became one of the best-selling hosts at a nationally televised home shopping network," Brooke says.

Brooke has been featured on shows like The Amazing Race, and she is getting ready to host and star in her own reality TV series. She has an online magazine, store, and her own show.

"I'm acutely aware that the Miss America Organization gave me the knowledge, experience, and confidence to go after what I want," Brooke says.

Taking full advantage of the lessons she learned as a contestant, Brooke has launched her career forward and is already obtaining her life-goals by networking and marketing her skills and herself.

Ask the Expert: Johnathan Kayne

Monday, 30 July 2012 15:31

7.31_headline_news_Photo_smallerJohnathan Kayne is an expert designer who can put to rest your burning questions about pageant attire. Check out what he has to say about making the big walk across the stage!

How can I find shoes that look good on stage, but are also comfortable?

Look at the construction of high hells and find something with more padding in the instep of the heel. I currently use three times the industry standard and don't stop there. We use a German embossed sole that absorbs the stress of every step and offers more traction and support.

I'm having a hard time finding the right gown. What should I do?

The best thing to do first is your research. A whole world of information is at your fingertips with the Internet. Print the dresses that catch your eye and find out what retailers carry those designs or similar. Visit that store and communicate what you want and show them the pictures that you like, but also let them make suggestions to you. They may have the perfect dress for you that you have not seen yet. Trust the professionals.

I like to be a bit trendy when I compete. What's going to be hot the rest of this year?

There are two major trends I am seeing everywhere right now and they are:

  • Bling is in! Big, chunky stones are everywhere. Show your personality and be bold with this sparkly trend. Even if a more simple gown is your style, make a fashion statement with your jewelry and accessories.
  • Bright neon colors are everywhere! Now, I am not saying wear a fluorescent highlighter yellow evening gown, but think outside the box with your accessories. A beaded champagne gown would be gorgeous with an unexpected pop of neon color. Feathers are also a huge trend right now in accessories, so maybe incorporate those.

For more advice from our attire expert, subscribe to fourpoints

The Stuff Judges Are Made Of

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 08:32

If you have ever had the privilege of judging a Miss America preliminary pageant, you know that it is a wonderful opportunity and a huge responsibility. When you are asked to join a panel of judges, you are being asked to choose a titleholder who will represent a community for an entire year and go on to the next level of competition. It's not an easy job, or one that should be taken lightly. Be an able, competent judge by using this guide.

Know the Scoring System

The Miss America Organization has its own unique scoring system, like all pageant systems. Before the day your pageant begins, familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric so you give thoughtful scores to each contestant.

For preliminary competitions, each contestant is judged in all phases of competition (interview, talent, onstage question, swimsuit, and evening wear) and given a score ranging from one to ten. There is no hard and fast rule on what kind of performance deserves a certain score–that is up to your discretion. It is a subjective scoring system, but McNeil Chestnut, a volunteer in North Carolina who often teaches judging seminars, suggests that you start with a five. Before a contestant steps on the stage or in the interview room, is is at a five–average. From there, her score can go up or down. Very low scores (one to three) or very high scores (eight to ten) should be reserved for extreme performances. A good way to avoid comparative scoring is to act as if each contestant is the only contestant in the pageant.

Know What You Are Looking For

Each titleholder within the Miss America system has the same basic job–represent her community during her year of service, work on her platform, and compete at the next level. However, each local or state title has unique responsibilities and requirements. During your judging prep at the pageant, ask pointed questions to the judges chairperson or executive director on exactly what kind of contestant they are searching out. For example, some titleholders do intensive school tours during their year. You will need to find a contestant who is willing and able to travel constantly, can speak to large, diverse groups, and thinks quickly on her feet. You are always searching for the next Miss State or Miss America, but the reality is this: only one contestant goes on to hold that title.

Know the End Game

When you judge a pageant and see your titleholder crowned, it can feel like an ending. In actuality, it's all just beginning for the newly crowned titleholder and the pageant that will support her. In the moment that crown is placed on her head, her entire life has changed. It is imperative that you take your job of judging very seriously. You are giving a pageant system a titleholder that will help further their message and forever be a part of their history. You are making a difference.

To learn more tips for judging preliminary pageants, subscribe to fourpoints!

fpts_post-the_right_lookAs a pageant contestant, you know how difficult it is to find the “perfect” gown to wear during competition. You’ve probably tried on hundreds of dresses, and maybe you’re a bit frustrated in the search. You’re not alone. It isn’t easy picking out the perfect dress, and the right look for a pageant contestant is based on several factors.

As a storeowner, when I am consulting a new girl for the first time, I always want to talk to them and see what their personality is like. I ask them, “What type of look are you going for? What did you envision yourself in? What kind of fit do you like? Do you have an inspiration of a titleholder? What looks make you feel beautiful when trying on gowns? What is your budget?”

From there, the fun begins. I start pulling dresses and have them start trying them on. Determining the contestant’s personality is important because the dress has to reflect the personality of the contestant (e.g., fun, playful, outgoing, elegant). She should be wearing the dress–not the dress wearing her.

Beyond that, some top key elements of finding the perfect dress would be the fit of the gown. It definitely needs to highlight the best parts of their body. Color is also a factor; it needs to be complimentary to her skin tone. And make use of the opinions of others. The opinion of directors can help guide a contestant to make the appropriate choice based on color, fit, style, and budget.

The biggest factor in finding the perfect dress is how the contestant ultimately feels in her gown because the right look will only help her exude confidence and her true beauty will shine through. The winning choice is the gown that brings the biggest smile to the contestant’s face, makes her feel beautiful, and if she does not want to take it off.

To read more tips on finding the perfect pageant look, subscribe to fourpoints!

Source: Larissa Maner owns Shimmer Boutique in Carrollton, Texas Photo: David Jones/stock.xchng

STEMphotoThe Miss America Organization is proud to announce that Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler has been named by as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

According to STEMconnector, Laura was chosen based on her efforts to promote "education for young women and her personal platform: mentoring children of incarcerated parents."

"Much of Laura's time is spent encouraging young women to pursue studies in STEM subjects in an effort to bridge the gender gap among an already pressing issue," according to the STEMconnector publication.

"As I look at the statistics and see that 49 percent of female students say that they chose a STEM profession to help make a difference in our world, I become even more passionate about promoting this type of education. Every day I meet children from all walks of life throughout my travels and they share amazing stories about their hopes and dreams. If we can channel those dreams into applied sciences and formal education and an application of their personal interests, then we can foster them into reality rather than simply smiling with pride," Laura says.

This one-of-a-kind publication honors the careers and initiatives of one hundred women in all STEM industries. With this, STEMconnector aims to advance the cause of more girls and women pursuing a STEM career as the United States' economy relies more than ever on a prepared STEM workforce. The publication was presented for the first time at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit.

The women included in this tribute share the commitment of taking over the cause and serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the jobs pipeline. In the STEMconnector publication, readers learn the inspiring stories that showcase the traits needed to advance in the STEM world and how women can make a difference.

The publication will feature several key CEOs, presidents, and key public officials, including four U.S. Senators, an EPA/NASA Administrator, and a Deputy Administrator respectively.

One hundred Women Leaders in STEM will also present opinion editorials featuring interesting data on women in STEM. Some of the pieces written include commentary from the Society of Women Engineers; ABT Associates / TERC; Center for Energy Workforce Development; American Association of University Women; Girls, Inc; National Science Foundation; U.S. News and World Report; The American Institute of Architects; Aerospace Industries Association; and Bayer USA Foundation.

Source and photo: MAO 

STEMMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler participated in the U.S. News STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Solutions Summit last month. The Summit was the first event of its kind and brought together major players to work towards a competitive STEM workforce. Taking place on a national stage, the Summit had a lineup of top speakers ranging from educators, technology experts, policymakers, business executives, government officials, and community leaders. Also for the first time, U.S. News STEM Solutions brought together youth delegations to participate in the Summit so they could actively engage in creating solutions.

As Miss America 2012, Laura encourages women to pursue a college education and focus interests in the arts, as well as STEM education. Along with the Miss America Organization, she supports and targets female students who are currently underrepresented in STEM professions. Laura spoke in the Summit's session on "Leading by Example: The Need for STEM Mentors." She was also a keynote speaker at the Innovate+Educate Youth Summit, where she spoke on the importance of the youth voice in STEM education.

Source: MAO Photo: Deb Knoske

106_-_CopyMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler recently shared the impact of her father going to prison when she was a teenager with the Osborne Association, a nonprofit organization that serves more than seven thousand currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families each year, to give a voice to the 2.7 million children in the United States. with a parent in prison. The Osborne Association honored Laura with the Thomas Mott Osborne Medal at this record-breaking fundraising event, which hosted seven hundred attendees. Miss America helped the organization double their audience that night.

“Children of incarcerated parents are an invisible population, and tragically there is no one agency responsible for their welfare,” stated Laura in her platform statement after her crowning as Miss Wisconsin in 2011. “During that time, I experienced emotions of isolation and anger due to the vast publicity this situation was given in my home town. Because of this experience, it has become my mission in life to help children overcome this adversity while understanding they are not alone and must never give up on themselves.”    

Laura spoke at the June breakfast hosted by the Osborne Association, an 80-year-old nonprofit organization that has pioneered programs that empower individuals with current or previous involvement in the criminal justice system to lead positive, healthy, and productive lives, and to deepen connections to their families and communities.  For the last thirty years, Osborne has also led a movement to address the well-being of the children and family members who are left behind after a loved one is incarcerated.  Click here for more information.

Source: MAO

6.18Last week, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler received the Courage Award from the Care Plus Foundation for her platform work in advocating for children of incarcerated parents. She received the award at the Care Plus Foundation's annual Courage Awards in Garfield, New Jersey.

The foundation, in its fourteenth year, honors and celebrates individuals, groups, and corporations that work on behalf of others who face the daily and lifelong challenges of mental illness and substance abuse. Other honorees in attendance at the event include David L. Ganz, Bergen Country Freeholder, and HOMECorp of Montclair, New Jersey.

Source and photo: MAO Photo: Laura Kaeppeler embraces Samira Chapman, a 13-year-old client of the Care Plus Foundation, after they sang "One Moment in Time" together on stage.