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From Beauty Queen to Passionate Volunteer: The Life of Michaela Edstrand

Skutt Catholic's very own National All American Miss

Michaela+became+a+national+ambassador+for+Miss+Amazing%2C+a+pageant++for+girls+with+special+needs.
Michaela became a national ambassador for Miss Amazing, a pageant  for girls with special needs.

Michaela became a national ambassador for Miss Amazing, a pageant for girls with special needs.

Photo by Michaela Edstrand Instagram

Photo by Michaela Edstrand Instagram

Michaela became a national ambassador for Miss Amazing, a pageant for girls with special needs.

Sydney Reeves, Guest Writer

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You’re used to her walking the halls in green plaid or sometimes a tennis uniform after school. But what is it like when she wears her formal gown and sparkling crown? Junior Michaela Edstrand is living the best of both worlds. Here is an inside look at her life as a normal school girl and a pageant queen.

When she was 13 years old, Edstrand received a brochure about joining in some local pageant opportunities. The National All American Miss organization was holding open calls. “I begged my mom to go,” she said. “I thought it would just be something fun to try.”

In 2014, she competed in her first state pagaent but didn’t place. She was only motivated from there, and by the next year’s state competition, she made the top 20. After a break in 2015, Edstrand attended the Springboard workshop. She learned life skills in public speaking and interviewing.

This is where she met Emerie Gifford, her pageant coach. Since her sophomore year, they have spent hours each week training and improving her techniques. As Edstrand advanced in competitions throughout 2016 and finally qualified for nationals, it became clear that she had a true talent.

On Nov. 27, 2016 in Anaheim, CA, Michaela Edstrand was crowned National All-American Miss Teen. “I was overwhelmed,” she remembered. “I never expected to actually win.” The National American Miss organization is the largest pageant system in the nation. Contestants are judged on their formal wear, personal introductions and individual interviews.

Photo by Michaela Edstrand Instagram
Edstrand was crowned All American Miss for the 2016-17 season.

Edstrand shows pride in her involvement with this organization because it is not beauty- or body-based. The focus is not on looks or style. Scoring is aimed at finding passion and confidence in the young ladies. Edstrand appreciates the importance of personality over image.

Since beginning pageantry, one of her greatest passions, volunteering, has begun to grow. Her main focus is with those who have mental and physical disabilities. She is on the state board is and a national ambassador for the Miss Amazing Pageant. Edstrand also volunteers with more than 12 other organizations in the community. Through her involvement she has earned 400 hours of service in the last two years.

Photo by Michaela Edstrand Instagram,
Edstrand volunteering for the Salvation Army this past winter.

When you think of Michaela Edstrand, your classmate or friend, you probably don’t see just another beauty queen. She is different than the stereotypical pageant girl. Pageants are a hobby, something fun, and a learning experience for her. “I don’t get embarrassed on stage,”   Edstrand said. “I take it seriously, but a mistake doesn’t bother me.” Her confidence is something the judges notice, and they award high scores for her positive attitude.

Michaela Edstrand may be one of the most polite and well-spoken girls in our hallways, much of which she attributes to pageantry. The title of National All-American Miss is a huge honor and has enstilled in her a goal to express individuality and confidence and hopefully instill those qualities in the lives of other young ladies.

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From Beauty Queen to Passionate Volunteer: The Life of Michaela Edstrand