Rachel Dugan is ANTSO Jr. National Teenager 2016!
I started in pageants because my sister competed and I watched her gain self confidence and self esteem (plus the scholarship money is another great incentive). My problem was that I was very shy. It was very scary for me to stand in front of my class to recite a poem without turning ten shades of red. Learning how to speak and interview has been the best part of competing in pageants. I consistently forced myself into speaking opportunities with many organizations including:? The Mommy Nest, March of Dimes, Crusade for Children, Kosair for Children, The Children’s Miracle Network, and the Girl Scouts. Through my many speaking engagements I kept refining my public speaking skills while sharing my platform of Get Active, Get Healthy. In June, I was awarded the 2015 Everyday Hero Award from Youth Services of America for my community service with my platform of Get Active, Get Healthy. It has taken me two years to become confident in my ability to speak and interview. On August 2, 2015, I competed in Nashville in the America's National Teenager Scholarship Competition. It was so exciting and I had a great time that week. I had an incredible night that Sunday evening. The moment they called my name was unforgettable. I had really won a National Title!!! I had overcome my fear of public speaking and my shyness. It was such a wonderful feeling. Winning the 2016 ANTSO Jr. National Teenager title, I will be traveling all across America to speak and volunteer with various organizations, as well as, being an ambassador for the Boys and Girls Club of America (ANTSO’s national philanthropy). Competing in pageants has given me the self confidence and self esteem to become the young woman I am today.