Crowning moment

In the final year a local teen planned to compete in a statewide Outstanding Teen pageant, she was crowned the winner.
Seventeen-year-old Kelsey Barrett, who in the fall will be a senior at Wapakoneta High School, was named Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen on Tuesday night at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield. The crowning was part of a busy week of activities and competitions culminating in the crowning of Miss Ohio on Saturday.
“I am so blessed to have the support of my family, friends and community,” Barrett said after she was crowned. “Being Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen will give me the opportunity to raise more awareness about my platform and hopefully help younger girls understand how important if is to be yourself and love who you are.”
The teenage queen was ecstatic with her win, but said she was especially excited to promote her platform — No-Body’s Perfect, which focuses on the effect of media on teens’ self-esteem and body image.
She said she wants to promote high self-esteem for all young women and through her title said she plans to be a positive role model for girls everywhere.
As part of her community service prior to this week’s pageant, Barrett presented her program to fourth-grade girls at Wapakoneta Elementary School.
In her fourth time competing in the teen competition, open to those under 18, Barrett, finally earned the top honor. Last year she was named first runner-up to the title.
Barrett, who entered the pageant as Miss Crystal Lake’s Outstanding Teen, competed against eight other teenagers from throughout Ohio for the Outstanding Teen title as part of a scholarship pageant that serves as a mentoring and fundraising event for the Miss Ohio and Miss America programs.
The girls were judged on several phases of competition, including an interview, lifestyle and fitness, evening wear, and their answers to an on-stage question. A portion of the total score also included scholastic achievement.
Having won the talent segment of the competition every year in the past, this year was no exception for Barrett, who also walked away with that honor Tuesday night after her moving rendition of “Here’s Where I Stand” from the film, “Camp.”
Barrett, who fought back tears as she was announced the winner, is to go on and represent the state as she competes at the national level of the teen competition in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 20.
As the state winner, Barrett received more than $1,000 in scholarship money.
Throughout the year the daughter of Lisa and Jon Barrett is to make appearances throughout Ohio.
While she plans to take a year off from competing next summer, Barrett said she would like to continue with entry into the Miss Ohio competition when she is old enough.