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I participated in the Southwest Michigan Pre-Teen Program 2015 and let me tell you if you ask anyone who knows me doing a pageant isn't something you would catch a girl like me doing. I would never trade that experience for anything. It was so much fun and I can gladly say I made lots of new friends some of whom I still keep in contact with 9 months later! It's amazing that I thought walking in this is just gonna be some stupid beauty pageant that is all about looks, but boy oh boy was I wrong! Everyone that works for the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program looks for the good on the inside, not the beauty of the outside. I've requested Southwest Program to so many girls and I'm glad to say one of them is going out for 2016!! This truly is a life changing experience, I'm very glad I got the courage to go out for it! One last thing I would like to personally thank everyone of the southwest board members for being so kind and helpful the entire way through, especially Frederic, Kimberly, and Renee also anyone else I made contact with throughout the journey! Thank you for making this an experience I will never ever forget!
Date of Posting: 02 January 2016
Posted By: Ashley Little
Hailey had a great time and is already looking forward to next year! I want to thank everyone at the program for helping her to become more outgoing and confident. The difference between last year and this year was truly amazing. She was so excited to win 3rd runner up! Thanks again!
Date of Posting: 01 May 2014
Posted By: Elizabeth Mabry
Attached is my college essay showing what an important role the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program has played in my life and in the development of my platform "Uniting Against Bullying". This essay was sent to the colleges I applied to along with other essays that were specific to each question posed by the individual college. Thank you Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program for all you have done for me and so many other young women in Southwest Michigan.
Full, elaborate dresses, long, curly hair, and ultimate beauty are the first few thoughts that would come to any person's mind when one mentions the word pageant. Those same thoughts bubbled in my head before I participated in the Southwestern Michigan Scholarship Program pageant. The skills that I have learned through this program have been of priceless value. Every day I learned something new or saw something in a whole new light. It was an eye opening experience that made a huge impact in my life.
This was not just a beauty pageant, but a real life experience full of valuable lessons. Every Saturday of this summer, all of the contestants would get together and take classes like writing, speech, and etiquette. We learned how to behave in an interview, be a leader, and command a room. This program was not recreating us; it taught us how to be stronger and more powerful women.
One of the traits that make a truly powerful woman is education. The Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program reiterated the importance of scholarship. I firmly believe that scholarship and diligence go hand-in-hand. I have always been diligent in both my school work and in my community, but there are always opportunities to work harder and do more. For this particular program, we were not required to have community service hours. However, I found myself loving the time I spent as a volunteer so much that I volunteered for 11 hours throughout the course of the pageant.
There was on service project that was required. Each contestant needed to have a platform, an organization or prominent issue, which they did community service for and supported. I chose the platform of bullying prevention. This subject is dear to my heart because I have experienced bullying in all forms throughout my life and it is an important issue of today. Though I did not win the pageant, I am still supporting this issue in any way I can. I have been working closely with my church by arranging several speaking engagements to speak on my platform. I am currently working on getting several speaking engagement lined up at my high school as well.
Without the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program, I am not sure if I would have been able to do this. This self-confidence I gained while in this program gave me the ability to share my story and make a difference in young people today. Since the pageant, I, among others, have noticed changes in myself for the better. I have always been energetic and responsible, but now I feel completely empowered and determined to succeed at whatever I do.
Date of Posting: 04 November 2012
Posted By: Dakota Trinka
My family’s experience with the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program has been absolutely wonderful. When my eleven year old came to me and said she wanted to be in pageants last January I was concerned what type of environment I would be subjecting her to. We did some research and found the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program, I called and spoke to Frederic and knew immediately that this was not like your typical pageant. Southwest Michigan’s Pre-Teen is not a beauty pageant, it is dedicated to teaching the girls life skills, showing them that beauty comes from within and that being a positive role model in your community is vital to making the world a better place. It was so exciting to see the growth in Chloe week after week, she truly turned into a more refined young lady and was able to more easily express her passion for helping others. While Chloe did not win the title of Southwest Michigan’s Pre-Teen this year, she did win many other awards and scholarships and is already looking forward to participating next year. After all the positive things Chloe said about her experience, her older sister decided to participate in the 2013 Miss Southwest Michigan Teen Pageant, and now Dakota comes home after each practice with only positive things to say. The practices are intense, but she has learned so much about herself and her community service project, I see her growing into an even more positive role model each day.
The group of volunteers and workers who tirelessly give of themselves for each of the young ladies that participate is truly amazing. Their caring spirit is an inspiration and I have been so impressed by all of them. If your child wants to be in a pageant that is more than just about how they look, but is about who they are and who they want to become, then the Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program is the one!
Date of Posting: 16 August 2012
Posted By: Davie Trinka