A Harrisonville young woman has captured the crown of the Miss Missouri Teen USA 2014.
Samantha Jo Bowers, 17, earned the top state beauty pageant title following the organization’s three-day annual competition at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
“This is the best day of my life,” Bowers tweeted after her name was announced as the winner Nov. 10. “I don't even know what to do right now. I am so blessed and beyond excited for this amazing year I have ahead of me.”
Bowers, a senior at Harrisonville High School, said she was speechless moments after her she was announced the winner.
“I was so shocked and excited,” she said. “There were so many amazing girls there that I was so honored that they picked me and thought I would be the best fit for the job.”
Bowers was selected by a panel of judges, based on her scores from her participation in the three categories of the competition: formal wear, swimsuit and an interview.
“It was so much fun. I got to meet so many girls from all across the state,” Bowers said. “Pageants, in general, give me a lot of skills that I will use for the rest of my life -- like how to interview and carry myself with poise.”
Bowers said preparation for the competition involved hard work.
“I stuck to a good diet and exercise program, kept up on current events, and I practiced walking,” she said.
Throughout the competition, she tried to stay focused on the experience.
“When I got there, I just had fun and acted like myself,” Bowers said.
Over the next year, Bowers will be busy traveling across the state to participate in parades and make public appearances at a variety of functions.
She also plans to continue volunteering with several organizations, possibly including the Harvesters Food Network, and will likely speak at a few schools on the topic of the importance of self esteem among teenagers.
Bowers will also have the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Teen USA this summer. The competition is traditionally held in the Bahamas, but location details have not been released.
Along with the title, Bowers also received a scholarship to Lindenwood and wardrobe items as a result of winning.
Prior to earning the Miss Missouri Teen title, Bowers won the National American Miss Missouri Teen crown in 2012.
At Harrisonville High School, Bowers serves as president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a member of the student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and plays on the basketball team.