Miss Teen Oklahoma Stefani Kerr

Both inner and outer beauty earned Stefani Kerr of Edmond a sparkling crown this summer. Stefani was named Miss Teen Oklahoma at the Mid-Western Regional American Queen Pageant.

The pageant was held June 11 in St. Louis. Stefani, daughter of Pamela and David Kerr, attends Edmond North High School. She will represent Oklahoma at the national level American Queen Pageant in August in Florida.

The American Queen Pageant, now in its fourth year, is considered unique among such events around the country. The program recognizes young women who are not only beautiful, but who are role models for others in their state and community. The pageant has several divisions – Pre Teen, Teen, Miss, Ms., Mrs. and Classic.

Stefani said that in order to be a good role model, she must have an inner beauty and always be willing to lend a helping hand. “Caring about others is very important in life. I don’t want to have an ‘all about me’ attitude,” she said. “If you’re ugly on the inside and selfish, no one will want to look up to you. External beauty is not all that matters. I try to work on my character as well as my physical appearance.”

“I competed in Miss Oklahoma Teen USA last December and but didn’t win,” she added. “So I was very excited when this time I won the crown. It was almost surreal. I worked hard before the competition by exercising and watching what I ate.”

In every pageant, judges seem to be looking for a particular type of winner, she said, and this time she fit what they were seeking. But, “it’s not about being perfect because no one is perfect,” she said. “They wanted a certain personality and appearance.”

Stefani said she recommends pageants to young ladies because she believes the competitions help her gain self-confidence and maturity. Also, her participation in pageants has caused her to work on skills such as organization, speaking in front of a group, social skills, responsibility and more.

Besides, it’s a lot of fun. “I used to watch pageants on TV and see Miss America or Miss USA walk down the runway. Like most others, it seemed glamorous to me. I really never thought I’d ever be competing,” she said. “I got involved and decided that I would do the best I could with what I’ve got. I think it’s important not to be artificial or try to be someone I’m not, so I acted as natural as I could.”

Her platform during her reign will be a subject the pageant has chosen – raising awareness of domestic violence. Currently, Stefani spends time working with a hotline for teens. She volunteers her time because she wants to help others get the assistance they need. “I want them to know there’s help out there for them and that they shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone what’s happening to them,” she said. Stefani said she is concerned about the high number of women and children in Oklahoma who have reported domestic abuse. “The percentages are greater here than many other states” she said.

She’s also concerned about underage drinking and speaks on that topic as well. “Having a title gives me the chance to help make a positive difference in the lives of others,” she said. “They might listen to me and they might not. I want to use my past experiences to help others.”

Just like other teenage girls, Stefani enjoys shopping and hanging out at the mall with her friends. At school, she is active with the choir, photography class and art. She has participated in a variety of sports and has danced for seven years. She earns good grades and works at a part-time job.

She’s also appreciative for the support of her family and friends. “I could never have done this without their encouragement,” she said. They told me to not give up.”

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