By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Soraya BagheriRoad to Miss Georgia
By Soraya Bagheri
What goes around...

This month I’m taking on something new and exciting! As most of you know, I am Miss Gwinnett County’s Outstanding Teen. As Miss Gwinnett’s title holder, I am going down to Columbus, GA this month to compete for Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen.

The Miss Georgia Organization is a part of the Miss America Organization, however since I am only 15, I am competing for the teen title. On the other hand, my sister queen, Emily Harlow is competing for Miss Georgia as Miss Gwinnett County.

As Miss Gwinnett County’s Outstanding Teen I use my title to rep-resent our county. I have promoted my platform S.U.N. to collect socks, underwear, and necessities for homeless teens in my area. I have also collected money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which is the Miss America Organization platform. Aside from my platform and CMNH, I have collected can goods for the South-East co-op and helped volunteer along with Emily. I have also participated in the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Lawrenceville and Snellville. And recently rode in Dacula’s Memorial Day Parade with Emily and our 2 princesses, Jaye Geyer and Ella Scarborough. Princesses are younger girls from age 6-12 that go along with the Miss and Outstanding Teen down to Columbus and support and experience the entire atmosphere of the competition without actually competing. They learn 2 dances to perform while we are down in Columbus.

You’re probably wondering what actually goes through the whole week of the pageant. As contestants and princesses continue to arrive, we all ‘hit the ground running’ with a parade of all the contestants in downtown Columbus. We also meet and talk with all of the locals and visitors of the pageant. From there, it’s rehearsals of the opening number, practice of our talent, fitness wear, and evening gown, and onstage question. I have spent countless hours keeping up with current events and practicing speaking in front of others to better prepare me for my onstage question and interview. I also will be playing the old 40’s military tune Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy on piano for my talent. It seems like a lot and trust me, very overwhelming, however everyone has prepared and put in a lot of work for this week to make it seem as easy as possible. From mock-interviews, to picking out each dress for evening wear, interview, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, etc. Months prior to the week of the pageant week, all the contestants spend a weekend down in Columbus called Forum. At forum we meet all the title holders from all over Georgia, get to know them, and sit through meetings full of information on the pageant, what to bring, what to expect, who the judges are, and roommates! All of the girls are able to pick a roommate to room with during the week of the pageant. Aside from rehearsals, we visit a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, have a pajama party with our princesses, and compete of course!

The anticipation of competing is building up! And I’m so excited to go out and represent our county. However, more importantly, I’m grateful for the year that I’ve spent becoming more involved in my community and reaching out. I have grown so much from this experience and has kept me responsible for being a role model for young people in my community.

Any questions, comments of recommendations email What Goes Around at: whatgoesaroundcitizen@gmail.com And that’s what’s going around! Soraya Bagheri is an upcoming Sophomore at Grayson High School.