Recently, 9 year old Miss Minnesota Jr. Pre Teen Chloe Russo went to the St. Paul Boys and Girls Club to deliver school supplies. The girls there were SOOO excited to see her and asked to try on her crown and even took pictures with the crown. The girls really wanted to know how they could enter the pageant. Chloe tried to answer everyone’s questions, but heard one little girl say “My Dad doesn’t have even $10.” On the way home, Chloe said “Why can’t we have a free pageant for them?” After calling the Boy’s and Girls Club with the idea, the program director was thrilled that their “Smart Girls” (ages 6-13 years old) would have a chance to build their confidence. Chloe named it “The Inner Beauty Pageant” because it was about who the girls were, not how they looked!
Chloe asked her friends and people on Facebook for donations of crowns, and she ordered plain pink banners which she painted with stencils to say “Miss Minnesota” for each girl. She collected enough crowns and donated a few of her own trophies for prizes and created awards like “Miss Sassafrass” for Modeling award, “Miss Personality,” “Most Courageous,” etc.
Chloe went back the next week and taught the girls how to introduce themselves, had them fill out an application with basic questions about themselves and taught them the basic modeling steps and marks. The girls were so excited!
The next week, the first “Inner Beauty Pageant” was held with 16 girls participating. Chloe’s Fellow NAM queens were judges along with Mrs. Minnesota America and the girls were judged on interview, modeling and introduction. In the interview one girl was asked “Why do you want to win the pageant?” Her response was “I want to feel special." My mom pays more attention to my 2 brothers so maybe if I won, she would see I was special.” At the end of the pageant, all of the girls were crowned and happy--mothers said how much it helped their daughters’ self confidence and thanked Chloe for having it. It was so much fun to see the girls happy and proud of themselves! This is the power of the crown!