Miss Minnesota Jr. Pre-Teen, Chloe Russo, has been making a BIG difference in her state! After winning the title in June of 2014, Chloe delivered the school supplies to the St. Paul Boys and Girls Club who said they were in dire need of supplies before the first day of school. Upon arrival, the girls from the Smart Girls program were so excited to see Chloe and couldn’t wait to ask her questions about the pageant and to try on her crown.
The Smart Girls program is a summer and after-school program that caters to children ages 6-9 years old and only costs parent $25 a year to attend, giving them a safe and affordable place to go while parents are working. The girls asked Chloe “How can I do a pageant?” “How much does it cost?” “Do they give you the dress?” “How can I sign up?” Trying to be helpful, Chloe tried answering all of their questions and then one little girl said, “My daddy doesn’t even have $20”.
Realizing that not every girl can afford to do a pageant, Chloe decided that she wanted to have a free pageant where every girl could compete and win a crown! She called it “The Inner Beauty pageant” because "it’s not about how you look, it’s about who you are that counts!" says Chloe.
Chloe collected crowns from her own past pageants, trophies from NAM wins and asked fellow queens to help donate crowns for the pageant. Raising money for pink sashes, Chloe stencil-painted pink lettering that said “Miss Minnesota Inner Beauty Pageant” on them.
The Smart girls were excited to learn about pageants when Chloe held a practice session for them the week before. The girls filled out their questionnaire about themselves for interview, learned how to walk and model for the casual modeling portion and how to introduce themselves on stage. It looked like the girls loved the modeling part the best!
Pageant day came and NAM queens and mothers came to “judge” and interview the girls. When asked, “Why do you want to win the title”, one little girl said “Because my mother pays attention more to my brothers and I hope that she will see that I’m special.” During modeling in their outfit of choice, there was a sassy award given to the girl with the most on-stage personality—the girls shined on stage and had a ball! Their family and friends were there to cheer them on while Chloe crowned each one with a special title from “Miss Personality” to “Miss Kindness” and “Miss Helpful”. After the pageant, one mother approached Chloe saying, “This was so good for my daughters’ confidence! Thank you for doing this!”
Since then, Minnesota’s Jr. Pre-Teen has held another Inner beauty pageant in Minneapolis and has another one planned for the Boys and Girls Club in the Spring. Chloe knows that a “Crown will wipe away any frown” and hopes to crown many more little girls across the state so they too, can feel special!