By Ariele Vaccaro
When Cynthia Gude’s older sister, Bianca, signed her up for the National Miss Pageant, Gude took it as a challenge.
The North Division High School junior had never done anything like it before.
“I’m not really the girlygirl type,” said the high school junior. Regardless, the competition sounded like fun to her.
After an interview with pageant judges, Gude was accepted to the state finals.
On Aug. 20, she’ll compete with more than a hundred other girls to secure one of ten spots in the national competition.
Among the challenges the 16-year-old will compete in are a spokes-model contest, during which she will speak on an issue to an audience of people. Gude didn’t seem too phased by the prospect of public speaking, but she’s glad the competition also requires a private talk with the judges.
“It’s more of something that helps build confidence instead of tear you down,” said Gude.
The category she is looking forward to most is formalwear. She wants to wear a prom-esque gown – one that spares no amount of regal volume in its skirt.
Gude doesn’t usually dress like a princess, though.
How can she, while participating in tennis, dance, and cheerleading? And while she’s not serving the tennis ball, she’s volunteering with the Special Olympics.
“I enjoy filling my calendar,” said the teen.
Gude already has a vision for herself after high school. She plans to become an emergency medical technician (EMT) and be the first to help those who have been injured
“I actually want to help save someone’s life,” Gude said.
Although she never planned to do the pageant, the idea grew on her.
Now, she’s ready and eager to compete.
“I feel like it’s a good experience,” she said.
Now, she’s ready and eager for the competition. But she’s not willing to give up her less-than-girly nature. Rather, the pageant seems like a great way to show off that side of her, her originality.
“I separate myself from the crowd,” she said. “I am my own person and I want people to remember me.”
If Gude wins a top-ten spot, she’ll be named Miss American Teen, become eligible for a number of prizes, and move on to the national competition.
The pageant will take place at Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.