NDA senior selected as Miss Teen of Wisconsin

By | December 1, 2010

Thirty-three girls from throughout the state competed in the three-day event. The five judging categories included personal interview, poise and personality, scholastic record, service and achievement, and personal development. The candidates were required to complete three resumes, take part in a formal wear event and interview with three judges.

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Samantha Pallini, Miss Teen of Wisconsin and Notre Dame Academy senior, is pictured before the Green Bay Holiday Parade Nov. 20. Crowned Miss Teen last August, Pallini will be involved in speaking engagements and service events for two years. (Rick Evans | For The Compass)

“I’ve seen beauty pageants on TV, of course, but (the other girls) didn’t act like that at all,” Pallini said. “All the girls there were extremely well-rounded, accomplished, kind girls. They were genuinely happy for you when you did well.”

Pallini downplayed her pageant performance. The girls also performed skits, danced in a choreographed routine and displayed their talents through writing, photography or artwork. Pallini submitted a poem, but was ineligible to win honors in the creative categories because she finished atop the pageant field.

When the top six finishers were to be announced, Pallini said she had no expectations.

“I was already happy that I made it to the state pageant, but then they called my number,” she said. “I walked up there really calm, but I definitely felt like I was jumping out of my skin.”

It was an emotional moment when Ashley Jefferson, the former Miss Teen of Wisconsin, passed on the title, she added.

“I was shocked. I didn’t see it coming,” she said. “It was already an honor to be there already with all of the girls. To win was a humbling surprise.”

Pallini received a sash, plaque, $1,000 scholarship and a $500 savings bond. She also advanced to the Miss Teen of America competition. The national process included producing a video introduction, answering a set of questions and submitting an academic record and resume.

Pallini was selected among the top six in the United States, so she was invited to take part in a Skype (online) interview with the judges. She finished as the first runner-up to Paige Jensen, Miss Teen of Idaho.

Pallini will reign as Miss Teen of Wisconsin for two years. She will be involved in speaking engagements, appearances and service events and will assist with Miss Teen pageants in neighboring states.

“The pageant gives each titleholder the flexibility of deciding how they want to use their platform,” she said. “You can take whatever angle you want. So far, I’ve worked with a few young girls’ Catholic leadership groups. I am also in the midst of preparing some service events.”

Pallini’s message to young people is to “never stop striving to be the best version of yourself.” She said her theme was inspired by an ad campaign for a wireless provider, “You are not here to take up space; you’re here to fill the room.”

“I was a bit stressed after one event, so I turned on the TV for some background noise while I was preparing for the next,” she said. “When that commercial came on, as crazy as it sounds, it just made sense. It tied the whole weekend together for me and served as that much needed reminder to keep giving it my all.”

She said her goal is to help kids realize that they can reach their full potential.

“I’ve been trying to do more public speaking,” she added. “This title simply helps to open more doors. I have a message that I want to get out there, and it’s easier to do that as Miss Teen of Wisconsin.”

Pallini created her own Facebook page and started a blog on the Miss Teen website. She has also been networking in the Green Bay area.

“I am extremely honored to have been awarded this title,” Pallini, whose pageant sponsors included Slusarek Construction, LeMieux Toyota and Caylor Photography, said. “I realize that’s a cliche thing to say, but it really is a blessin. I intend to put this platform to good use for the sake of other people.”

Eligibility for Miss Teen requires being on the high honor roll academically and earning some other sort of state recognition. Pallini was a member of Notre Dame’s WIAA Division 2 state championship girls tennis teams the last three seasons. She and her doubles partner, Katie Schick, finished seventh in state this past season. Pallini also won the Optimist Club State Oratorical Competition her freshman year.

Since 2006, Pallini has logged more than 700 service hours. She has assisted with Love Life Ministry, The Power of Life Inc., Elizabeth Ministries International, serves as the student technology coordinator at school and runs the Catholic youth group at Notre Dame. She also finds time to work at the Packer Pro Shop.

Pallini plans to attend college out of state next year. She will major in communications and Spanish.

When she is home, she will devote her time to serving as Miss Teen. She said that she embraces the responsibility of the title.

“My mom always tells me that everything you’re given is because God gives it to you,” she said. “It’s up to you do something with it. Every action is going to affect you.

“With this title, I’m representing my state, my school, my family, my tennis team and I’m representing myself,” she added. “I intend to give it 110 percent. I’ve got to live my platform while I preach it.”

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