Darci Owens is Miss Amazing Teen
Darci Owens, age 19, is not a girlie girl, her mother Dana Owens said.
But that didn’t stop her from winning the teen division of the Alaska Miss Amazing pageant.
“Anyone who knows Darci knows that she is much more of a tomboy,” Dana Owens said. “But I asked her, ‘Is this something that you think you would want to do?’ She said, ‘Yes, let’s give it a try,’ and so we did.”
Owens worked up a cup-stacking routine, complete with the creation of several different types of cup pyramids. Her mother and sisters consulted on her attire choices. She settled on a black, knee-length gown and prepared for interview questions that would inquire of her life goals.
The work paid off.
Owens was crowned Alaska Miss Amazing Teen on March 21 at a pageant featuring interviews, a talent showcase and an evening gown competition. Owens received a trophy, sash and crown, flowers and a gift bag.
“Girls with disabilities can do anything they want,” she said. “They can change the world.”
Owens, who has Down’s syndrome, is no stranger to being royalty. During her high school senior year in 2014, Owens was elected prom queen at Eagle River High School.
Now she is a student at the Anchorage School District’s ACE/ACT program, which provides additional life skills training for students ages 18 to 21 who need transitional support from high school to adult life. Darci works part-time at the Eagle River Fred Meyer as part of the program.
She said she’ll make several local and state appearances promoting disabilities awareness in her role as Alaska Miss Amazing Teen. She supports the non-profit pageant’s aim of helping participants reach their fullest potential. Darci said she likes the community service element of the pageant.
“The only entry fee at the state level is to bring canned food,” Darci said, noting that food banks across the country need as many donations as possible.
Dana Owens said her daughter has received plenty of assistance and is thankful Darci has an opportunity to pay it forward.
“Our kids with disabilities are on the receiving end of a lot of services and so this is really important for them to have the opportunity to do good things for their community,” Dana said.
The national Miss Amazing pageant began in 2007 in Nebraska. It has spread to 26 states, with each holding local pageants and sending winners from six age brackets to the national event. Thousands of pounds of canned-food entry fees have been funneled to food banks in participating states.
The national 2015 Miss Amazing pageant is scheduled for July 24 through July 28 in Los Angeles at the University of California Los Angeles campus. Darci and fellow contestants are slated to participate in the opening ceremonies for the World Special Olympics being held in the Los Angeles area at the same time. The Miss Amazing queens – as state winners in the various age categories are addressed by pageant officials – are scheduled to work as volunteers at the world games, as well as cheer as spectators in the stands, Dana said. Each contestant is also paired with a neurotypical volunteer who not only helps the contestant prepare for the national pageant, but also serves as their advocate through the process.
For more information about the Miss Amazing pageant, go to www.missamazingpageant.com.
Reach freelancer Amy Armstrong at [email protected].