Local teen aims for Miss Teen of America title


Maple Lake’s own Ashley Becker, or as she is more formally known, Miss Teen of Minnesota, is aiming to take her title to a new level this week.
For three days, Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, Becker will go up against teens from across the country in a competition that will test her awareness of the world, scholastic achievements, poise, personality, and much more with the goal of becoming the new Miss Teen of America.
If she wins the title she will continue on a journey that began back in 2013.
According to Becker’s mom, Sandy, the Miss Teen of America organization contacts schools and searches local publications for outstanding female teens. Becker applied and was one of the 40 participants chosen to run for the title of Miss Teen of Minnesota.
“She was invited to compete in 2011, however, we didn’t even look at it as I thought it was a beauty pageant,” Sandy said. “When she was invited again in 2013 I actually read the information and thought it might be worth looking into. Clearly it was worth it as along with the title of Miss Teen of Minnesota came a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to run for the title of Miss Teen of America.”
That summer, Becker went up against 40 other would-be Miss Teen’s of Minnesota at St. Cloud State University and won.
Now a freshman at St. Thomas University, Becker has spent her two-year reign involved in a number of noble pursuits including Operation Glass Slipper, which collects formal gowns, shoes and accessories for teenagers who would like to attend the prom but can’t afford an outfit; Teens for Jeans Drive which collected 335 pairs of jeans for homeless teenagers last spring; Healing Haiti and fund-raisers for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Early on in her reign, she headed up a fundraiser that collected over $4,000 for a family who lost their five-month-old daughter to a rare liver disease.
At the time she called it the “most rewarding event that I participated in during all of this.”
This weekend’s competition will likely prove to be stiffer than any other as all of the girls have already proved themselves to some extent by winning their state’s individual competitions.
Held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, Becker and the others will be rated based on these categories: service and achievement to school and community, personal development, scholastic achievement, judge’s interview, poise and personality, projection in formal wear and general awareness of the world around her.
The written portion of the competition and transcripts of grades had to be submitted by February 20. At this point they are 45% through the competition, Becker’s mom, Sandy, said.
According to its website, the Miss Teen of America scholarship program was founded in 1983 in Minneapolis as a way to recognize the nation’s outstanding young women and offer a meaningful fellowship and social development experience.
The goal is to accent the positive qualities among today's youth and to foster and promote worthwhile ideals. Whichever candidate is deemed the most complete, well-rounded teenager will be crowned Miss Teen of America.