Until recently, Avery Beavers never considered competing in a pageant.
During the past 10 years, Beavers, 15, a Lee’s Summit High School sophomore, participated in dance events across the region and performed in numerous plays, but a pageant was never part of the plan.
That all changed Jan. 27 when, at the suggestion of a friend, Beavers took the pageant leap. She entered the 2018 Miss Kansas City Scholarship Pageant one week before the event.
After a whirlwind seven days of preparation — and with lots of support from her mother, Christy — Avery was crowned on Feb. 3 as “Miss Outstanding Teen Kansas City.”
“I entered because I thought it would be fun,” Beavers said. “When I won, I was surprised and overwhelmed. I was astounded. I didn’t expect it, because I was competing with some amazing girls.”
Beavers’ mother described the week as a “wild ride,” a fast-paced week leading up to the event packed with fulfilling contestant requirements.
“I had to include a resume and choose a platform,” Beavers said. “I had to write something about the platform, how it would help the Miss Kansas City organization, and how I could support my platform.”
The pageant itself, a sister program within the Miss America organization, also included talent and evening gown competitions along with one on-stage question and an interview with the judges.
“The interview with the judges was my favorite part, because I got to express how passionate I am about my platform — and they had to listen to how much I love what I’m doing with it,” Beavers said.
Earlier this year, Beavers discovered Respire Haiti, which she chose as her platform for the pageant, after a friend returned from a mission trip to the Caribbean country with a book for her, “Miracle on Voodoo Mountain: A Young Woman’s Remarkable Story of Pushing Back the Darkness for the Children of Haiti.”
The book — which was written by Respire Haiti’s founder, Megan Boudreaux — ignited Avery’s passion for helping Haiti’s children.
“Megan has built multiple schools, a medical clinic, and a clean water distribution program,” Beavers said. “She has also raised awareness of about restaveks, a type of child slavery in Haiti.”
Beavers also enjoyed answering the on-stage question about an aspect of herself she feels sets her apart from others.
“I feel I’m different than a lot teenagers because I don’t care what people think of me,” Beavers said. “I am ‘me,’ no matter what others think of me. I don’t change for anyone.”
Beavers’ mother, Christy, agreed with her daughter’s self-perception.
“Avery is her own being,” she said. “In fact, a few years ago she deleted all of her social media. She said it was too negative. So many kids are hooked on social media and defined from the outside. Avery stands for who she is and doesn’t bend to others. She puts that true face out there, no matter who she is with or where she is.”
In her role as Miss Kansas City Outstanding Teen, Beavers will have opportunities throughout the year to raise awareness and money for Respire Haiti, including speaking engagements at churches and community organizations. She also will attend events to raise support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a Miss America partner.
“I’m very excited to start campaigning for my organization and to be part of Children’s Miracle Network,” she said.
By winning the pageant, Beavers now will represent Kansas City during the Miss Missouri Pageant this summer in Mexico, Mo.