A young woman from Harrisonville is Miss Missouri Teen USA 2014.
Samantha Jo Bowers, 17, earned the pageant title following the organization’s three-day annual competition at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
“This is the best day of my life,” Bowers tweeted after she was deemed the winner Nov. 10. “I don’t even know what to do right now. I am so blessed and beyond excited for this amazing year I have ahead of me.”
Bowers, a senior at Harrisonville High School, was selected by a panel of judges, based on her scores in the three competition categories: formal wear, swimsuit and an interview.
“It was so much fun. I got to meet so many girls from all across the state,” Bowers said. “Pageants, in general, give me a lot of skills that I will use for the rest of my life — like how to interview and carry myself with poise.”
Bowers said preparation for the competition involved hard work.
“I stuck to a good diet and exercise program, kept up on current events, and I practiced walking, “ she said.
Over the next year, Bowers will be busy traveling across the state for parades and other public appearances.
She also plans to continue volunteering with several organizations, possibly including the Harvesters Food Network, and will likely speak at schools on the importance of self esteem among teenagers.
Bowers also will compete for the title of Miss Teen USA next summer. The competition is traditionally held in the Bahamas, but location details have not been released.
Along with the title, Bowers also received a scholarship to Lindenwood and wardrobe items.
At Harrisonville High School, Bowers serves as president of Students Against Destructive Decisions and is a member of the student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society.
She also plays on the basketball team.