“Teens Shine at Women's History Month Scholarship Pageant”
By SMSgt Vanessa A. Smallsbryant , Hickam PME Center
/ Published March 27, 2008
Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii -- Last Friday night at the O' Club, more than 150 Team Hickam members and guests attended the base's first-ever teen scholarship dinner pageant, sponsored by the Hickam AFB Women's History Month Committee.
The theme for this event was "empowering young women of today for tomorrow," according to committee chairperson and organizer Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Boothe.
"This was not a "beauty" pageant, but rather a pageant to educate and empower through teaching and providing lessons for balance in life," she said, noting that the committee's goal and vision was to "empower young women to strive for excellence in education, self-image and community involvement." Sergeant Boothe said pageant participants were young ladies from various local high schools.
Prior to Friday night's pageant and dinner, contestants also took part in a month of activities, which included community and fund-raising events, and an empowerment seminar, where they learned about furthering their education, etiquette, dressing for success, and financial management.
Contestants were judged on talent, poise, communication and evening wear; pageant judges were Col. JJ Torres, 15th Airlift Wing commander; Chief Master Sgt. Lashaun Scott, HQ PACAF, Chief of Medical Enlisted Force, Hickam AFB; Mrs. Saundra Simms, retired Hawaii State circuit court judge; and Mrs. Allison Ah Puck, professional trainer and model who also works with the Islander Group in Mililani.
Miss Ariale Montgomery, a junior from Radford High School, was named winner of the 2008 Women's History Month Pageant. She received a $1,500 savings bond, two round-trip tickets from Aloha Airlines and several other prizes.
Pageant first runner-up Miss Jennifer Cordes, a senior from Radford High School received a $700 savings bond, as well as two round-trip tickets from Aloha Airlines and several other prizes. Miss Cordes also received a $100 gift and plaque for her selection as the pageant's "Most Spirited" contestant.
Second runner-up was Miss Brittney Mendoza, a sophomore from Pearl City High School. She received a $500 savings bond, as well as a gift certificate from AAFES.
Miss Linda Brooks, also from Radford High, was selected "Miss Congeniality," for which she received a $25 gift certificate and plaque.
In addition to prizes won by the top three finishers, all contestants received gift bags with donations from local vendors, a souvenir necklace and gold medallion to commemorate the occasion.
Reflecting on the event, Colonel Torres saw the pageant as much more than a memorable experience for the contestants. "These young women grew more in the course of their preparation for this pageant -- growth in terms of maturity, self-awareness and a recognition of where they want to be in life -- than they have all year," he said. "As I watched them work toward their goal, I saw 12 shy, introverted girls grow into strong, confident young ladies ready to make their mark on the world. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and these are 12 beautiful young women." (photo by Jackie Hites)