Junior Miss contestants prep for program

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
For most teenage girls, 10 days without cell phone or Internet use would not be worth it, but for Escambia County’s Junior Miss Alaina Arnold it’s a sacrifice she willingly made to compete for Alabama’s Junior Miss.
Arnold, along with 52 other girls in the state, left on Jan. 8, eight days before the competition for the state finals in Montgomery.
According to Arnold’s grandmother, Debbie Rowell, the opportunity was something her granddaughter was looking towards enthusiastically.
Rowell said Arnold, who is a senor at Escambia Academy, did have some “butterflies and jitters,” but overall excitement overshadowed them.
Rowell added that the girls’ schedule is very intense with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. everyday and a break for lunch and dinner and rehearsal again until 10 p.m.
The girls stay at host families’ homes and have some meals sponsored by businesses and organizations.
They also are taken on local trips, such as to the zoo, to break up the rigorous schedule.
Arnold will also be getting to perform her talent for the competition (a jazz and lyrical dance) at a local elementary school. According to Rowell, she was one of a select group of the girls asked to do so.
Rowell said Arnold’s family does not even get to see her until after the competition on Saturday night.
The competition is broken into three events, with a fitness and self expression routine preliminary on Friday night, a talent preliminary on Saturday and the main competition on Saturday night.
The America’s Junior Miss Program was founded in 1957 and is the oldest and largest scholarship program for high school senior girls.
Rowell said Arnold took it upon herself to get involved in the program, and wanted to do so because of the scholarship opportunities.
The winner from the state competition will go onto compete in the 52nd annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals from June 25 through 27 in Mobile.

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