Miss Junior Teen

Miss Jr. Teen DEPAOLI

Maddie DePaoli

M. DePaoli

There is a lot of talent at Kings, including some that might be a bit “under the radar.”

For example, there is a certified pageant queen walking the halls of Kings. KHS sophomore Grace Palaparty, new to Kings this year, was crowned “Miss Jr. Teen” at the Cites of America National Teen Competition this past December in Orlando, Fla.

With only having done the preliminary pageant, this is her first pageant experience and likely not her last. Palaparty beat out over 50 girls and was awarded a cruise and a $7500 scholarship she plans on using for college.

Her mom, dad, and sister Keren went with her to Orlando. Though she had to miss her midterm exams, she said it was well worth it to enjoy her experience to meet new friends and learn more speech skills.

“The pageant was a great event which definitely makes up for missing exams,” Palaparty said.

She wasn’t sure if she would compete after the preliminary pageant but decided to participate since “the pageant is a celebration of talent and is an effective means to campaign social issues and problems emerging in society.”

Winning the pageant wasn’t all about the prizes for Palaparty. Though they were nice to to have won, her true reward was “was gaining the timeless knowledge and experience that I will possess for a lifetime.”

One of the main components of the competition was collaborating with the other contestants to learn a dance. It showed how everyone could cooperate and allowed them to work together while learning.

“The dance number is my most cherished memory because it was a whole group journey that exhibited the power of teamwork.” said Palaparty.

To Palaparty, elegance isn’t about glitzy dresses or makeup, but rather “your natural beautiful self.” This belief was part of what made her win her title.

Along with being crowned Miss Jr. Teen, Palaparty has many more awards under her belt, including the Ohio Osteopathic Medical Award, a two-time Ohio Senate Outstanding Student of Academic Recognition, and rewarded by Northeast Ohio Medical University for microbiology.

“With dedication anything is possible,” Palaparty said.

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