- Associated Press - Monday, June 6, 2016

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Brittany Green has been competing in pageants since she could walk. But it was when Miss Arkansas visited her elementary school several years ago that she knew that it was her passion - it was what she wanted to do.

Today the Cedar Ridge junior and reigning Teen Miss Independence is preparing to represent the entire state after recently being named the 2016 Teen Miss Arkansas, The Batesville Daily Guard (https://bit.ly/1PnWSuy ) reported.

“I am very excited. . This is such a great honor,” said Green, who will be traveling to Las Vegas on July 29 through Aug. 5 to compete for the title of Teen Miss USA.

She recalled being in pageants since she wasn’t much bigger than a toddler and said she has always liked competing in pageants, but it was when Newark High alumnus and 2007 Miss Arkansas Ashlen Batson paid a special visit to speak to the students at Newark Elementary that Green said she knew that is what she wanted to do.

“Something inside me just said, ‘That’s it,’ that is what I want to do,” she said.

Green recalled hearing Batson talk about how much she enjoyed being an ambassador for the state and how competing in pageants had prepared her to be successful in school and in life. She specifically paid attention to how much it paid off in scholarships.

“That is very important to me; I want to help my mother out as much as possible when it comes to paying for my college education,” said the rising high school senior who has plans to pursue a career as an agricultural science teacher.

Green, who was also named second runner-up in the 2015 Arkansas State Fair, is an honor student and is active in her school, where she currently serves as the junior class president, an officer in FFA, is a member of FBLA, Beta Club, the livestock show team and varsity volleyball team.

And it is this well-roundedness about her that she hopes will help her win the crown of Teen Miss USA.

Her platform, “Adoption is the Option,” which raises awareness and advocacy for getting Arkansas children out of foster homes and in permanent families by means of adoption, is something that Green and her family are very passionate about.

Green said her family was a foster family for a young boy for two years until he was reunified with his parents.

“There is such a huge need for permanent homes for children in our state,” she said. “Fortunately, the boy who lived with us was reunified with his real family, which is the best case scenario.”

Also nodding to the importance of orphaned children overseas, Green said she and her mother, Carla Middleton, traveled to Haiti in 2013 on a mission trip, where they spent several days helping construct a fence for a local orphanage as well as feeding and caring for the children there.

As far as the competition itself, she will be going against contestants from all 50 states in a rigorous four-part process that includes one-on-one interviews with five different judges, a fitness and swimsuit portion, an evening gown portion and an on-stage question.

“I’ve been practicing my interviewing skills every chance I can get,” she said about the interview portion. “I’m getting more confident each day with the help of a lot of practice.”

As far as the swimsuit and fitness portion, Green (who admittedly loves to cook and make her own custom ice cream) laughed as she explained how her preparations are going for the contest, which is less than two months away.

“I’ve been doing P90-X every day; it is intense. But I really love my ice cream,” she said with a laugh.

For her evening wear, Green described a custom-made, royal blue strapless gown from Applause in Little Rock, who paid for nearly its entire amount as a way to support and sponsor Green.

“It is such a beautiful gown. And I am so thankful to the folks at Applause; they are great people.”

Finally, Green says she will have to provide an opinionated 30-second response to an on-stage question during the competition.

Green said she has been practicing and preparing for each portion of the competition under the guidance of her mentor Summer Wilson, who is the United States National Pageant Inc. executive director for Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“She has been a huge help. I am in constant contact with her and constantly blowing up her phone; she is probably getting tired of me,” Green said, laughing.

But Green is taking this serious and said she is going to do everything she can to be ready for the competition this summer and has started a fundraising campaign to help offset costs for the trip to Las Vegas.

She said there are several ways people can help donate to her cause; she is selling custom T-shirts and wristbands, held a recent car wash and will have her own vendor booth at this weekend’s upcoming Unity Fest at Riverside Park - where she will be selling ice cream.

Green added that all donations are tax-deductible and checks can be made to Brittany Green, Teen ARUS at 215 Watson Road, Batesville, AR 72501.

Speaking of her daughter, Middleton said, “Brittany has turned into an amazing young lady. Between her pageant, farm animals, job and school, she blows me away. She has a personality that radiates; she simply just glows.”


Information from: Batesville Guard, https://www.guardonline.com/

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