BERWYN – Morton West High School junior Thalia Baez, of Berwyn, was selected to participate in the 2014 Miss Teen Chicago pageant competition to be held Oct. 27.
Baez will participate in the Miss Teen division, one of four divisions covering ages 7 through 19. Contestants will compete in modeling routines in both casual and formal wear.
Baez said she found out about the contest through a letter sent to her from pageant officials. She attended an interview Oct. 4 in Naperville where she was judged on her personality and interviewing skills by a Chicago judging panel. Personality is the number one aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition, according to pageant officials.
Contestants for the Chicago pageant are selected from within a 50-mile radius of the city, pageant spokesman Tracy Evans said
“We have a pageant team that travels for us,” Evans said. “We look for girls with personality.”
Baez will be competing for her share of thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts that will be distributed to contestants. If she wins the title of Miss Teen Chicago, she would represent Chicago and the surrounding communities at the National Competition Dec. 11 through 16 in Orlando, Fla.
More than $30,000 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition, while each winner enjoys the all expense paid trip in Orlando.
Baez, who plans on studying psychiatry in college, said it’s all a first for her.
“This will be my first time doing a pageant,” she said. “I’ve been in choir, so I’ve performed in front of the whole school. I’ve also been on the stage in plays in middle school.”
For her the pageant means more than prizes.
“What I’m really hoping for is to meet new people, gain more confidence and to be more comfortable on stage,” she said.
Sponsoring Baez in her efforts are family members and businesses, including her aunt’s Humboldt Park restaurant. Through sponsorship, contestants receive necessary training, rehearsals and financial support needed to prepare for the pageant.
Any business, organization, or private individual who may be interested in becoming a sponsor to Thalia may contact the Miss Teen Chicago Pageant Coordinator at 1-877-403-6678.