RUTLAND - It came as a big surprise for 15-year-old Rutland High School student Taylor Hough-the friendly, goal-oriented young woman was thrilled when she heard the big news that she was crowned Miss Teen Vermont International recently. It's an honor to be crowned for this teen pageant, a pageant that stresses character and smarts over the usual pageant kitsch.
To travel the long road to the ultimate crowning event of the Miss Teen International contest, Hough will be busy during the next few months. Then, she will head to Chicago, Ill., in July to compete at the gala national pageant for the title of Miss Teen International.
For any Miss Teen contestant heading to Chicago this summer, the areas of competition are designed to help weed out the major players from the others. So, far, Taylor Hough looks like a star. This winter, the RHS student has remained focused on her personal competition platform titled "Rising above a Disability".
Most parents and teachers will tell you there is plenty of negative news reported about today's youth. But there are far more positive news stories to tell about contemporary teens that don't make it to the headlines. That's why Miss Teen International, an organization based in Roanoke, Va., was developed as a positive means to promote today's young women, ages 13-18, and their many in-school and after-school accomplishments.
The Miss Teen International 2010 competition will be held July 22-24 at the Northshore Center for the Performing Arts in Chicago. This event will give Hough the opportunity to learn about customs and family life in other countries along with the chance to share her beliefs and make plenty of new friends during the entire week of activities leading up to two exciting nights of competition. Prizes and scholarships will be awarded to the winning contestant.
Each contestant, according to Hough, competes in an interview competition valued at 40 percent of her total score, evening gown valued at 20 percent, fitness wear at 20 percent, and fun fashion wear at 20 percent. Each contestant has the opportunity to select a platform of her choice that she spends the year promoting. Hough is interested in the topic of surmounting disabilities.
Hough is a busy freshman at Rutland High School and she is active in field hockey, lacrosse, and dance competitions. She continues after-school and on weekends as a community volunteer.
Hough is the daughter of Edward and Deborah Hough, sister of Adam and Jennifer, and granddaughter of Maurice and Judith Quesnel and Irene and the late Edward Hough.
Taylor Hough speaks:
• What is your favorite word ?
My favorite word is "intensity"-it means great strength and energy, which is how I live my life from being in school, on the dance floor, or on the lacrosse field.
• What are your beauty secrets?
My beauty secrets are that a little bit goes a long way.
• What do you take most pride in? Why?
I take most pride in being the teen that I am. I have accomplished many things in my 15 years that will take me great places in life.
• What is your favorite day of the week and why?
My favorite day of the week is Wednesday because the week is half over and I know another great week is only a few days away.
• Do you have a good luck charm? What is it?
My good luck charm is my cat Oreo; he is not only my cat, but my best friend. I know wherever I go, he's always clapping his paws for me.
Interview courtesy of Miss Teen International