SYRACUSE — Wearing the new crowns of Miss Kosciusko and Miss Outstanding Teen were Naevenya Moore and Jordyn Leininger evening on Saturday Feb. 16. Both were ecstatic, as were other pageant contestants, to be crowned.
Moore, a 17-year-old from Warsaw Community High School, held the stage with her elegantly composed answers during the question category. Moore’s social impact statement was fighting cultural intolerance.
“This was actually my first pageant,” shared Moore when others complimented her. Along with a $750 scholarship, Moore will receive an additional $250 toward her state competition dress.
The first runner up for Miss Kosciusko was Julianna Niebba, an 18-year-old student at Purdue University, whose social impact statement was healing self harm. Niebba received a $400 scholarship.
Leininger, who placed as second runner-up for Miss Outstanding Teen in 2018, is a 14-year-old from Whitko Jr./Sr. High School. Leininger’s unyielding smile and confidence was difficult to miss in each portion of the pageant, which won her $75. Her social impact statement was possibilities — sharing love of livestock with everyone.
The first runner up for Miss Outstanding Teen was Katelyn Joseph, a 13-year-old from Garrett Middle School, whose social impact statement was get caught reading — promoting literacy to children. Joseph won also won $75.
The second runner up was Josie Niebbia, a 14-year-old from Warsaw Community High School, whose social impact statement was service with a smile. Niebba received $50.
In celebration of the 2019 Miss Kosciusko County Pageant and the 10th year Amy Miller has directed the event, Miss Kosciuskos and Miss Outstanding Teens from the previous years were brought back. Emceeing the pageant was two-time Miss Kosciusko and Wawasee High School graduate, Shelley Sanders-Lantz.
Elizabeth Deetz, 2018 Miss Outstanding Teen, and Lacey Helfers, 2018 Miss Kosciusko, were also present on stage to display their talents and the give thanks to those who had a great impact on them during their year.
Despite the misconception that pageants like Miss Kosciusko County are beauty pageants and about vanity, the scholarships awarded have assisted winners in achieving educational degrees in all sorts of fields, leading to professions in chemical engineering or community involvement and outreach.
While it seems easy to stand on a stage and say that they want to make a difference, previous Miss Kosciuskos and Miss Teens prove they mean every word.