Pageant queen: Freshman wins USOA Teen Pennsylvania 2023


By Abbie Preston, Staff Reporter

Marching down the streets of Philadelphia during the Veterans Day parade, freshman Kelly Campbell looked at the smiling children and applauding adults and understood her influence as United States of America Teen Pennsylvania 2023. Campbell competed for the title in October 2022 participating in events that showcased personality and style. The annual title is granted to women who “empower women, inspire others, and uplift everyone,” according to United States of America Pageants. For Campbell, the title elicits a mission to foster a welcoming community.

“It’s just all about showing off to our community how strong women can be,” Campbell said. “Especially for a teen, I think it’s difficult in the (years) that we’re in to speak out, and I think that (the pageant) gives (girls) the opportunity to really be a spokesperson for our community.”

What set Campbell apart from other candidates was her stage presence. Her connection to the judges allowed her to express her opinions in her interview, a key part of the competition.

“Onstage, the exact question was, ‘What trait about you displays a good role model?’ I said that I think that my confidence displays a good role model because I’m not afraid to get my opinion out there when it is needed,” Campbell said. “I’m not afraid to speak to adults, and I think that teens need to realize that our opinions need to be out there and when (they) are supposed to and when (they) are needed.”

As her first pageant, Campbell did not expect to take home the crown, so when she received the title, she was filled with emotion.

“Mostly, I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting to go away with anything else except a (good) experience and (making) friends with the other girls,” Campbell said. “I was just extremely happy and overjoyed to be given this wonderful title because there’s a lot of benefits, and there’s just a lot of opportunities that can come from it.”

With her new platform, “No Excuse for Animal Abuse,” Campbell has chosen to advocate against animal cruelty and spends her time volunteering at and donating supplies to the local SPCA. Campbell is grateful that her newly acquired position has allowed her to become more involved in her community.

“I’ve done a lot for my platform, and it just shows that a lot of people are benefiting from it and a lot of the animals are benefitting from it,” Campbell said. “It just makes me feel great that I can really help a certain cause and just be passionate about it.”

Abbie Preston can be reached at [email protected].