“Pageant girls” are often viewed as pretty and polished, but I have known for years that these young women are in fact world changers! They dedicate countless hours to a cause in their communities in the hopes of making a difference, even if it’s just one life.
For years people have suggested that pageants are outdated, even useless, but I whole-heartedly disagree. Over the last 28 years of my time in “pageant land,” I have seen the power of the crown. I have watched as it has opened doors of opportunity and helped so many young women achieve their dreams. Pageantry teaches leadership, confidence and dedication. Pageantry builds character by shaping and refining a sense of self.
I met JaeceeRae as a little girl when her sister was my titleholder as a local MAO Princess. Now, 10 years later, we are creating custom headshots for JaeceeRae’s competitions. We have turned crowns upside-down, made funny faces, and yes, even made momma sit down so we could get the perfect shots. (Sorry Whitney, you know I love you).
Take a moment to read about what makes JaeceeRae #StandOutInACrown
What is your Current Title?
Miss Tri-Cities Teen USA 2021
When or how did you get involved in pageantry?
I’ve been competing in pageants since I was 1 year old. I watched my sister Jurnee compete and wanted to be just like her!
Why did you choose pageantry over all the other extra curricular activities to be involved in? or do you do it all?
I love both cheerleading and pageants! I’ve been cheerleading since I was 3 years old and was a competitive cheerleader for 2 years. I was honored to be chosen as a UCA All-Star Cheerleader. This past s season I was voted co-captain of my high school squad as a Freshman! Fun fact: I can do 23 back handsprings in a row! I hope to get a scholarship to college for cheerleading!
What pageant systems have you competed in? Brag on yourself…
I’ve probably competed in 100+ pageants over the years. I have won about 80+ titles. I’ve had 3 National titles: Jr Miss Cosmos United States 2019, Today’s International Teen 2018 & Miss Pre-Teen U.S. Mini Supreme 2017. My current titles are: Miss Teen Tri-Cities-Cities USA 2021, Miss Teen Appalachian Fair 2019/20, Miss Teen Buchanan County 2020, Miss Jr Teen Crown Talk 2020, and Miss Teen Sevier County Fair 2020. My dream is to win the title of Miss Tennessee Teen USA and compete at the Miss Teen USA pageant!
What is your platform, social impact initiative or service project and why did you become involved?
I was born into a journey of service. As long as I can remember, I’ve helped my family help those in need. Watching and participating along with them helped develop my passion for helping others with a servant heart. I strive to be a ray of sunshine in the lives of others. That’s why I named my platform: JaeceeRae-of-Sunshine. To date, I have collected and distributed tens of thousands of items to homeless shelters, animal shelters and ministries in 8 states. My largest drive was in 2019, where we collected 8,075 pairs of shoes and donated them to Haiti. We filled up an entire tractor-trailer full!!! It was a lot of work but such a blessing to know that thousands of people would have shoes to wear!
What piece of advice would you give to someone new to pageantry?
You can do it!!
Pageantry is a Sisterhood where you can make lifelong friends. You become part of a network of people who want to help you succeed and accomplish great things. I’ve been given so many amazing opportunities through pageants! My favorite was modeling in New York Fashion week in NYC!
What does it mean for you to be a #goodwingirl?
A picture can say a Thousand Words to a judge. That’s why it’s so important to have fabulous photos because often times a judge sees your photo long before they ever meet you for the first time. Krisna understands this because she has been a judge, director, coach and competitor! Her expertise behind the camera comes from experience. She doesn’t just take photos, she finds out who you are, your goals and personality. She works the camera, lighting, etc. around your personality and captures the real YOU!! I’m honored to be a #goodwingirl!
What do you hope your pageant legacy to be?
I always encourage girls to find their passion and work hard to help others. The power of one makes a difference and that difference can start with you. The question I get asked the most is “What can I do to help?” I have fundraising ideas and tips to help you get started on my website: www.jaeceeraeofsunshine.org. Find your passion and make it happen!
I want to wish JaeceeRae, the best of luck at Miss Tennessee Teen USA and in the next chapters life brings your way. Without a doubt, you will continue to have success in all areas! Keep being that sunshine, because we all need a little sunshine in our lives. Be sure to follow her journey on instagram.