By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: September 2010
Judges Coordinator Christe Walkup and Pageant Director Phyllis Lewis say this pageant isn’t just about makeup, hairstyles and glitz, it has a serious purpose – to help girls fund their educational goals and teach them lifelong skills.
Brains will reign over beauty in the 10th annual Sapulpa National Teenager Scholarship Pageant on September 18.
Unlike a beauty pageant, this is a leadership-based scholarship pageant that emphasizes scholastic achievement, community involvement, public speaking and strong values.
Contestants attend workshops that are designed to prepare them not only for the pageant, but also for human relations, speaking, poise and interview skills. They learn to set goals for themselves and develop a plan to reach them. The girls also get involved in community projects, where they make a difference while setting examples as positive role models.
The idea for the pageant came when director and business owner Phyllis Lewis noticed many intelligent young girls who could not even approach her for a job. Others who came into her Merle Norman Studio felt that emulating the look of the latest media flash and looking good on the outside was the answer to getting somewhere in life.
Phyllis understood where they were coming from. Although she agreed that looking one’s best is important, she also understood that real beauty comes from the inside.
Developing a pageant was a natural to someone who had competed in many of them, including Mrs. Oklahoma in 2000. The business owner, artist and personal coach learned through the school of hard knocks how to stand on her own two feet as a young woman in business for herself. The pageant would be her way of helping others develop the self-confidence and skills they need to succeed.
The teen pageant consists of four age divisions: Pre-teen, 9-12; Junior Teen, 13-15; Teen, 16-18 and Miss, 19-25. Those who aspire to someday become a Miss Teen get their practice in Baby Miss, Little Miss and Little Sweetheart Sapulpa divisions.
On pageant night, a panel of five judges will score each of the girls in six categories: grade point average and achievement, school and community involvement, personal interview, personal expression, on-stage question, and evening gown.
The winner of each teen title will receive a cash scholarship and prize package worth up to $4,000, and go on to compete in the Miss Oklahoma National Teenager Pageant in May. There she will have the opportunity to win a $78,000 scholarship and other prizes.
Through the years, Phyllis has seen the pageant develop the best in the best. Lindsey Williams won Miss Teen Sapulpa in 2005. She went on to win both the state and national titles and over $100,000 in scholarship money. She currently teaches second grade. Allison Greco was the first Miss Teen Sapulpa in 2000. After earning a degree in engineering, she won the Mrs. Oklahoma title in 2008.
Only one girl will be crowned in each teen category, but everyone is a winner. Many girls have made comments such as, “I never could have gotten into the school I wanted, the sorority I wanted, or the job I wanted without having competed in this pageant.”
In some situations, college would not have been possible without scholarships. “It makes me feel so good to know that as of this year, we will have helped 40 very deserving young ladies,” says Phyllis.
Special supporters of the pageant include Make A Difference Foundation, Cornelius Ranch-Kellyville, First United Bank and Freddie’s Steak House. Sponsorships for laptops and scholarship funds are still welcome. Any size donation will help to make the night extra special for some extra special young ladies.
This year’s pageant will be held at a new and bigger location, the Northeastern State University Broken Arrow Campus at 3100 E. New Orleans St. in Broken Arrow. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more information, call Phyllis at
(918) 224-6912. You can also find them on Facebook by searching Miss Sapulpa Pageant.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.