Liberty High School Student Crowned "2013 Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen"

By Renee Courtney | July 04, 2013

The Crown for "Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen" can be found in Harrison County for upcoming year. It belongs to Liberty High School student Emily Lopez.

Lopez was crowned Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen in a ceremony in Morgantown on Wednesday.  She is the daughter of Jimmy and Shannon Lopez.  Jimmy is the principal at Lincoln High School and Shannon is a teacher at Adamston Elementary.

Lopez has been involved with the Monarch Miss program for 10 years, and that was what led to her becoming involved with America Pageant System.

“It's a mentor program for little girls; we get to mentor them, and get to see a lot of the backstage things that most of people don't get to see,” Lopez said.

At the age of 17, this would have been the last year that Lopez would be able to compete in the Teen division.

“I went into it, with no expectations, not knowing what would happen,” Lopez said. “I was really fortunate.”

Before being crowned Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen, Lopez was the first national title holder from our state, when she was crowned Miss Junior Teen United States representing West Virginia in 2010.

Lopez is now the first to hold two state titles. She previously reigned as Miss Jr. Teen West Virginia.

Contestants were judged on their speaking skills and articulation of their platform, as well as other areas of competition.

“We had a backstage interview, about eight minutes long between us and the judges,” Lopez said. “They could ask us anything, your favorite color, about your platform, to what you thought about what was going on in the news today.”

Teens competing in the pageant also participated in an on-stage interview. Lopez was ask about her platform and what she felt was the most important aspect of it.

“My platform is called “Go for it”. I'm very fortunate to have four very important elements in my life that make me successful. Those elements are Faith, Family, Education and Community. I believe that it is my job to help others to discover their most excellent selves on the inside and out. Whether it be through school, working hard, volunteering in the community, helping family, going to church and being strong in my faith. I believe it is important to have all four of those elements,” Lopez said.

“So when I was asked to choose what one was more superior over the other, I couldn't choose. Without all of those four elements, I would not be as successful as I am. It's much like the working parts of a car. If you remove the steering wheel, you can't steer the car; if you remove the engine, the car won't start. If you remove any element, you can't be your most excellent self.”

This year's pageant included a fitness competition and a production number, which included costumes that contestants  designed themselves with fabric that was supplied to them by pageant officials.

Another group performance was a pajama number complete with a pillow fight.

Lopez made a point to mention the camaraderie that is shared between the girls in the America Pageant System.

“Something a lot of people don't realize, is there is a sisterhood, I didn't even realize how special it would be until I was put into the position, where I won,” Lopez said. “People have this misconception that if you don't win there is cattiness and jealousy. But I'm telling you when I won last night I was attacked by all the other girls congratulating me. It's just a really great feeling because there is such a strong sisterhood among all of us. It might sound cliché, but we were really are blessed to be with a group of elite, influential and very successful people. It was a really great experience.”

“I'm still a little shocked and overwhelmed,” Lopez said. “I hope to do well in Nationals as well; I'll be leaving in four or five weeks. It's all very fast paced, we just got all the paperwork and documents back today.”

Lopez will represent West Virginia at Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant, in Orlando, Fla. scheduled for August. 

The Miss West Virginia's Outstanding Teen Organization and Pageant, is the official preliminary to the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Scholarship Program, showcases some of the most talented, educated, and socially aware women of our state. The goal of this organization is to promote the education of young women ages 13-17 who reside in West Virginia, by providing educational scholarships at every local pageant and the annual state pageant.

The runner-up to the crown for the 2012 Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen was Robert C. Byrd student Krystian Leonard.

Photo of Emily Lopez by COUNTRY CHARM PHOTOGRAPHY.

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