Erika Etzelmiller was crowned Miss Nebraska Teen USA on January 17, 2016, and went on to compete nationally on July 29-30. Etzelmiller gradated from Lincoln Southwest High School in May 2016. While at LSW, she was an active member of National Honor Society, the varsity cheerleading captain, and was enrolled in AP and college level courses.
First, where did you go to elementary and middle school?
I went to Maxey Elementary and Lux Middle School.
What was it about the Miss Teen Nebraska event that caught your initial interest?
I initially became interested in the Miss Nebraska Teen USA pageant because I met a few girls while modeling in New York City that had been former title holders and they really impressed me! They told me about all the great opportunities they'd gotten from being in the pageant and being a title holder so I decided to give it a try!
What are the opportunities you've had through this experience?
A few opportunities I've had throughout my year are getting to go help out military families at a USO event in New Jersey, be a part of the UNL dance marathon benefitting the Children's Miracle Network, and be a part of the Cornhusker Games Opening Ceremony!
What are the challenges that have come before you through this experience?
Challenges that have come through this experience would be managing school, cheer, and my title. Time management has definitely been something that I've learned this year!
What causes have you dedicated yourself to whether it's volunteering or promotion?
There hasn't been just one cause that I've dedicated myself to, I've really tried to be open to helping as many charities and organizations as I could!
As Miss Teen Nebraska, what responsibilities do you have?
The responsibilities I have while being Miss Nebraska Teen USA include being a role model, representing Nebraska at the Miss Teen USA pageant, and giving back to my community!
It looks like you headed to a Miss Teen USA event, can you describe the event and what's involved for you?
I competed at Miss Teen USA on July 29 and 30th in Las Vegas at the Venetian! I was in Vegas the whole week prior to meet all of the other girls and rehearse for the show. The competition portion was comprised of 3 parts- interview, evening gown, and athletic wear! I didn't end up bringing home the crown, but I did gain 50 new friendships that I am very thankful for!
How has this experience shaped what you hope to do for a career or college?
This experience has allowed me to not only meet many new people throughout the country, but also make those connections which will help me in the future! The interview portion of the competition definitely helped me get interview practice which I will need when applying for grad school and my future career! All together, my year as Miss Nebraska Teen USA has given me many opportunities to help around my community and has made me a more well rounded individual! If any girls are interested, I would strongly encourage them to give pageants a try because it really is a great way to push yourself to be the best version of you!
Published: August 19, 2016, Updated: August 19, 2016