By Mark Ambrogi
Forget what you’ve seen on reality shows about pageants. The Indiana Outstanding Teen pageants have been a far different experience for Samantha Robbins.
“I’m going to be competing alongside 29 of the most talented, well-spoken young women in the state,” Robbins said. “It’s not like the things you see on “Toddlers & Tiaras” or you might see in the movies. It’s a sisterhood where we make some of our greatest friends that we could ever have.”
Robbins and Gracen Stanczykiewicz, who will be Zionsville Community High School seniors in the fall, are competing in the
Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen (ages 13-17) June 17-20 at Zionsville Performing Arts Center. Miss Indiana competition also will be held at the same time.
Robbins qualified by winning Banks of the Wabash Outstanding Teen in October. Stanczykiewicz captured the Miss Fall Festival Outstanding Teen title in September.
“Samantha and I good friends. I love that girl,” Stanczykiewicz said.
There will be an eight-minute private interview with judges, an active wear portion that replaces the swimsuit portion, a 90-second talent spot and and an evening gown with on-stage question.
“I’m willing to go outside of my comfort zone because I used to be shy,” Robbins said. “But I didn’t really mind that there was a speaking portion. I ended up taking a risk and I ended up having this program be a huge part of my life. It’s made me the confident person I am. This is helping me develop all sorts of life skills that can help me later on meeting new people and with my job opportunities.”
Robbins usually speaks about the benefits of Drugs Abuse Resistance Education program. She went through the D.A.R.E. training to be staff at R.O.C.K. (Really Outrageous Christian Kids) program at ZIonsville United Method Church.
“I would like to be involved in Miss Indiana organization as long as I can be,” Robbins said. “It’s something that changed me and helped me become who I am.”
Robbins, who will perform a tap dance routine, is headed to the Miss Outstanding Teen for the third consecutive year. Stanczykiewicz never was in a pageant before the Miss Fall Festival.
“I’ve grown up watching them and my mom (Carmen) is a former pageant winner (Indiana Junior Miss),” Stanczykiewicz said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the great people involved in the organization. I feel fortunate to be part of. It’s definitely one of those experiences I have time to embrace. It’s one of those once-of-lifetime chance.”
Stanczykiewicz, a member of ZIonsville’s show choir, will be singing “Home” from “The Wiz.”
“I’m feeling so blessed to participate in this competition,” Stanczykiewicz said.
Stanczykiewicz would like to major in communications and minor in Spanish.
“Ultimately, I want to become a cause-oriented public relations professional,” she said.
Robbins is interested in pursuing a major in graphic design or advertising and having a minor in dance.