Catelyn Combellick didn’t expect to follow her mother’s footsteps onto a pageant runway.
“My mom (Denise) was a runner-up for Miss Missouri,” Combellick said. “I never thought pageants were something I would do. But she showed me newspaper clippings of her and I thought it was really cool. She’s been helping me and we just decided to go for it.”
The Carmel High School sophomore is in the Miss Indiana Teen USA competition, which will be held Oct. 21-22 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Two Carmel women, Madison Boldry and Carrington Turner, will compete in the Miss Indiana USA pageant, which is held at the same time.
Combellick looks forward to her first pageant experience.
“I think it will be a good opportunity to branch out,” Combellick said. “I kind of have low confidence and I think this will get me out of my shell and meeting new people.”
Combellick’s platform is working with students with autism. It has long been her passion because her nephew has autism.
“I’ve seen the effects of bullying people with autism, so I have made it my goal to make sure he feels included and loved,” Combellick said. “I’ve been doing camps for children with autism and helped my orchestra out with children with disabilities to help them learn how to play instruments. These are amazing kids, and they just need the opportunity to show it.”
Combellick has been working with a top-ranked public speaker, Kelly Sargeant, to prepare for her interview. Sargeant was second runner-up in World Champion Public Speaking in 2014. Combellick also has gotten instruction in how to walk in heels and evening wear.
“It’s taken a lot of practice and at lot of physical training to get physically fit, but I’m super excited about it,” said Combellick, who models for Helen Wells Agency.
For more, visit thecenterpresents.org.