The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


Marley Lightkeeper; Teen Pageant Queen


Only a few people get to say that they have been Miss Iowa Pre-Teen. Freshman Marley Lightkeeper has a unique hobby- pageants. Throughout her life, Lightkeeper has been involved in pageants ever since she was a young girl. She has experienced both the good and the bad parts of competing for a crown. 

Depending on what pageant she attends, her preparation can take up to a year. She says when preparing for a smaller pageant, she has to start working months in advance, working with a coach to create walking patterns to later perform. But the national pageants are more complex when trying to prepare. An important part of prepping for pageants is showing acts of service. 

I didn’t realize how service-oriented it was. So when I was trying to find out what my platform was, it was really hard to see the struggles in the world and only pick one,” said Lightkeeper.

In her case, she has her nonprofit organization, Little Acorns, which encourages kids in the community to donate their time to helping others by doing different projects. Through this nonprofit, she has been able to make blankets for the Children Cancer Connection and help gather kids to volunteer their time to help at The Well.

Lightkeeper has been able to become the person she is today by doing pageants. For instance, she used to be shy and in her bubble when growing up, but pageants have helped bring her out of her shell, making her bright, bubbly, and confident by meeting new people and becoming friends with people from all over the country. She has gotten to learn and experience how to become a performer and speaker for others. 

“I think it has helped me with public speech and helped me speak in front of people about topics I care about and getting my voice out,” said Lightkeeper.

Even though Lightkeeper’s pageant career has been successful, it has not always been smooth. She thinks that compared to others she has been able to stay out of the drama. The drama is the thing that pageants get a bad rap for. She likes to emphasize that the drama is not as extreme as it is on TV and people who have not had good experience with pageants didn’t go to the right one. She knows that there are parts of the pageant world that are not pretty and has had to deal with some herself. 

“The biggest part is regret and sadness if you did not place,” said Lightkeeper. “But it’s important to remember that it is just a score and it doesn’t reflect on you personally. It’s just an opinion.”

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