Local teen earns Miss Eastern Shore Junior Teen crown
By Jason Gabak
Helena Thousand, a student at West Genesee Senior High will be making a trip to Orlando around Thanksgiving this year.
But her trip is not just for a fun family getaway, Thousand will be competing at the Miss American Junior Teen Pageant 2017.
Thousand was recently crowned Miss Eastern Shore Junior Teen, earning her spot at the national competition in November.
“It is incredible,” Thousand said. “It is an amazing feeling. I never really thought I would be crowned. It is a great feeling and it is a great opportunity to get to go and compete at the national level. I am honored to get to go and to have earned this title.”
The Camillus native said she started competing in pageant at a fairly early age.
“My grandmother got me into it when I was four,” Thousand said. “I really liked it.”
Thousand said she took a break from pageants for a brief time, but was drawn back to competitions.
“For me it is a lot of fun,” Thousand said. “It is fun to wear the puffy dress and be in a spotlight. But I’ve also made a lot of friends. That is one of the best parts. Every time you go somewhere you meet new people and you are making new friends.”
Thousand has competed all over the northeast at competition in New York City and New Jersey among numerous others.
When not competing Thousand is involved in many school activities.
She is a manager of the high school football team and is an avid supporter of the basketball team and a member of the school dance team.
In addition to her school activities, Thousand also has her own non-profit, Cans for Cancer.
Thousand said she was inspired by a friend from elementary school to create this charitable endeavor.
“My friend Sophie had cancer when we were 8,” Thousand said. “When I lost her it was very upsetting and I wanted to do something more.”
Thousand has signs around and school and various locations in the community where she collect bottles.
Once the bottles have been redeemed and funds are amassed, the money is distributed to various organizations that work to fight cancer and take on research to find treatments and one day a cure.
As part of her pageant work, Thousand has had the chance to share her story with many people.
“It is nice to be able to do something to help,” Thousand said. “It is nice to be able to share my story and tell people about what we are trying to do.”
Thousand is excited by the prospect of competing for Miss American Junior Teen.
The pageant offers various awards including cash prizes and scholarships.
Over the next few months, Thousand said she will be preparing, working on her presentation and other aspects of the pageant competition.
“It is exciting,” Thousand said. “I am really looking forward to going and seeing everyone and making new friends. It is a real honor to be able to do this and I am excited to be able to be a part of something like this.”
Mar 18, 2018