Summarized by Eileen Bell
LDS Girl Chose America's Junior Miss 2000
ST GEORGE, UTAH -- An 18 year old LDS girl from St. George, Utah, is
America's Junior Miss 2000. Jessika Henderson borrowed a beaded gown
from a neighbor and went on to dazzle the pageant judges with her
lovely personality, brains, talent, and (although she downplays it )
her looks. "The whole platform of Junior Miss is encouraging girls
to be the best that they can be, in all different aspects. The
winners aren't necessarily the most beautiful girls around and
really, looks don't have that much to do with it."
Jessika's long-time dance teacher Candy Fowler is also a
former Junior Miss. "As I watched Jesika grow up, I knew this was
an exceptional young girl with no inkling just how exceptional.
She wasn't raised as a prima donna at home, and it's not in
her to need special attention." "I see Jesika as a missionary; when
she goes to appearances and speaks to crowds of young girls, they
will see that if you hold true to your values, you will be rewarded. Her
winning Junior Miss shows that good things happen to good girls."
When you add up all the different city and state levels the pageant
encompasses, close to six thousand girls entered the race. Jessika
says, "When I started this, I never even thought that I would end up
here. It was a complete surprise and I'm still amazed at it."
So why did Jessika enter? "My dad got this phone call from a
woman saying she thought I should participate in the state
competition. At first he said, 'No, we don't do pageants,' but then
later we found out more about it and the scholarship money involved."
Now, "I have six years to spend the money on education-related
things. I want to go to Israel to study abroad, and this money will
help pay for that."
Mother Carrie Henderson says the year as Junior Miss will help
Jessika experience things she might not have had the chance to
do othewise. "Not only is she getting an excellent education from
this, but I think traveling around and having the chance to meet
different people will affect her in a really positive way."
Junior Miss Shows Nice Girls Don't Finish Last
Salt Lake Tribune 23Jul00 P2
By Stacy Jurado: Salt Lake Tribune