Pinehurst teen Emma Taylor has not only been named USA National Miss North Carolina Jr. Teen, but she also has high hopes of using her platform to benefit, improve, and empower others.
At only 13 years old and in eighth grade, Emma recently competed with dozens of other girls for the official title of Miss North Carolina Jr. Teen. When the contest concluded on Sept. 4, Emma was crowned the winner.
“It was nothing but a completely positive experience,” recounted Emma. “All of the other girls are so kind and supportive; I have a great sisterhood. I hope to remove some of the stereotypes about pageantry. We have a focus on how to serve and uplift your community.”
According to Emma, though the pageant required hard work and dedication around the clock, the experience helped her to uplift her peers and inspired kindness and compassion in her day-to-day life. Emma found that the USA National Miss Organization genuinely lived up to its slogan of Positive Pageantry.
“It’s really inspired me to think of other people and think of the needs of the community and connect with other girls who have similar types of goals,” Emma stated.
In addition to the title of USA National Miss North Carolina Jr. Teen, Emma also won in several optional categories at the pageant: Academic Achievement Award (highest grades of all competitors in the senior division), The Supermodel Award (a combined score of cover model and runway), and the Casual Wear Modeling Award. Emma will compete next summer for the title of USA National Miss Jr. Teen for a prize package worth over $150,000 in cash, prizes, and scholarships.
When she’s not working the runway, Emma’s schedule is far from empty. Between drama club at school, competitive dance with L Mace Studios, and community outreach, Emma describes her pleasantly hectic lifestyle as a full-time job.
“It’s a lot of hard work outside of the pageant,” explained Patricia Taylor, Emma’s mother and biggest supporter. “She is always — and I mean on a daily basis — doing something to contribute to the community, and she’s always thinking of ways to volunteer and help.”
Emma attends Sandhills Classical Christian School in Whispering Pines and has found that her experiences with pageantry have been helpful as she pursues her education. The world of pageantry has accustomed her to interviews, speaking in front of crowds, and effectively articulating what she wishes to communicate.
“It’s more than pageants and pretty dresses,” noted Patricia. “It’s about developing life skills for when these girls get older and get a job and go out into the world.”
Emma feels passionately about giving back to the community, so when she’s not busy with pageantry, dance, and school, she makes time for volunteer opportunities. Recently, she volunteered with Moore Buddies Mentoring and the Moore County Humane Society, lending a hand however and whenever she can. Emma has even founded her own nonprofit project: Battle Buddies.
“Battle Buddies is a nonprofit organization I created to raise money for veterans to get service dogs,” Emma explained. “My overall goal for this platform is to make a difference throughout my community and in the lives of veterans and animals.”
~Article by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy.
Photo of Emma Taylor by Mark Farmer Photography.