July 30, 2007

Davis reflects on her reign as Miss Minnesota's Outstanding Teen

DC senior, Natalie Davis found reign to be a very rewarding experience

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Aside from school, Dassel-Cokato senior Natalie Davis was busy this past year being Miss Minnesota’s Outstanding Teen.

“I wasn’t a pageant girl before, but I’ve converted. There are a lot of good, quality, people as well as scholarship opportunities,” Davis said.

After winning the title of Miss Minnesota’s Outstanding Teen, she only had six weeks to prepare before heading off to the national contest in Orlando, Fla.

There, she won the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and was one of 52 to receive a scholarship from the board of education.

Davis chose her platform, or area of focus, to be autism awareness, since she has a younger brother with Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

“I would like to continue to boost [awareness] up more. It’s really important to me,” Davis said.

She plans on working with the current Miss Minnesota and close friend, Jennifer Hudspeth, whose platform is also autism awareness.

During her rein, Davis participated in Project Breakthrough at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. This included a Christmas party put on by the Salvation Army for families with financial problems.

Locally, Davis worked with Dassel Elementary and helped implement the Dream Academy Mentoring Program, an after-school reading program.

This program is for any student who has trouble reading or needs a confidence booster, Davis said.

“I’m hoping to continue it this year,” she said.

Davis also attended the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas.

After graduation, Davis plans to go to college for nursing and pre-med, with pediatrics as her focus. She would also like to double major in vocal performance.

Her talent for the competitions is singing “I’m Beginning To See The Light,” by Peggy Lee. She got to sing this for the Miss Minnesota pageant as part of the entertainment, following the crowning.

As for her future with pageants, her ultimate goal is to win Miss Minnesota. She will continue to prepare for that, and building her platform, Davis said.

Although she won’t be running for Dassel royalty, she will be cheering on her friends who are running, she said.

During her rein, Davis had a tremendous growing experience.

“I have opportunities behind me now and a lot of experiences that I’m really blessed to have,” Davis said.

For example, she was able to improve her confidence in public speaking.

This will help her this year since she is captain of the DC speech team.

Davis handed down her crown June 14 to Chantel Wilson of the Detroit Lakes area.

“My year’s been great. I would never trade it in for anything,” she said.

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