In addition to her long list of community service, talents and interests, Miss America 2011 has an unusual hobby.
Nebraska-native Teresa Scanlan, 18, loves to create items using duct tape. She even included her passion for the sticky fix-all on her Miss America contestant resume under “interesting facts.”
Representatives from ShurTech, owner of the Duck Tape brand reached out to her and sent a dozen roses and Miss America sash, both made of Duck Tape, and University of Nebraska Cornhuskers Duck Tape in hopes she would consider coming to the festival. Scanlan will serve as Grand Marshal for the parade which kicks off at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Avon High School.
“I first began making things out of duct tape when I heard about the prom contest,” Scanlan said. “I did not attend my prom, but I thought it would be fun to make clothing out of duct tape. I started collecting all the colors that were available at WalMart and began making shirts and other items. I wore my clothing out in public. Being in high school wearing those things you don’t always get the best response. You can’t let that change what you enjoy. “
Scanlan was homeschooled until her junior and senior years of high school. She often kept several rolls of duct tape in her car to fix or create as needed.
“If my friends had a rip in their clothing or needed something hemmed, I was able to patch it up with duct tape,” she said. “I love all the colors it comes in. You can do whatever you want with it. If you want to change the look of something, it’s much easier than painting and it will stick to anything. I made a steering wheel cover for my car out of duct tape. Last year I was looking for something to put my makeup in so I made a case out of duct tape. “
Scanlan’s steering wheel cover, shirts and other items will be on display at the festival this weekend at the festival. She also will serve as a judge for this year’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.
Stuck at Prom is an online contest that challenges students to create and accessorize their prom outfits with duct tape for the chance to win scholarship money. Festival goers can meet Scanlan on Saturday afternoon before she takes to the main stage at 1:30 p.m. to share her duct tape stories.
The accomplished singer, dancer and piano player is setting her sites on becoming a judge in the future. She plans to attend Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, for her undergraduate degree and then it’s off to Harvard Law School. She also is looking forward to being reunited with her duct tape when her reign as Miss America is over.
“I started in pageants when I was 13 years old competing in the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant,” Scanlan said. “It was a great program and experience. I never really did that well, but I loved doing it. The Miss America program is wonderful because it rewards women for doing well academically. They are always looking for a well-rounded person.”
Scanlan’s advice to other teenagers, especially young girls, “Don’t let the opinions of others tear you down and never limit yourself.”
“People said I was too young to compete for Miss America,” she said. “It was something I knew I was meant to do. It has enabled me to earn scholarships that will pay for my law degree. Never give up on your dreams. Everybody is different and you have to go for things in life to get what you want. Go for it, despite what other people say.”