Rachel Sodee, who will be a senior next month, is spending her summer preparing for the next phase of a national beauty pageant.
Sodee is an Ohio finalist in the Houston-based National American Miss pageant and will head down to Columbus at the end of the month for the state competition.
“If I would be lucky enough to win a title or place well at the pageant in any sub category, I could then move on to the National pageant over Thanksgiving weekend in Hollywood, CA,” Sodee said.
Sodee’s parents, Leeanne and Robert will attend the Columbus competition with her. Her father will act as her escort for the formal wear competition.
Although this is Sodee’s first pageant, the 17-year-old has plenty of experience on stage from participating in dance competitions.
Still, preparing for the pageant means hard work.
“For the past few months I've had to write letters to local businesses and ask for sponsorship and collect money to pay for my pageant fees,” she said. “I also have to practice formal wear and different stances as well as write a personal introduction.
“Personally, I am entering a competition at the pageant called 'Spokesmodel' so I also have to write a speech as well.”
The well-rounded student also volunteers and is a member of the National Honor Society.
According to the pageant's website, girls are judged on
Should Sodee win the state title, she’ll earn $1,000 in addition to a paid trip to California.