Young to compete for Miss NM crown, June 22

May 22, 2011 • Entertainment, Local News, State News

Tracey Young, 21, is slated to compete for the 2011 Miss America title, pending a win at the Miss New Mexico pageant in June at Ruidoso’s Spencer Theater.

Young, who won the title of Miss Chaves County in January, will compete with Miss Roswell, Deanna Jerge, against 19 other women, ages 17 to 24. [auth] She also has previous pageant experience, which is working in her and Jerge’s favor.

“I help Deanna out. This is her first time doing pageants. I told her ‘don’t get a big fluffy dress, you’ll look like a Barbie.’ We’re going to be roommates also,” she said.

Young will stay with a host family in Ruidoso during the competition, which is sponsored by Wrangler jeans. She will have an advocate at the pageant in Jerge, which will come in handy if any “pageant mom” drama ensues. Young spoke about meeting the pageant moms of her counterparts.

“In April, we met them when we went to our workshops. Their moms were there, pageant moms, it was weird,” Young laughed.

She said dealing with the competition on a social level may be the most challenging part of the experience.

“Some of them are really uptight and others aren’t so uptight. I just want to do it for myself and not have to worry about anybody else,” Young said.

To prepare for the competition, Young will focus a lot of her attention on her talent portion, dance, in addition to health and fitness. She said she has already started a few new habits, such as drinking water instead of soda.

“I’ve lost weight and water helps me concentrate better,” Young said.

She is also taking a steady approach to her preparation.

“I practice at Miss Minnie’s. I go over my dance over, and over, and over, because it’s really hard,” she said.“I call Miss Minnie to watch it, then she critiques it. Once (the competition) gets closer, I’ll practice again with high heels.

“It’s a good workout, because if you’re doing on point like I am, you have to pull up, use every muscle in your body, and concentrate really hard,” she said.

Young’s platform for the competition will focus on raising awareness on Locks of Love, an organization that collects undamaged, healthy hair for people suffering from hair loss because of terminal conditions.

Already, Young has raised dollars for her platform and other initiatives. She held a bowl-a-thon, where several Main Street businesses made donations.

She said she was inspired to raise awareness through her platform after learning the fate of a friend, who was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I’m going to school for cosmetology. When one of my ballet friends got diagnosed with leukemia, she lost all of her hair. I said, ‘I want to do something for kids like that,’” Young said. “I donated a braid of hair to Locks of Love … back in March.”

The former high school and collegiate track star and high jumper also has a plan to leap over the drama that comes with being a pageant competitor: headphones. Young has her own contemporary playlist of mainstream and pop music, including alternative and rock tunes and teen sensation, Justin Bieber.

The Miss America pageants have the potential to launch careers and opportunities for its participants. Young said she is not entertaining those possibilities at the moment.

“I’m focused on the pageant now, and if a ‘what if’ happens, then it happens,” she said.

Young has advice for those seeking to enter the pageant circuit.

“I would tell them to start practicing in high heels as soon as possible. Wear high heels, start thinking of a platform that you’re passionate about,” she said.

Throughout her journey, Young has had the help of her pageant coordinator, Renee Roach, and other members of the community. Young said that her presence in the community has helped raise awareness about different initiatives. She believes that her public appearances yield positive results.

“It helps because if somebody sees Deanna or me they’ll say, ‘Ooh what’s going on in here’ and maybe they’ll walk in. We help the community.”

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