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West Rowan student takes Miss Teen title

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
“How do you explain a rainbow to a blind man?” judges of the Miss Teen of North Carolina pageant asked Olivia McSwain.
The pageant’s interview portion, which accounts for 25 percent of the pageant, is extremely important, so when she gave the judges an astonishing answer involving not only visual but the symbolic aspects, it’s no wonder she claimed the title of Miss Teen of North Carolina.
“It’s more along the lines of a scholarship program,” Sunny Hilton, the pageant director, explained. “41 girls competed from July 24 to 26.”
The pageant winner is determined by personality, poise and projection; the interview with the judges; and three resumes which include scholastic record, personal development and service or achievement to school and community.
Olivia, who is a rising senior at West Rowan High School, was excited about being in her first pageant, but said she really wasn’t nervous.
“My family was probably more nervous than I was,” Olivia said. “I was really OK with whatever happened. If somebody deserved it more than me then that’s OK because I would know what they went through to win.”
Olivia’s parents, David and Felicia McSwain, weren’t the only ones there to see her win her first pageant. The McSwain camp included four friends from West Rowan, as well as 19 other family members.
“I was ecstatic,” Olivia says of her winning moment. Although she admits she didn’t immediately realize she won.
“Because it calls out the runner-up’s name and not the winner’s name, at first I didn’t realize I won. I just hugged the runner-up and then it hit me,” Olivia said.
Olivia actively participates in relay for life, helps with Boy Scout camp, sings for local nursing homes and volunteers with Operation Christmas Child.
“I just look forward to all the community service I can be doing now,” Olivia said. “I want to give a special thanks to all my sponsors who donated to support me for the pageant.”
Olivia was sponsored by several Salisbury, Cleveland, and Mocksville businesses including Godley’s Nursery, CF Parks & Co. Inc., Cleveland Drug Co., Community Baptist Church, , Phelps Landscaping and Autumn Care, and Blue Bay Seafood.
Olivia is planning to apply to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She intends to be a therapeutic artist for pediatric cancer patients.

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