Pageant winner gives her time and talent to improve the lives of others

June 01, 2012|By Courtney Bradford | Special to The Herald-Mail
  • Sara Farmer is the 2012 Miss Western Maryland Outstanding Teen. She will compete later this month for the Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen crown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Every little girl's dream is to be a princess — and for Sara Farmer, she's living that dream.

Sara, 14, was crowned Miss Western Maryland Outstanding Teen in February at The Maryland Theatre. With a shiny tiara and a sash, Sara could practically pass as a princess. But unlike her royal counterparts, Sara had to work hard to earn her title.

The daughter of Greg and Amy Farmer of Hagerstown, Sara is a freshman enrolled at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown. She plans to go to college to be a registered nurse, but at BISFA, her concentration of study is vocal.

"I've been taking (singing) lessons for four years now, so I have truly gotten a feel for my voice," Sara said.

Not only does she have talent, but she's also been prepared for the "real world," thanks to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant.

"During the interview portion of the pageant, it sets you up for job interviews, and I really think that being in this program prepares you for the world after school," she said.

In addition to learning how to strengthen their communication skills, competitors are also required to have a platform, which allows them to talk about an organization or program that's important to them. Sara's platform is called Philippians for Promise.

"It's based on my favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:8," she said.

The verse reads, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Her platform is about teaching girls to not only act like princesses, but to treat others like they are princesses as well.

"I feel that acting like a princess is more noble than just (relying on) your looks. You need to honor your parents and always do the right thing," she said.

To inform others about her platform, Sara created a bookmark that "illustrates that a princess is always honest, pure, noble and respectful."

Additionally, to give back, Sara has been making and designing earrings since she was 10. She donates the earrings to charity, allowing the organizations to keep 100 percent of the profits.

The project is called Jewelry for a Cause, and she pays for the supplies with her allowance and also accepts donations of beads. The program has allowed her to donate to seven nonprofits and raise about $1,000.

Currently she is raising money to support Las Mujeres Orphange in Honduras. The girl's home helps to prevent and stop human trafficking of girls between the ages of 13 and 28.

"I feel that giving there is actually really good. Most of the girls who are rescued don't have anything," she said.

At the orphange, Sara said the girls come from bad situations. The orphanage gives them a safe place to live, teaches them about God and helps to put them on the right path, she said.

This year, Sara hosted Princess Craft Day in which 50 girls attended to make handmade gifts for Mother's Day and also learned about discovering their inner princess by making right choices. Money was raised and collected money for Las Mujeres Orphange and Children's Miracle Network, the charity organization that Miss America supports.

In the meantime, she is getting ready for the Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen pageant this month. Sara will compete at The Maryland Theatre alongside Miss Western Maryland Outstanding Teen Megan Kiley for the state title.

"I'm making sure I have everything I need, like my outfit," she said. "Mostly, though, I'm focusing on honing my talent. It is a big part of your score."

Even if Sara were not be crowned as Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen this year, she said she would compete again next year.

"I definitely love to compete in the pageants, I think it was a really great opportunity for me and it was so much fun, she said.

Courtney Bradford is a member of the teen Pulse journalism program. A senior at Boonsboro High School, she plans to major in journalism at Shippensburg (Pa.) University this fall.

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