Miss Maryland and Miss Outstanding Teen 2011 titleholders say they're grateful for experience

June 22, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Miss Maryland 2011 Carlie Colella will crown her successor this weekend.
Submitted photo

When the new Miss Maryland and Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen are crowned this weekend at The Maryland Theatre, two young women know exactly the kind of worldwind journey the newly crowned queens will be up against.

And they both said they've enjoyed the ride.

Lives will change when Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen  and Saturday night when Miss Maryland will be crowned.

It was last June when Carlie Colella of Hagerstown stood on that very stage and had her name called as the new Miss Maryland.

"I entered to get scholarship money to finish my senior year of college and not expecting to win Miss Maryland at all," Colella said.

She graduated from Hood College in Frederick, Md., with a bachelor's degree in business marketing.

"It's been a really fun year of learning about myself and meeting new people and just being able to go to the various appearances," she said.

The now 21-year-old walked away with the top prize, which included a trip earlier this year to compete at Miss America in Las Vegas.

"That was probably the highlight of the year," she said. "You can only compete for Miss America once so I just tried to embrace every moment."

She said "everyone treated us like we were royalty."

In addition to her many appearances, Colella said she was able to work on her platform, "Empowerment of Women Creating an Equal Opportunity for Success."

"I worked a little bit with Dress for Success and was able to gather clothing for women who were economically disadvantaged," she said.  

Her experience as Miss Maryland has gained her more than a new crown.

"I was independent before, but when you're going around to various appearances by yourself, you learn how to be even more independent," she said.

Colella has more education on her horizon. She wants to continue her studies earning a Master of Fine Arts to become a merchandise buyer.

The daughter of Linda Colella of Hagerstown, Colella said she's looking forward to the weekend competition. Many of the girls who are competing for the title this year, competed alongside Colella during past pageants.

"I think it's really going to be a lot fun," she said.

Colella said she's already completed her last official appearance as Miss Maryland before handing the crown over to her successor.

"It'll be a lot of fun to be on the other side of things and enjoy the week that way," she said.

 Ally Soule, 16, of Braddock Heights, Md., entered her first pageant ever when she competed in the Miss Frederick Outstanding Teen.

She said the state title was her second-ever title. When she was called Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen, Soule said she was shocked.

"It was an incredible, overwhelming experience; completely surreal," she said.

She said she was "just humbled by the recognition."

The daughter of Anne and Jon Soule, Ally has been keeping busy just like her Miss Maryland counterpart.

Her platform is about enhancing artistic expression in children with autism. She said as Miss Outstanding Teen she was able to do many activities at which she was able to discuss her program as well as represent other teens in the state.

Ally said her favorite appearance was the Miss Amazing pageant, which was for girls with special needs.

"I got to coach them on how to conduct themselves in an interview, how to connect with the judges when they're onstage, how to walk around on the stage," she said. "And that was so cool because it gave me a different perspective and how blessed I am to do the things that I do."

Ally said her experiences with Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen will help her with her future.

"It has humbling experience, and it just given me a new perspective," she said. "It has made me so much more grateful for the things that I have. I honestly believe it has given me the confidence and the strength I think I need mentally, to go out and to do a job interviews in the future and present myself to the public and accomplish the things I want to."

A junior this fall at Middletown (Md.) High School, Ally said she's taking time off from pageants to focus on school. She's dedicating herself to filling in college applications this year. She wants to major in marketing with a minor in communications.

But she said she wants to still stay involved in the Miss America organization, calling it "phenomenal." She plans to complete two years of college and then return to compete in the Miss America program.

To the new Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen, Ally offers some words of advice: "Stay motivated. Keep yourself involved and enjoy every moment, because when I was crowned last year I didn't know what to expect. Now 365 days later, I feel like it was yesterday. It went by so quickly."

If you go ...

WHAT: Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

Cost: Varies with night, see below

MORE: For tickets, call the box office at 301-790-3500 or go to



  • Preliminary night — 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, $30
  • Preliminary night — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, $30
  • Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant preliminary night — 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, $30
  • Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant — 7 p.m. Saturday, June 23, $55
The Herald-Mail Articles