Jr. Miss Competition returns to Kenai

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2007


  Alaska's Jr. Miss for 2007 is Aimee McClory from Ketchikan High School.

Alaska's Jr. Miss for 2007 is Aimee McClory from Ketchikan High School.

Aimee McClory of Ketchikan was awarded the title of Alaska’s Junior Miss 2007 at the AK State Finals held at the Kenai Christian Church March 10th. “All the girls have been truly wonderful during the last few days. I’ve made friends for a lifetime. This is such an awesome opportunity and I’m excited about representing Alaska in Mobile this summer,” McClory told the Dispatch.

Along with her title McClory will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship, a four-year Presidential scholarship to the University of Alaska, and an all-expense-paid trip to Mobile, Alabama. A panel of five judges selected Aimee from a group of seven high school seniors competing in the 49th annual Alaska’s Junior Miss scholarship program.

2006 Alaska Jr. Miss, Jennifer Werth of Soldotna, returned home from Minnesota where she attends Martin Luther College and is pursuing her teacher’s degree with a major in Spanish. Werth entertained and co-emceed the competition with Nikiski High School teacher Bob Bird. She also had the privilege of presenting the new Alaska Jr. Miss with the traditional Jr. Miss Medallion.

Aimee McClory will go on to compete in the 50th Annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals in Mobile, Alabama, in June where she will have the opportunity to win a share of more than $100,000 in cash scholarships.

First Runner-up was Brenna O’Tierney of Anchorage. She received a $750 cash scholarship and a two-year Presidential scholarship to the University of Alaska. Brenna also had the honor of being selected to receive the Marti Steckel Spirit of Junior Miss memorial award and a $200 cash scholarship. John Steckel was on hand to present the award to O’Tierney.

Money for scholarships was provided by the Alaska’s Junior Miss Scholarship Program, Wells Fargo Banks of Kenai and Soldotna, the Soldotna Rotary Club, Dr. James Julien, Dan and Reean Pitts, G & S Construction, Hughes Drilling, the Accounting Firm of Lambe, Tutor, and Wagner, and Mr. John Steckel.

Alaska’s Junior Miss is an official preliminary of America’s Junior Miss (AJM). Founded in 1958, AJM is the oldest and largest scholarship program for high school senior girls. The nonprofit program’s goal is to honor young women who excel and encourage them to obtain a college education and assume roles of leadership in their communities and professions. During the past 49 years, AJM has awarded cash scholarships totaling almost $90 million to girls across the nation. More than 700,000 college-bound young women have competed in the program, including Diane Sawyer, co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and co-anchor of “Primetime Thursday;” Deborah Norville, host of “Inside Edition;” E.D. Hill, an anchor on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends;” and Debra Messing, co-star of NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

The entertaining program was choreographed by local dance instructor Cannetta Salmon and drew high praise from AJM National Field Director Barbra Taylor. According to Taylor the program was actually closed a few years ago but is experiencing a national resurgence, “In 2005 the national board did vote to close the program due to a lack of interest in the TV viewing audience for this type of program. The program did continue however, and we have high hopes for continuing the program nationally and here in Alaska. We have revamped our sponsorship outreach and are now going for sponsors who believe in the program and its moral values. The State programs are a franchise of the Mobile AJM and we hope that someone will step forward to be the Alaska State program director,” said Taylor.

AJM’s national sponsors are the City of Mobile, Mobile County, and the Mitchell Company. The 50th Annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals will take place in Mobile this June. For more information about America’s Junior Miss go to www.ajm.org.

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