Soldotna teen is Alaska’s Jr. Miss

Posted: Monday, May 08, 2006

If this year’s Alaska Junior Miss were to turn into a food and had any say in it, she would become Jell-O.

“You could be firm on what you believe in and you could change to adopt to other people,” Jennifer Werth said she told judges during the competition to become Alaska’s Junior Miss and candidate for the national competition.

Werth, a Soldotna High School senior, was awarded the title of Alaska Junior Miss last month in Chugiak. She also won a chance to become American Junior Miss at June’s national competition in Mobile, Ala.

In preparation for the national competition, Werth said she reads the newspaper more often, practices her dance routine and shops for dresses.

When she won the state competition, Werth was awarded $2,500 in cash scholarships, $14,000 in scholarships to any University of Alaska campus, a professional photo shoot and photo package, and the official Junior Miss Medallion.

Werth said in addition to being a great scholarship opportunity, the Junior Miss competition teaches young women to be confident as they learn they can do things they have not done before.

“It ended up going by really fast and I made friends with all of the other girls,” she said.

In Mobile, Werth will compete in the 49th American Junior Miss for the chance to win a share of more than $200,000 in cash scholarships.

As in the state competition, contestants in the national competition will be evaluated based on their responses to interview questions, talent, fitness, scholastics and self-expression.

At the Alaska Junior Miss competition, Werth played flute to demonstrate her talents. But at the national competition she plans to dance. Although Werth won the Alaska Junior Miss title she did not win the competition’s overall talent award and said she thinks she will improve for the national competition by rekindling her talents as a dancer.

Although she has not danced much in the last couple of years, Werth has practiced classical ballet for nine years.

Werth is planning to attend Martin Luther Collage in Minnesota next fall to earn a degree in elementary education and minor in Spanish.

“I really love working with kids and (teaching is) an attractive job to have if you want a family,” she said.

Werth said she chose Martin Luther College because it is affiliated with her church, offers a small, personal campus and opportunities to study abroad.

Other Kenai Peninsula participants in this year’s Alaska Junior Miss competition were Amy Hundertmark of Sterling, who won the Be Your Best Self Essay contest and a $300 cash scholarship, and Victoria Coursen of Sterling.



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