BY SOPHIA WENGIER
On March 9th, Cooper City held its first ever Miss Cooper City Teen USA and Miss Cooper City USA pageant. Taking place at Cooper City High School, five teenagers from Cooper City competed for the title. This pageant works with the Miss USA organization in coordination with Miss Universe. Because of this, the winner has the opportunity to move on to the Miss Florida Teen USA pageant and then potentially the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
The recreational department decided to start a pageant series in Cooper City in order to expand the existing recreation program. They are planning to continue it every year and make it an established tradition.
“Pageants embody confidence. They teach public speaking, they teach women that they’re powerful, and that they’re strong, and that they can accomplish anything,” Recreational Program Specialist Felicia Trainor said. “That’s what we’re trying to do with this pageant series, we’re trying to spread that to the young women in Cooper City.”
The pageant was also started in hopes that participants could get started on a career path. Careers that can stem from being in pageants include news reporters, models, makeup artists, and many more because of the type of confidence pageants are meant to ensue.
Participants who competed attend Cooper City Schools and included Victoria Gonzalez, Brianna Gould, Cayla Sullivan, Darby Cook, and Jordan Cook. The contestant for the Miss Cooper City USA was Breann Llewellyn. Judges ranged from professional makeup artists to models and many were Cooper City High alumni. They included Sabrina Anderson, Olivia Thompson, Prissy Willis, Ian Margol and others from Local 10 News.
“I decided to do Miss Cooper City because as a child I did pageants and it’s been a while,” Llewellyn said. “It took a little bit of convincing to do but I thought it was something I would have fun in doing. Miss Florida and Miss USA have always been something I’ve watched on TV and I just thought it would be cool to actually be in it.”
The pageant began with an introduction of all of the contestants. They were judged on how their personality came out on stage as well as poise, presentation, and confidence. The pageant shifted from a fitness section to an evening wear section, and ended with on stage questions. In the last portion, contestants picked a question from a basket and answered it on the spot. Questions included topics on the community, the country, and worldwide issues such as social media.
After the judges tallied their votes, Cayla Sullivan was announced second runner up and Jordan Cook first runner up. Victoria Gonzalez was crowned Miss Cooper City Teen USA and Breann Llewellyn was crowned Miss Cooper City USA.
“It feels amazing to have won the first ever Cooper City pageant,” Gonzalez said. “I’m completely honored that I’m able to represent the city with the title of Miss Teen Cooper City.”
Prizes included Orangetheory gym memberships, a free makeover, a free hair and makeup tutorial, gift certificates to local restaurants, and a paid entry fee and sponsored dress for the Miss Florida Pageant.