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Power of wearing the crown
by Garrett Valenzuela
May 01, 2013 | 2409 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Reed High School sophomore Alyssa Inskip
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Reed High School sophomore Alyssa Inskip
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SPARKS — Alyssa Inskip loves the lights, the stage, the crowd and the environment she sees when watching the Miss America pageant on television. But for her, sitting on the couch dreaming about being in that spotlight is not enough — she would rather work for it.

At age 15, the Reed High School sophomore was recently crowned Miss Washoe County’s Outstanding Teen after a rigorous training regimen to prepare for the competition. While training for the upcoming Miss Nevada competition, consumes much of her free time, Inskip also maintains a full slate of Honors courses at Reed and plays a role in the school’s Leadership class.

Inskip said preparing for the Miss Washoe County competition had her working on her speaking skills, practicing her presentation and more for four hours each Sunday with her director. Inskip said after claiming the title of Miss Washoe County she has grown very close to her director, who also facilitates any public appearances.

“I thought everything leading up to the pageant was it but that was just the beginning, but it is so much fun because I have a year of reign now and I am just trying to get as much as I can in with my year,” Inskip said. “My director has become like my best friend because she was the one training me, but now that I have my title, I have gotten very close to her and I see her all the time. We are doing some sort of community service after school.”

Inskip said the title of Miss Washoe County brings her great pride in knowing she assumes the power to make positive change in a variety of ways. As an example, Inskip said touring Renown Medical Center with the Leadership class was much different than touring it with her crown sitting atop her head.

“When you have a flashing crown on your head, people want to pay attention to you,” she said, “And it is nice because you know you have the power to make a change for the better and not so much for selfish reasons. You know you are helping others.”

Inskip competes for Miss Nevada in June where a win would send her to Las Vegas for a six-week training course for the Miss America pageant. She said she has one more year remaining as a “teen” and five more as a “miss” for the competitions, all of which she will be working closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which is her platform organization.

“I have always liked being onstage,” Inskip said, “And that is what originally made me want to do it because I am a competitive person, and when I enter something, I think ‘Let’s do this thing and do it all the way.’ After the fact that I have had my title, it really becomes about the individual people you meet along the way. I have met such incredible people and the little kids I have met are inspirational. It makes me want to cry. They make me love what I am doing because they look up to you.”

On the school side of things, Inskip said her involvement in Leadership and the Mentoring Program have given her the most gratifying experiences around school. From reading through morning announcements on the Raider News Network to planning the dodgeball tournament and dress-up days for winter homecoming, to community service throughout the city, Inskip said Leadership has opened several doors for her to succeed.

“I have always been very independent and try to do everything myself, but I have learned to trust and work with people and I know that will help me further in life,” Inskip said. “Also, with the community involvement, it is a good life lesson and I feel that everyone should be involved with their community because it is a good thing to have.”

Since graduation is a couple years away, Inskip said she is taking her time in deciding what career path she is going to take when entering college. She said her pageant participation has equipped her with enough scholarship dollars to go out of state if she chose to, but she is holding off on that decision as well.

“I think I would do well in business or some sort of business management,” she said. “I am really good with math so something along those lines would be great. I am just waiting for it to happen.”
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