Miss Teen Minnesota 2011
Once just another face in a line of glamorized pageant hopefuls, senior Hannah Corbett now proudly holds the crown of Miss Teen Minnesota 2011. Corbett plans to use her new title to benefit society and act as a positive example for teens across the state, as she prepares for the Miss Teen USA competition taking place in July.
The Beginning and Getting Ready for the Pageant
Corbett said she first gained interest in pursuing pageantry after her dad talked to their family friends Ashley Hawks and Erica Nego who was Miss Minnesota USA 2009. They had just started their own company, “Style and Grace” (a modeling, pageant, and etiquette academy). “My dad mentioned that he ran into them and they told him to have me call them, so I did,” said Corbett.
From there, Corbett’s road to success began, even though she knew little to nothing about pageants. “The more I learned about the pageant world, the more I loved it,” said Corbett. “There were many things that inspired me, but Ashley and Erica were my biggest motivators. Also, going to Erica’s house and seeing her beautiful crown helped––I wanted one just like it!”
Corbett admits she did not partake in much formal training for the Miss Teen Minnesota pageant, though whenever she did train, she became increasingly excited for the event. “I met with coaches a few times, mostly to get help on walking in heels,” said Corbett. “It doesn’t take a lot of training; you just need to be yourself.”
Mrs. Teri Corbett, Hannah’s mother, said she supports Hannah through all ups and downs, and that in particular, this experience has been truly exceptional. “When Hannah decided to do the state pageant, I really didn’t grasp how big it it was,” said Mrs. Corbett. “I’ve had so much fun going through the whole experience with her; I’m learning along with her.”
As the pageant drew near, planning outfits, practicing interviews, and putting on mock pageants for her family proved to be Corbett’s main method of preparation. “I wouldn’t have been able to it without both of my parents,” said Corbett. “They were a huge influence on me and they believed I could do it every step of the way.”
The Days of the Pageant
All of Corbett’s hard work, bravery, and positivity paid off when the weekend of the pageant finally arrived, and with the support of her family, she would soon earn the title of Miss Teen Minnesota 2011. “The morning before, we were all writing spirit letters to her and every one of us was in tears,” said Hannah’s sister Mallory Corbett. “We were so proud of her and the person she had become––and she hadn’t even won anything yet.”
Corbett said receiving the crown was indescribable; emotions from excitement to utter shock filled Corbett’s mind when they announced her name. “I looked out into the crowd and everyone was crying––even my dad and brother. I thought my grandma was going to have a heart attack from all the excitement,” said Corbett. “I couldn’t believe what had happened but most of all I was so ready to take on the role of Miss Minnesota Teen USA.”
Mrs. Corbett said seeing her daughter being crowned was probably the proudest moment of her life. “When they called the name of the first runner up (which meant Hannah was the winner) I can’t tell you how happy I was,” said Mrs. Corbett. “I am so excited about all the opportunities that have and will be open to Hannah. She’s kind of famous!”
What Happens Now
Corbett has many appearances scheduled for the upcoming year as part of her role as Miss Teen Minnesota. These include everything from participating in charity events to judging at the “Chilly Open” in Wayzata. “I got to taste many different kinds of chili and rate them from 1-10,” said Corbett. “I had the opportunity to meet and judge with the mayor of Wayzata.”
An especially rewarding event for Corbett was visiting the New Brighton Care Center, where she gave a speech about winning Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2011, and handed out cookies and juice to the residents. “An elderly man grabbed my hand, looked up at me, and said he asked Santa to bring him a beautiful young lady for Christmas and that Santa granted his wish,” said Corbett. “Hearing this made me so happy that I could make someone’s Christmas.”
Mrs. Corbett said that Hannah has always had an outstanding impact on her surrounding environment, and now she will be able to make even more of a difference. “She has an uncanny way of making people around her feel happy,” said Mrs. Corbett. “I can’t really pinpoint what it is but I’ve know this since she was a little girl.”
Corbett is looking forward to walking for diabetes at the Mall of America, being a part of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and working with the Children’s Hospital TV network. “The show allows patients to call in and ask me any questions they want,” said Corbett. “It really helps children get their mind off their illness.”
Along with her busy role in the Minnesota community, Corbett also spends time preparing for the Miss Teen USA pageant in July of 2011. “Miss Teen USA is judged on three different areas: swimsuit, gown, and interview,” said Corbett. “For interview I have been keeping up with the current events as well as using my title as Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2011 to talk with people throughout our state.”
Hannah’s sister Mallory hopes her support and enthusiasm will help Hannah in the coming months, but also knows that Hannah’s passion and dedication will undoubtedly lead her to further success. “I think she sends the message that there is more to this pageant––and life––than just a cheesy speech and looking great in a swim suit; being real and being true to yourself is what it takes,” said Mallory Corbett.
Corbett will decide her plans for college after the Miss Teen USA pageant is over, and although she remains busy with her public appearances, she has never had so much fun. “I stepped out of my box and tried something extremely new, not ever thinking I would win. With lots of hard work and heart anything can happen,” said Corbett. “I plan to be a role model for teens and be a sturdy example of confidence, character and leadership.”