They say, "heavy is the head that wears the crown," but these girls are all smiles.
Sixteen year-old Chloe Johnson is fresh off her title win as Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen and 22-year-old Janelle Achee is Miss Vermont 2013.
Chloe's mission is self empowerment for women. She says kids hear it all the time, but hopes her message will be different. "It's like a record play, it just keeping going and going over and over again. It's a different perspective to hear from someone who was there just a few years ago," Johnson said.
Achee's mission strikes a different chord. She's focused on healthy relationships and survivors of sexual violence. "I was sexually assaulted by an older boy in my hometown. I had no words to say what happened. I knew something felt bad but I didn't fully understand what the implications were," Achee said.
She has since sought counseling and has made it her mission to advocate for those who have not had their voices heard. She says this crown can help her do that. It's also helping her pay for nursing school. "Come and talk to me, you are not going to think I am some fluffy, hair brain. I know my hair is big right now, but there is a brain under here," she said.
And she's not kidding. This year Achee was named Vermont's Truman Scholar -- a big honor accompanied by a big, $30,000 check. But school isn't her only strong suit, she's also one heck of a singer.
Johnson's talent is ballet. She's been dancing since she was three and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. And both young ladies had some tips to help this reporter be pageant ready.
"Head up, ears level with your shoulders -- chin up," Johnson advised.
"Hands down, more relaxed. Ok, now walk -- hands cover your thighs," Achee said.
I think I'll stick to telling stories for now and let them carry on the crown as they step into their new roles -- as Vermont's royalty.
They don't have a lot of time to celebrate. Miss Teen Vermont will compete in August in Orlando for the national title and miss Vermont will be in Atlantic City in September, hoping to take home the crown.
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