Good Hope’s McKenney named Miss Cahaba Valley’s Outstanding Teen

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Good Hope High School’s Maddie McKenney won this year’s Miss Cahaba Valley Outstanding Teen competition earlier this month. (Courtesy of Amanda McKenney)

ALABASTER, Ala. – This year’s Miss Cahaba Valley’s Outstanding Team competition was hosted at Thompson High School earlier this month and Good Hope’s Maddie McKenney was selected as this year’s winner. McKenney won the talent portion of the competition as well and she will advance to compete for the title of Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen in March.

The Miss Birmingham Competition was renewed as an official scholarship preliminary to Miss Alabama and Miss America in 2006. In 2009, Miss Birmingham’s Outstanding Teen was added as an official preliminary to Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen. In 2010 the Miss Heart of Dixie title was added, which became Miss Cahaba Valley in 2013. At that time Miss Cahaba Valley’s Outstanding Teen was added and officially became the Miss Birmingham & Miss Cahaba Valley Scholarship Organization. The organization crowns four young women along with their Rising Stars, who all represent the Birmingham and Cahaba Valley areas in state competitions each year. Their mission is to empower young women to strive for excellence when pursuing personal and professional goals, to develop invaluable life skills that will be used throughout her lifetime, to develop & maintain connections and friendships, and to make a difference in her community, her state, and her nation.

Competing in pageants is a family affair for the McKenneys so Maddie knew from an early age that she would be up on stage competing herself one day.

“My mom and aunt were actually both Fair Queen Representatives when they were in high school. Over the years, they have told me about the amazing experience they had and the memories they made,” McKenney said. “Hearing all of this, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be in the Fair Queen Pageant at Good Hope High School.”

Maddie competed in the Miss Cullman County Fair pageant earlier this fall, winning the talent competition and earning first runner up honors and she largely credits her performance to the friends and family that helped her prepare.

“I competed last March in the pageant and won the title and was the talent winner as well. I had from March until October to prepare for Miss Cullman County Fair. Through this time, my friends and family would drill me with interview questions, workouts to prepare for the physical fitness workouts, working on my vocal and fiddle performance, practicing walking, and finishing with a random question that would be answered onstage (my most feared portion), and getting more engaged with the foster care system to learn more so I can be a great advocate for adoption through foster care,” McKenney said. “At the fair, I was the first runner up and talent winner. I was honored to receive those awards and I’m very proud of Heidi Armstrong for winning Miss Cullman County Fair! She will be a great representative!”

Maddie carried her preparation for the Miss Cullman County Fair Pageant into the Miss Cahaba Valley competition and that hard work continued to pay off. Now, she’s looking for even more hardware as she shifts her focus to the Miss Alabama Outstanding teen competition in March.

“Next, I decided I wanted to try one more time for a title to move onto the Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen Competition, so I entered the Miss Birmingham/ Miss Cahaba Valley competition on Nov. 6. I prepared exactly the same as I did for Miss Cullman County Fair and actually won the title of Miss Cahaba Valley,” McKenney said. “I will compete in Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen the first weekend of March. Now, I am trying to prepare as best as I can for the upcoming pageant and trying to advocate more for adoption through foster care.”

Maddie has had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories participating in these events over the years and she would recommend anyone else that’s interested to give it a shot.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of those wonderful competitions and they have brought on so many friendships and memories. If you or anyone you know is considering being in these competitions, please do it,” McKenney said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to receive scholarships to further your education and to embrace who you truly are!”

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