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2010 Deaf Teen America Pageant

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Image: Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America 2010-11 from the Indiana School for the Deaf. Photo courtesy of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America 2010-11 from the Indiana School for the Deaf. Photo courtesy of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Mr./Miss Deaf Teen America Pageant Brings Teens Together for Spirited Competition and Friendship

The Mr./Miss Deaf Teen America Pageant was started in 1999 by the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). The pageant is a fun annual event for deaf and hard of hearing teens, ages 13-19, from organizations, programs, and schools for the deaf.

The goal of the pageant is to promote young deaf emerging leaders, leading to a stronger deaf community. The pageant gives students an opportunity to develop leadership qualities, learn teamwork and social skills, enhance their self-esteem, and appreciate diversity.

This year the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) captured the title at the 12th Annual Mr./Miss Deaf Teen America Pageant hosted by the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) from March 10-13. ISD sophomores Sean Berdy and TraciAnn Hoglind, the new Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America for 2010-11, will be doing public appearances around the state of Indiana for one year. As this year's top winners, each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship to either Gallaudet University or the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a $650 scholarship to the "Explore Your Future" program at NTID, and a $25 gift certificate to Target.

This year's pageant host, MSD, prepared a fun round of activities for pageant contestants, who came from ISD, the Indiana School for the Deaf, MSD, MSSD, the Louisiana School for the Deaf, the South Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

"Our theme for this year's pageant was ‘Moonlight Mystery,'" said Janice Randall, pageant coordinator at MSD. "The pageant is a great place to make friends; each one of the contestants is a star. I am sure each one brought home good memories. I'd like to encourage both mainstream schools and schools for the deaf to participate next year-it's a great experience for the students."

One of the unique parts of the pageant is that contestants compete as a team, represented by the winning male and female contestants from each school. Each team competes in the following categories: state spirit, platform presentation, talent performance, and formal wear. In addition, each candidate has a private interview the day before the pageant and an interview on stage during the pageant.

Congratulations to this year's winning schools:

Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America-Indiana School for the Deaf

1st Runner-up-Maryland School for the Deaf

2nd Runner-up-Illinois School for the Deaf

3rd Runner-up-Louisiana School for the Deaf

Next year's pageant will take place in March 2011 at ISD in Indianapolis. For more information about the 2011 contest, contact Lottie Fears.