Attending your high school graduation is an event a lot of teens look forward to experiencing. However few teens can look forward to representing their state in a national high profile pageant. So, when Hailey Colborn realized the competition for Miss Teen USA would begin on the same night as her high school graduation, she didn’t have a minute’s regret.
Colborn knew this was a night she’d never forget and she turned out to be correct. Not only did Colborn compete in the pageant against 49 other contestants, she walked away with the title.
So Colborn is much more than a Northwest High School graduate, she’s Miss Teen USA, a recognition that will give her even more rare opportunities and experiences.
It’s going to be a busy year for Colborn. She starts college in the fall at Princeton University. Conveniently, the campus is located less than an hour from New York City, where the Miss USA Pageant is headquartered. The close proximity will cut down on some of the complications of being a reigning national beauty pageant winner and a freshman at one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
Hailey’s mother Denise Colborn says this has been quite an eventful year for her daughter. In November she was crowned Miss Kansas Teen USA, and shortly after was selected as the lead in the Friends University version of the Nutcracker. A talented dancer with 15 years of training, the lead in the Nutcracker is about as good as it gets in Wichita.
But that was just the beginning for Colborn. She received early admission to Princeton and later on was accepted to Yale.
It’s been a fairytale year for Hailey, who is a very humble about her accomplishments. For certain she deserves everything that’s come her way. A star student with an excellent GPA and great college admission scores, Colborn admits to being a bit of a nerd.
You’ll rarely catch her without a book in her hand. She also likes giving back. In high school, she started a mentorship group titled SelfPosi, and traveled to middle schools around the school district to mentor and talk to girls about the importance of self-love, a cause close to her heart and one she clearly demonstrates.
She said she figured if she was meant to win the contest she would, so she just relaxed and enjoyed the experience. When she asked her why she thought she stood out to the pageant judges, she talked about her self-confidence, but also her sense of peace. When she relaxed, the real Hailey was able to come through. She believes the judges brought into her authenticity.
I guess the motto is “just do you” and for Colborn, her “you” is a winner.