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Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen Talks about How To Balance Pageants and School

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Ellie Smith wants to let students know it’s possible to accomplish anything in life with the right mindset.

Ellie Smith is a 15-year-old pageant girl who says she never thought she would be crowned Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen.

“I’m basically two people.  I’m Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen and Ellie Smith,” she said.

Smith says she has a career as a pageant girl and as a singer.  “Every minute is preparation, and I know it’s all going to be worth it no matter if I win or lose,” she said.

As a child Smith said she always knew she wanted to perform and sing.  Singing is her main focus and she is taking weekly opera lessons to prepare her for the talent portion for the upcoming nationals in August.

According to her elementary teacher Susan Crame, Smith was a child who was always outgoing and she was talented since she was little.  In kindergarten class Crame asked anyone to come up and sing a song and Smith went up and sang “The Little Mermaid” in front of her classmates.  Crame said since that day she knew she was going to make something out of her singing skills.

Smith said she was bullied at school and that inspired her anti-bullying campaign “Don’t Let It Get to You,” which can be seen on You Tube.  Her music video has been played in over 50 schools and is a way to help others with the same issues.

Smith said that her anti-bullying campaign helped her with the struggle she went through.  She wants to let other victims of bullying feel like they can be themselves and still fit in.

According to Smith, the anti-bullying campaign is now being launched nationally so that other students can see that there is hope for them and that they’re not alone.  The act of bullying is common in schools and this campaign is a way to show others that they don’t have to take the abuse.

Smith said that growing up as a singer and performer, her life was not always the same as the other kids.

According to her mother, Geri Smith, there are very accomplished young ladies just like Ellie, but her talent should get her to the top.  She is passionate about her daughter’s success and wants her to have no regrets in life.

“Ellie was a kid who wanted to do it all, while maintaining her professional life,” she said.  “I never want her to look back at her childhood and wish she would have done something different,” she added.

Smith said that since her life now is so busy, she is now home schooled at Virtual High School.  She fits in dance to keep her social life active and that is how she connects with her friends.

While preparing for what lies ahead Smith said she wants to start thinking about going to college and has had a couple of schools reach out to her already.  She wants to major in theater arts and minor in journalism.

According to Smith she wants to be Miss America and really show her talent.  She says she has more to give than just her looks.  “I’ve been preparing for this my whole life,” she said.  Smith said her goal “Is to be on Broadway and singing is my main focus.”

Smith said her parents are supportive and they keep her focused.  They keep her updated on political issues around the world, so when she gets asked about politics she’ll know what to say.

Growing up as an ambitious teenager, Smith said she doesn’t let anything come in her way and she strives for what she wants.  “I have a goal and I’m focused,” she said.

She has been singing the national anthem at baseball games and other events since she was a child and that’s what has prepared her in the pageant world.  She is now comfortable singing and performing around thousands of people because of her experiences, Smith says.

While juggling school and pageants Smith said she never thought she would be a pageant girl.  She didn’t know what to expect and it turned out for the best.  Smith said that she was just trying it out for fun and wanted to show she had more to give than just her beauty.  “It’s what’s inside the dress that counts; all of us are so intelligent and we know what we want to do with our lives,” she said.  “It’s my life now and I’m so glad that I got involved,” she added.

According to Randi Sundquist a former UNLV student and now crowned Miss Nevada, she looks forward to starting a friendship with Smith and she wants her to be true to herself throughout this process.  “Holding a title was basically like a part-time job. I had to balance school, work, my paid job and all of my appearances. Luckily I am very organized and I love to serve the community, so it came easy to me,” she said.

Smith said she likes to dance, play piano, sing and hang out with her friends when she has the time.  She is a busy girl who never sits around to watch TV or has time to play around on the computer, but she likes it that way.  “This is the most important time of your life and try anything to see if you like it or not,”  she said.

“Get involved, volunteer and don’t let anything get in your way,” she added.

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