Belfast graduate to compete in national pageant competition
Recent Belfast Area High School graduate Storm Bowen will be representing the State of Maine in the Miss U.S. International pageant at the end of June.
As the newly crowned Miss Maine U.S. International titleholder, Bowen will travel to Kissimee, Fla., where she will compete with other contestants from all over the world. Bowen will leave for Florida Thursday, June 26, to prepare for the pageant, which runs from June 27 through June 30.
As she prepares to take the national stage, competing in pageants is still a novel experience for Bowen who began competing only a few years ago. As a self-professed tomboy for a large portion of her life, Bowen said she was more comfortable on an athletic field than she was wearing makeup or heels.
However, after she had her senior photos taken, Bowen was contacted by the director of the Miss Maine Teen USA pageant, which she entered and placed in the top 10 among the contestants. After that experience, Bowen took some time off before deciding to enter into the Miss Maine U.S. International competition.
Bowen said her primary drive for entering the Miss Maine U.S. International pageant was for the experience of the competition. She said she also appreciates how the pageants offer the opportunity to bring more awareness to various charities — Bowen is passionate about helping adults with disabilities and wants to draw attention to organizations such as, The National Down Syndrome Society, Camp CaPella and funding for the Special Olympics.
Raising awareness of those programs is important to Bowen, as her family runs programs for adults with handicaps and she spends time volunteering for programs that provide services for adults with disabilities.
“I love meeting so many girls who are passionate about charities,” Bowen said.
In order to prepare to compete, Bowen said she has spent hours working out, as well as practicing her walk and answering interview questions. At times, Bowen said she will be running on the treadmill at her gym when community members will walk up to her and begin asking her interview questions. She said has also utilizes local businesses with long hallways to practice walking in.
Bowen said she is grateful to the support she has received from the community, as numerous businesses have offered support as sponsors to help her raise money to compete in the pageant.
When Bowen isn't preparing to compete, she said she enjoys spending time outdoors going for hikes, riding a bike and other activities. She is also an avid photographer and said having the chance to compete in pageants has opened doors for her by giving her the chance to connect with people professionals in the industry.
She is also attending college and recently transferred from a school in Boston, Mass., to the University of Southern Maine where she is double-majoring in studio arts and economics. Bowen said her choice to major in those two fields was based on her artistic passion and the desire to have an economics background to potentially assist her if she decides to open her own business. She also noted that while she was attending school in Massachusetts she took a math class and an art class, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
She also said that because she was attending a Liberal Arts school, many of her classes were focused on English and that prompted her to decided to transfer and focus on art and economics.
As the clock winds down to the competition, Bowen thanked everyone who has supported her, as she prepared.
“It's just been so awesome,” she said.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.
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