An incoming freshman at Wartburg is finishing up her year as Miss Iowa Teen USA 2012.
Carissa Becker, originally from Waterloo, achieved this title last year when she won the pagent through the the Miss Universe pageantry in the teen division.
The Miss Universe program consists of teen divisions including Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe.
“It was an amazing feeling to be part of such a great experience,” Becker said. “It’s a feeling you can’t even express and I couldn’t believe I accomplished.”
Participants are judged on three categories in the Miss Teen USA pageant, including swimsuit competition, evening gown wear and personality interview. Sponsorships are also needed to compete in this pageant.
“I believe Carissa really benefited from the interview,” Brianna Becker, Carissa’s sister and junior at Wartburg said. “She has great confidence and personality along with a natural smile.”
Becker had little experience before competing in the Miss Universe pageant, only competing in one other pageant before winning the Miss Iowa Teen USA competition.
“One day I just received an application for the pageant in the mail and decided to try it out,” Becker said. “I applied and was accepted and I guess it just started from there.”
Only a year later, Becker has earned top honors and has been fulfilling her crown by participating in the Iowa Children’s hospital telephone fundraiser, the Dan Gable celebrity golf tournament and the Iowa State Dance Marathon.
As a freshman, Becker is just starting to get involved with activities on campus including Entertainment ToKnight, Manna, Adopt-a-grandparent and working for Admissions.
“I try to participate in as many events as my schedule will allow,” said Becker. “Being a part of this organization has really been a great experience and I’m happy to be involved.”
Becker was not really sure what to expect when getting involved in the pageant system. She said she was pleasantly surprised by the results.
“The relationships I’ve formed have been my favorite part of competing in the pageant system,” Becker said. “I have met the most amazing people and can honestly say I have a friend in every state.”
Becker’s family has strongly supported her journey into becoming Miss Iowa Teen. Two of her family members attend Wartburg College and said they are very happy for her.
“Our entire family is so proud of her accomplishments,” said Alex Becker, Carissa’s cousin and student at Wartburg College. “She has worked really hard this year in making sure she represents the Miss Teen pageant and Miss Iowa in a great way.”
Carissa’s sister, Brianna Becker, also thought Carissa’s involvement in pageants has brought them closer and she is happy to be a part of her support system.
On Oct. 14, Becker will give up her crown and give her farewell speech at the next Miss Iowa Teen USA pageant held in Newton, Iowa.
“Even though I’m really sad about giving up my crown, I’m excited to watch and be a part of this year’s pageant,” Becker said.
Becker is unsure about future pageants.
“I’ve always wanted to try out for Miss USA but I guess it just depends on what lies ahead,” she said.