Hannah Cartwright crowned Miss Faribault County
She is going to Nationals. Miss Hannah Cartwright, of Blue Earth, has spent all of last fall and this winter preparing for her USA National Miss state pageant. Hannah competed with many other young girls and teenagers from the state of Minnesota to be crowned Miss Minnesota, and Hannah came away with more than one crown, and a trip to Orlando, Florida, in July where she will compete at the national level.
At the state competition level, Hannah was not only awarded Miss Faribault County, she was also awarded Miss Minnesota Junior Role Model, Miss Minnesota Junior Cover Model, and Miss Minnesota Pre-Teen. She also was awarded first place for her modeling portfolio and her junior casual wear modeling. All in all, the 10-year-old walked away with two plaques, a trophy, four sashes, and four gorgeous crowns.
But all of those successes did not come easy for Hannah. Over the five month period, Hannah’s mom, Tasha Walker, estimated around 19 hours of practice a month, if not more.
“My pageant coach Faith Schway and my mom were the ones who helped me practice the most with my routines and practicing what to say,” says Hannah. “And smiling. My coach told me to smile until my cheeks hurt, and I’m pretty sure they are still hurting.”
The state competition took place on Feb. 18 in the Twin Cities where Hannah had four routines to display.
“I got into my interview dress and went and got interviewed by the judges, then I got some photos taken of me and that went well,” remembers Hannah. “Then I got ready for my casual routine and after that, I had to get into my high fashion outfit and get to the stage to do that. And then I got into my formal gown and we did crowning.”
Hannah says she and her mom had about 10 minutes between each competition to get ready.
“We went with a simple hairstyle so we would be able to switch it up between routines, and it still look nice and presentable,” says Tasha. “It was a whirlwind to say the least.”
Both Hannah and her mom Tasha did not expect to be such big winners at this competition.
“They say it takes someone Hannah’s age about three or four years to be crowned,” says Tasha. “Simply because there are so many girls in her age division.”
“When you say ‘oh, I might not win,’ if you say that, it’s like you already lost,” Hannah shares. “And it isn’t about winning, really, it is about spreading awareness and being a role model and empowering other girls to grow in their confidence.”
The awareness Hannah is talking about is domestic violence. Over the last five or six months, Hannah has dedicated many hours to making her community aware of domestic violence. She is an official spokesgirl for the Women of Worth group, based in Blue Earth, and has worked with Stacy Huntington with CADA to raise money for families in domestic violence situations. She even stationed herself at the Blue Earth Dollar General for a day to ask for monetary or basic needs donations.
“Hannah has always had a heart for service and a heart for giving, but she never really knew how to express it,” says Tasha. “And these are the platforms that were important to her.”
So now, the mother-daughter duo are preparing for their exciting, and somewhat unexpected, trip to the National competition for USA National Miss in Orlando. The girls will fly down south July 1-8.
“It’s the top test of all competition,” dotes Hannah. “Now I have to work on finding sponsorships and do some more practice and community work before we go.”
In her excitement, Hannah explained she will be participating in new competition categories such as evening wear, interview, runway cover model, super model, role model, and professional photos. The girls will even be wearing designer dresses and shoes during the competition.
But that is not what has Hannah most excited.
“One of the judges will be Miss Universe, who was Miss South Africa, but now she is Miss Universe,” an elated Hannah shares. “I cannot wait to meet her. She’s so amazing.”
“We are very excited and will be starting sponsorship training in April,” says Tasha, who is still admittedly worn out from the state competition. “We are committed to this because I know Hannah loves it so much.”
Watch out, Orlando. Miss Faribault County is on her way.