Competition Information

Saturday January 7, 2023
Hope+Elim Church, Des Moines, IA

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Why enter? Because you can...

  • Gain valuable experience and develop life skills (e.g. interview skills, public speaking, interpersonal communication, social interaction, etc.)

  • Earn quality scholarship funds for college and graduate school, regardless of whether a title is won

  • Find new interests and discover new opportunities

  • Make lifelong friendships and relationships

  • Learn to set goals, follow them through and exceed your expectations

  • Develop a sense of responsibility for helping others

  • Foster a positive, self-motivated mindset to achieve your goals

  • Receive recognition for your efforts in bettering yourself and your community

Where to start

To become a Miss candidate, you must: 

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 25

  • Reside, work, or attend school in the state of Iowa for the last 6 months

  • Meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Organization

  • Be in reasonably good health to meet the job requirements

  • Must be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local, state, and national competition(s) in which you compete

To become a Teen candidate, you must: 

  • Be between the ages of 13 and 17

  • Reside or attend school in the state of Iowa for the last 6 months

  • Candidates may not turn 18 on or before July 31st of the year of the National Finals

  • Must be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local, state, and national competition(s) in which you compete

6 steps to enter a Miss America Local Competition

Register with Miss America & create your profile

All young women in competition for Teen or Miss, must first register directly with the Miss America Organization. There is a $35 annual membership fee.

Prepare a 90 second Talent

The talent competition is like “America’s Got Talent” for women and is a hallmark of the Miss America competition. You can sing, dance, play an instrument, recite a monologue, demonstrate a skill (yoga, painting, baton twirling) or even conduct a science experiment! You have 1 minute and 30 seconds to wow the judges. The most important thing to keep in mind is to be entertaining!

Choose your Social Impact Initiative

A Social Impact Initiative (SII) is a cause for which you will advocate during your year. Examples include; Anti-Bullying, Advocacy for the Arts, Healthy Eating, etc. The best SII is one you have personal experience with and are passionate about. You should be able to speak spontaneously on the subject if asked, and you will be!

Assemble a Wardrobe

Opening Number, Interview, Evening Wear, and Talent Costume

What you wear should fit you well and make you feel great when you are on stage. It should reflect your personality and make you feel awesome!  And, you do not have to spend a lot.  You can find great dresses on pageant & prom resale sites, eBay, Amazon, and can be borrowed.  Remember that you are competing to win scholarship money, and you don’t want to spend more than you can win.

Assemble your Paperwork

Your paperwork will be the first thing the judges see before they meet you in the interview. Your Resume should showcase your education, personality & accomplishments. Your Social Impact Statement is an essay about why you chose your initiative; why your initiative is relevant; and what you intend to do or what you have done to advocate your initiative. Remember, choose a social impact initiative you are passionate about.  You will also need a color photo of yourself for the program book and social media.  Select a photo which represents who you are. ​ 

Prepare for your Interview

Miss candidates will have a 10-minute interview with the judges, of which the last 30 seconds you may give a prepared (not memorized) closing statement. Teen candidates will have a 8 minute interview with no closing statement.

Preparation:  Stay up to date on current events. Practice answering questions with family and friends. You need to know everything that you have written in your paperwork and be prepared to talk about it. The most important thing to know about the interview is to BE YOURSELF. Don’t answer questions based on what you think the judges want to hear. They are there to get to know you, so show them your heart!