Once again the best example of beauty, poise, and grace in Maryland hails from Germantown.
Last month, 18-year-old Amy Ingram was crowned Miss Teen Maryland USA 2016. It was the second-straight year that the Miss Maryland USA was from Germantown. Ingram received the crown from Taylor Dawson, who served as Miss Teen Maryland USA 2015.
“The people in Germantown have always encouraged me,” said Ingram, who is 2015 graduate of Seneca Valley High School. “My community has always supported me. I really my high school. They have been so proud of me. I love how Seneca Valley was so supportive. They were always encouraging and supportive when it came to pageants. They knew how hard I was preparing and the time it took out of my schooling.”
Although, Ingram said she earned great grades at Seneca Valley, where she was also a member of the poms squad, it was important to her to know that her community was behind her. “They knew how much effort I was putting into this. It was great to get feedback from the community and see how supportive they are of me.”
The new Miss Teen Maryland USA 2016, who is a freshman Towson University began participating in pageants when she was 16. “I have always wanted to get into modeling, and someone had mentioned to me that pageants were a good way to break into modeling,” said Ingram. “Also, I have always watched the show Toddlers & Tiaras, and that is probably the main reason I started pageants because I would watch and think, ‘I want to be like them.”
Ingram won her crown at the competition that was held Nov. 1 in Bethesda; she competed against 38 other young women from all around the state of Maryland, including six other girls from Montgomery County.
This year’s pageant was Ingram’s third time competing for the crown. After watching fellow Germantown resident Taylor Dawson win the crown last year, she knew that she would have to work hard to achieve her dreams of wearing that crown.
“I came into the pageant knowing that I had to give it all I’ve got. This year, I really prepared for it,” said Ingram. “I knew after last year’s pageant that I really wanted to win this crown. I got a coach right away, and I started preparing my wardrobe and I worked really hard on my interview, and my walk.”
She worked on her poise and walk, and her ability to perform under pressure. She would meet with her coach once or twice a week for hours. “I prepared for the interview. I videoed myself walking every day, and I would send those videos to my coach to critique.”
“I knew I had a very good chance because of how well I had prepared,” said Ingram. But while having the clothes, the look, and the walk were important, Ingram says that the attitude was the most important thing that she worked on in the off-season.
“I had the correct mindset to win, and that is what a lot of girls don’t have,” she said. “I came in knowing that I wanted to win the crown, and I was going to be Miss Maryland Teen USA, and a lot of girls lack that. Before I went to the pageant I would say, ‘when I win’ not ‘if I win.’ That is mindset you need to have before you go into the competition. My coach really drilled the mental aspect of the competition into my head. He told me that I needed to start thinking like this or I would never be successful.”
Ingram said it was that mental aspect that allowed her to outshine the competitors. She said that after making the Top 15 and then the Top 5 at during the pageant in November, she began to feel the jitters going into the interview portion of the competition.
“I was really nervous but after I had answered my interview question, I knew there was no way I would not win. I knew that I put everything into it, and I was probably going to get crowned. But, I was shaking so much when they called me for the final two, with my first runner up. She was saying ‘stop shaking’ and I was like, ‘I can’t stop shaking.’ Then they called me, and I cried like a big baby.”
Ingram will now compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant to will be held next summer. In the meantime, she will be making appearances around the state and participate in Miss Teen USA events in New York City and Chicago. All the while she will be promoting her One More Smile project that encourages people to give back to their communities.
“I gave myself a month to get used to being Miss Teen Maryland USA,” said Ingram. “Now, I am getting my appointments ready for the year and the push to compete in the Miss USA Pageant in July or August.”
Her predecessor, Taylor Dawson completed her one-year reign as Miss Teen Maryland the night the Ingram won the crown. Dawson, 19, is also Germantown resident, who attended Mary of Nazareth School in Darnestown and St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel. She is a working model and actress, who is also pursuing a degree in performing arts from Lindenwood University in Missouri, according to the Miss Universe Website.
Top: Seneca Valley High School alumnus Amy Ingram after winning the title Miss Teen Maryland USA on Nov. 1.
Next: Amy Ingram, Miss Teen Maryland USA 2016
Next: Taylor Dawson, Miss Teen Maryland USA 2015
Photos courtesy Miss Maryland USA pageant.