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Hartselle girl gets Miss Alabama Junior High School America 2022 crown

For Olivia Preuitt, being crowned Miss Alabama Junior High School America 2022 was a dream come true.

This was the second year for Preuitt to compete in the statewide pageant – against 21 other contenders for the crown.

Preuitt, an eighth-grader at Hartselle Junior High, will go on to represent the state of Alabama on the national stage this summer in Little Rock, Ark., when the Miss Junior High America Pageant is held June 24-30.

The 14-year-old beauty queen said she was not expecting to win. “I had big competition. The junior high girls are so amazing and so sweet. Winning was a shock,” she said.

Competitors are judged on their interviews, evening gown choices and a fun fashion segment.

Preuitt’s best friend, Mary Kate Flynn, was the one who crowned her.

“It was so special, but it really prevailed to me God’s plan for my life,” Preuitt said. “After not winning, not even placing (this past year), it’s hard coming back – it’s hard for any girl. So, coming back I did a lot of praying and asked God to prevail His plan for me and help me to reveal my light and let His glory shine through me.”

Going through the pageant process, Preuitt said she has made some lifelong friends.

“We support each other. If something big is going on in my life, I know I can call or text them anytime,” she said. “They’re so uplifting and encouraging. When you get into pageants, you don’t think about that, but then you get into it and you say ‘Whoa, these are some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life.’”

Doreena Mink is the director of the Miss Junior High School America Pageant, and she plays a big role in Preuitt’s participation and enjoyment in the program.

“I’ve competed with this pageant director many times, and she’s just amazing,” Preuitt said. “She makes sure every girl is confident and feels loved.”

Preuitt said she soon hopes to use her platform to spread an anti-bullying message, specifically through a program called B.R.A.V.E., which stands for Building Respect and Values for Everyone, which is the official national platform and anti-bullying campaign of the Miss Junior High, High School and Collegiate America Organization.

B.R.A.V.E. promotes its cornerstones through classroom, library and community presentations to children and their parents to create awareness and to promote a bully-free and safe environment.

“A lot of kids think they know how bullying can affect people, but they really don’t. That’s one thing I want to share with people – the power of one can change a lot,” she said.

Preuitt said her specific goal is to recruit 5,000 signatures on the B.R.A.V.E. pledge.

For now, she is preparing for her competition in Little Rock this summer. “We’re very excited,” she said. “It’s a lot of preparation.”

In the past, Preuitt has also competed in Alabama Southern Miss and Miss Classic American Beauty. Her other interests include karate – she is a black belt in the art – and cheerleading. She said she hopes to attend the University of Alabama and cheer on the all-girls squad; she also loves Alabama football and said she was thrilled to attend the Iron Bowl this past year.

Preuitt has a twin sister named Abigail. She is the daughter of Tammy Preuitt and Ken Preuitt Jr. Her stepmother is Shannon Preuitt.