Meet your National American Miss Oregon Teen-Kelli McBee

Meet your National American Miss Oregon Teen-Kelli McBee

Kelli McBee refuses to be labeled a “pageant girl.”

Her recent crowning as Miss Oregon Teen, she insists, is simply a small slice of her fast-paced and exuberant life.

Kelli, a recent Pendleton High School graduate, speaks the truth. Most of us would grow weary simply reading her resume. In high school, she played volleyball, ran track, danced, held office, sang and volunteered – all while building a 4.3 grade-point average.

Kelli’s foray into the pageant world gives a glimpse into the teenager’s power-packed spirit and her zest for achievement.

Her first pageant at age 15 was a bit of a fluke. When an invitation to the Miss Oregon Junior Teen came in the mail, she dismissed it as ostentatious and narcissistic. The more she thought about it, however, the idea grew in appeal as a way to strengthen her communications skills. The challenge was getting her parents, Dr. John and Debbie McBee, to agree.

“I begged and pleaded with my parents, who politely said no,” she said.

Debbie McBee confessed her image of pageants was of a glitzy skin-deep focus on glamor, little girls wearing heavy makeup. Kelli, however, saw more than the glam. She championed the competition as a confidence builder, a way to hone speaking ability.

“In the end we decided to let her give it a try,” Debbie said.

Finally, with her parents’ reluctant blessing, Kelli practiced walking gracefully, using the family’s gravel driveway as a catwalk. She videotaped herself and practiced looking poised in front of the mirror. She had her family pepper her with questions and used her Golden Retriever as an audience for her introductory remarks.

Kelli surprised everyone at that first pageant by winning both the title and a shot at nationals. This spring, she did it again, this time as Miss Oregon Teen. She represented Oregon at nationals in Anaheim, Calif., this past November.

Her father served as her escort during the formal wear competition. As they waited in the wings, he cracked jokes to keep her calm.

On the last night of the pageant, judges identified ten finalists by handing them roses. Rose in hand, Kelli forced herself to keep smiling during the next portion of the program which “took an eternity,” amid soap bubbles and musical numbers. As the crown was finally placed on her head, relieved joy washed over her.

“I was overwhelmed with happiness,” Kelli said. “Of course, I cried.”

The announcer also revealed winners of sub-competitions. Kelli won or was runner-up in several, but none meant more than winning first runner-up for the volunteer service award. Calling herself a firm believer in the power of service, the teen said she loves to dream up and carry out community projects.

She created “Diplomas Matter,” a drop-out prevention program for at-risk eighth graders. Kelli and several other students visit with middle school students about their passions and what types of careers they could consider.

Kelli also started “Birthday Bags for Foster Kids,” after reading an East Oregonian story about increasing numbers of foster children. She collected hundreds of gift items, wrapped them and placed them in bags to distribute to foster kids on their birthdays.

Currently, she is conducting a book drive for soldiers.

“She’s one of our legends,” said Vickie Read, a PHS counselor. “…When she does something, it’s always going to impact other people. At her young age, she is truly a humanitarian.”

Kelli quotes Mac Anderson who said, “People are like sticks of dynamite – the power’s on the inside, but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit.”

“I am a big dreamer,” she says, “and my fuse has been lit.”

Kelli is currently studying communications and public relations at Boston College.

Credit:  By KATHY ANEY, The East OregonianKelli McBee National American Miss Teen Oregon

National American Miss North and South Carolina Open Calls Announced!

National American Miss North and South Carolina Open Calls Announced!

I am excited to announce that we have scheduled the 2010 National American Miss North Carolina Open Calls!

Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13 – Cary, NC
at the Embassy Suites Research Triangle
201 Harrison Oaks Blvd.; Cary, NC 27513
On Friday – Session Times: 6:30pm
On Saturday – Session Times: 11:00am and 1:00pm

Saturday, Feb. 13 – Fayetteville, NC
at the Holiday Inn: Fayetteville-Bordeaux
1707 Owen Dr.; Fayetteville, NC 28304
Session Times: 11:00am and 1:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 14 – Greensboro, NC
at the Marriott-Greensboro Airport
1 Marriott Dr.; Greensboro, NC 27409
Sunday Session Times: 1pm and 3pm

Sunday, Feb. 14 and Monday, Feb. 15 – Charlotte, NC
at the Hilton University Place
8629 JM Keynes Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262
Sunday Session Times: 1pm and 3pm
Monday Session Times: 6:30pm

Monday, Feb. 15 – Jacksonville, NC
at the Quality Inn Jacksonville
701 N. Marine Blvd.; Jacksonville, NC 28540
Monday Session Times: 6:30pm

Tuesday, Feb. 16 – Asheville, NC
at the Renaissance Hotel – Asheville
31 Woodfin St.; Ashville, NC 28801
Tuesday Session Times: 6:30pm

Tuesday, Feb. 16 – Wilmington, NC
at the Holiday Inn – Wilmington
5032 Market St.; Wilmington, NC 28405
Tuesday Session Times: 6:30pm

Log on to to preregister.


What is the National American Miss Open Call?

What is the National American Miss Open Call?

The open call is an information session where you will  hear all about the National American Miss Pageant.  Our program is a lot different and we are proud of it, so we like to have people come meet us, see some video and hear about the pageant.

While at the open call you will watch a short presentation about the pageant, you will receive information about the pageant that you can take home, you will fill out an application, and you will sit with one of our staff people for a brief interview.  The Open Call is 100% free to attend!

The whole event will take about an hour.  You will want to bring a picture or snapshot of yourself, a school picture is fine, and a note pad if you would like to take notes.

See you there!