GOSHEN — The smile on the face of Alexis Brown is as bright as the sparkling jewels on her crown.
The Goshen Middle School eighth-grader, who attends classes for students with moderate and severe cognitive impairment, was recently crowned 2014 Miss Amazing Junior Teen in the Indiana Miss Amazing pageant at Hannah & Friends facility in South Bend.
“It was neat,” Alexis said.
The Miss Amazing program provides opportunities for girls and women from ages 5 to 35 with special needs.
Alexis is the daughter of Kasey and Jerry Brown of Goshen.
“She was pretty excited. It was an awesome experience for her as well as for me,” her mother, Kasey Brown said, smiling. “The girls were paired up with a buddy and the buddy was with them the entire day. I recommend going to the final show or being a volunteer. It was neat and (we) had a good time.”
Brown said she had heard about the Miss Amazing pageants on a “Dateline” program a few years ago and was disappointed that Indiana didn’t have a pageant at the time.
“I heard this past fall that Indiana had a pageant and I went online and filled out an application for Alexis,” her mother said. “It’s about inner beauty and not outer beauty. The girls were being who they are — themselves. They weren’t nervous onstage. They were waving and smiling. They were making new friends.”
The entry fee for each participant in the pageant was five canned goods, so it doesn’t put a strain on the family’s finances, Brown added.
And the families can decide how much to spend for the outfits each girl wears for the interview, introduction and evening wear areas of the competition.
“We found Alexis’ gown at Ashley Rene’s (in Elkhart). We had fun picking out her dress. She liked the purple dress,” Brown said.