PITTSBURGH — A 15-year-old from Mountain Top was recently crowned Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen after a wide-ranging competition featuring interviews, a talent performance and plenty of nerve-wracking moments.
Madison Dompkosky, who has been competing for three years and was crowned Miss Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Outstanding Teen at the NEPA Scholarship Pageant in October, contended with 24 other teens between ages 13 and 17 in Pittsburgh from June 12-18. Each competitor qualified for the statewide pageant by winning titles in their respective localities.
In Pittsburgh, Dompkosky, who will be a sophomore at Wyoming Seminary High School this coming year, was required to go through a private interview with six judges, perform a talent, do a fitness routine, compete in evening wear and answer an on-stage question.
“It’s actually a terrible feeling,” explained her mother, Sandra. She sat in the audience at the pageant with a knot in her stomach as her daughter competed.
In addition to the nerves involved, Sandra added that she and her daughter were hoping one of her two older friends would win, since this would be the last year they could compete. Dompkosky’s best friend finished as the first runner-up.
“You can probably imagine how that would feel if you and your best friend were neck and neck for the title,” Dompkosky said.
“I’m not going to say I’m not thrilled that Madison won … but I was also heartbroken for some of the other kids because it was their last year,” Sandra noted, explaining the sense of community is very strong among the girls and families involved.
Each contestant is also required to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and have a public-service platform. Dompkosky’s is “Thank a Veteran: Honoring the Men and Women Who Have Shaped This Great Nation.”
Dompkosky comes from a military family — her mother served in the Navy, all of her grandfathers served in different branches, and her brother and uncle are currently enlisted.
“I acknowledge the sacrifices that men and women of our country gave up for our freedom and our protection. That has really inspired me to go out and raise awareness for patriotism and thanking veterans for what they’ve done,” she said.
In addition to winning the title, Dompkosky took the second-place honor for most money raised for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The teen will now travel the state and promote her platform, the organization and the hospitals.
Dompkosky is also preparing for the next step, which is to compete at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Florida, on July 29.
“It’s a lot to take in at once and a little overwhelming, but I’m really super excited,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Reach Toni Pennelli at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLNews.