Madeline Kelley Competes for Confidence

Madeline+Kelley+at+Newton+High+School%2C+right+before+she+walks+in+the+circle+the+wrong+way%2C+but+don%27t+worry+she+pulls+it+off+and+looks+great+doing+it.+

Mike Solberg

Madeline Kelley at Newton High School, right before she walks in the circle the wrong way, but don't worry she pulls it off and looks great doing it.

Leeanne Mehring-Cruz, Writer

In 2016 and 2017, Madeline Kelley competed to be Miss Teen Iowa.

The competitions are held at Newton High School in Newton, Iowa, on the second weekend of October.

“I got a thing in the mail to apply and I did it as a joke at first,” Madeline Kelley, jr., said.

Kelley said her biggest inspiration or motivation to run is for her self-confidence. She said she wasn’t always confident in herself and this experience got her out of her shell.

“Mentally preparing myself I have the mindset that I’m not going to lose and physically I try to eat healthy,” Kelley said.

Kelley said her family is pretty supportive and her grandma, Amy Buelow, is her biggest supporter and helps out a lot.

“I want Madeline to get a strong sense of self-confidence and to figure out where she is going with her life,” Buelow said.

“And cool trophies,” Kyle Kelley, father, said.

Kelley said that for interviews you can wear a dress or nice pants and a nice shirt. You need a one piece for swim wear and, for athletics, leggings or compression shorts.

“My favorite outfit is the evening gown, which is like a nicer prom dress, because it makes me feel like a princess,” Kelley said.

Buelow said that it is an honor for her granddaughter to just compete because about 400 girls apply, but only 30 to 35 girls get picked.

“My most embarrassing moment was in the 2017 competition, during the evening gown, I turned in the circle the wrong way and tried to make it look natural,” Kelley said.

Kelley also cheers for the wrestling team and runs the Young Democrats’ twitter at Kennedy High School.

“I will stop running after the 2018 competition to go to college out of state, UCLA,” Kelley said.