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Four local beauty winners compete for state title

Four beauty contestants who won local competitions this year also competed for the title of Miss South Carolina last weekend.

Miss Colleton County Rice Festival Teen Ashley Hunter competed for the 2012 Miss S.C. Teen. She is a former Cottageville resident, and the 14-year-old teen now resides in Summerville. Ashley is an A/B Honors Student, and recently completed schooling at River Oaks Middle School, and will be a freshman at Fort Dorchester High School this fall.

Ashley’s accomplishments include the Good Citizenship Award for Outstanding Community Service; the raising of $500 for the Charleston Animal Society; the donation of 800 towels and blankets to the Charleston Animal Society; the donation of pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House; and the donation of soup labels and box-tops to the Lakota Children Foundation.

Her leadership roles include the organization and planning of the blanket and towel drives for the Charleston Animal Society; the organization of the Teens for Jean Project; and the organization of the Pet Contests for Paws in the Park.

Her scholastic/career ambition is to obtain a Doctorate of Veterinary Degree from the University of Georgia and become a veterinarian. Her marketing plan is to use the knowledge that she acquires to help in working with the Charleston Animal Society; to continue to work to see an increase in the number of animals being taken care of, specifically being either spayed or neutered; and working for a decrease in the number of animals being euthanized.

Ashley has recently met Laura Moore Clark, president of foccas (friends of Colleton County Animal Shelter), and is looking forward to working with her to get her platform information out to the public and also plans to start working with the foccus group. Ashley said she really likes what they stand for and the help that they give to the shelter.

This is Ashley’s first time she has competed for Miss South Carolina Teen and she has had the time of her life, said her mother, Shelly. Concerning her trip to Columbia, Shelly said “She was up by 5:30 or 6 every morning and in bed by 12:30 or 1:00 a.m. and was still looking forward to the next day, waking up with a great attitude.” Ashley’s cousin, Alexandria Stanfield, was her with her as her Palmetto Princess and she still lives in Cottageville.

2012 Miss Teen Walterboro Caitlan Grace Walzer also competed for Miss S.C. Teen. She is a 16-year-old Sumter resident, and is a rising junior at Laurence Manning Academy in Manning. She is enrolled in all honors courses, is on the AB Honor Roll, National Honor Society, and Beta Club.

 Caitlan’s attributes include being a varsity cheerleader at Laurence Manning; receiving the JV Cheer 2011 Coaches Award in 2011; being crowned the Easter Supreme Princess in 2010; being crowned the Young Teen Miss Watermelon World in 2010; and winning the title of Crowns across America Grand Talent Champion.

After graduating from Laurence Manning, Caitlan plans to attend Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. majoring in music education. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Church Music Ministry, the field in which she is planning her career.

2012 Miss Walterboro Suzelle Rocha Santos competed for the Miss S.C. title. She is 20 years old and lives in Charleston. Suzelle is a rising junior at the College of Charleston, majoring in communication. She hopes to get a masters degree in this subject and become a television journalist. Santos eventually wants to host her own TV show.

Suzelle’s scholastic honors include the AP Scholar Award in recognition for college-level achievement on Advanced Placement Program Examinations from CollegeBoard AP; Life Scholarship; 3.5 GPA at the College of Charleston; and Honor and Distinction for Commitment to the Ideals of Scholarship; Leadership and Service form the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Suzelle is a first-generation Cape Verdean American, she can speak Portuguese and Spanish, and has served as an announcer for a local television show, and also knows how to step, belly-dance, and hula dance.

2012 Miss Colleton County Rice Festival Queen Samantha “Samee” Cannon also competed for the Miss S.C. title. She is a 20-yesr-old Beaufort native, graduating from High School. She is currently attending the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

She plans for a career within law enforcement, specializing in criminal profiling. Samee currently owns and operates Short Fuse Entertainment, a DJ and Karaoke business.                                                                    

At the pageant’s end, Ali Rogers, Miss Laurens County, was crowned Miss South Carolina 2012 in front of a roaring crowd at Township Auditorium in Columbia. A former Miss South Carolina Teen 2009, Rogers, 20, was a swimsuit preliminary winner. Rogers attends Clemson University. She performed an original composition for the piano entitled “A Salute to our Armed Forces” for the talent competition. She will compete in the Miss America Pageant in January 2013 in Las Vegas.

Rachel Wyatt, Miss Greater Mauldin Teen, was crowned Miss South Carolina Teen 2012. Wyatt is a17-year-old from Piedmont, SC. She attends Wren High School. She was a preliminary talent winner for her performance of a lyrical dance to “The Climb.” She will compete in Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in August 2012 in Orlando, FL.