Ann Patterson says her daughter Vanessa was destined to be in pageants.
Harlem High School student Vanessa Patterson will compete in the Teen Georgia/Miss Teen USA pageant next month.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I guess it was sort of predestined," Mrs. Patterson said with a chuckle. "My husband (Nathaniel Patterson) didn't like any of the baby names we picked and there was a picture of (former Miss America) Vanessa Williams on the cover of a magazine. That's how we chose Vanessa as her name."
In just a few weeks, Vanessa Patterson will participate in the Miss Teen Georgia/Miss Teen USA pageant in Rome. The pageant is a precursor for the Miss Teen USA pageant.
But the 14-year-old Harlem High School freshman hasn't always been a pageant participant.
"My mom didn't force me to do pageants," said Vanessa. "I went to her."
Vanessa began participating in church pageants about four years ago. She later entered the Miss Sunburst pageant, an annual event heldin conjunction with the Georgia-Carolina State Fair. She won that pageant and advanced to international competition in Atlanta where she placed among the Top 10.
"I meet new people and we become friends," Vanessa said. "It's a once in a lifetime chance."
In addition to taking walks down runways, Vanessa is a second-year cheerleader, plays the piano and sings in the choir at New Holt Baptist Church in Harlem.
While there won't be any displays of Vanessa's talents at the Miss Teen Georgia/Miss Teen USA pageant Nov. 1-2, she will be modeling evening wear and a swimsuit. She also will participate in an on-stage interview.
The winner of the Miss Teen Georgia pageant will advance to the Miss Teen USA pageant.
"Of course, I want to win," said Vanessa, who also will participate in the Miss City of Harlem pageant Nov. 9. "I really want to win, but if I don't, it will be a learning experience."
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