Colonial Middle School has royalty among its students. Eighth Grader Cailey Ryons is the current Miss Bucks County's Outstanding Teen. The title is part of the teen program affiliated with the Miss America pageant.
"I always loved to travel around different places, and I love to do community service work," said Cailey. "Now I get emails from people asking me to do community service work instead of me having to try to find it."
As an Outstanding Teen, Cailey has participated in activities like the Out of the Darkness Walk in Philadelphia and the Kelly Anne Dolan Cruise for children with disabilities, in addition to preparing meals for homeless people for Thanksgiving through Manna. Her platform is LISTEN, which stands for Love, Influence, Support, Tell, Encourage and Notice — the steps to suicide awareness.
"Pageants are only advertised on TV as the moms arguing and the girls putting on pretty gowns and a lot of makeup," said Cailey. "You never actually get to see what the girls are doing with their platforms and how much community service work they're doing."
Cailey got involved in pageants through her dance teacher, a former Miss Neshaminy Valley, and started competing when she turned 13. Her dance training started when she was only three. Cailey will be spending much of her summer in Los Angeles performing as part of the United States Dance Team. In the future, she hopes to compete in the Miss America pageant, dance on Broadway and open her own dance studio.
The Bucks County title comes on the heels of Cailey's run as Miss Philadelphia's Outstanding Teen. Open pageants allow girls from outside of the geographic area to compete. This is particularly important for Cailey, because Montgomery County does not have a teen program.
Cailey will next compete for the title of Miss Pennsylvania's Outstanding Teen in the state pageant, which will be held June 9-15 in York, Pennsylvania.