Hometown: Bellevue, Wash.
Bellevue Club: How long have you been competing in pageants?
Alena Smallwood: Not long—this is my first one!
BC: Why did you decide pageants were the best forum for expressing yourself and goals?
AS: I have always had an interest in beauty and fashion as well as becoming more confident in myself. Pageants force you to really evaluate how you come across to others. The girls are all so different, so the best thing you can do is be true to who you are and not someone else’s expectation. I am also learning that it is an opportunity to reach a broad audience with my platform that is very important to me.
BC: Why do you want to compete to be Miss Washington Teen USA?
AS: I want to be a role model to other girls.
BC: What is the biggest misconception about pageants that you would like to clear up?
AS: That all the girls are conceited and “snobby.” All the girls I have met are so nice!
BC: What is the greatest lesson you learned from competing in pageants?
AS: To be confident in who you are and who you want to be. Always have faith in yourself.
BC: What is your community service platform of choice?
AS: Helping out teenagers with depression and/or anxiety. I believe it is a much bigger issue than most people realize.
BC: Why is that an issue that hits home for you?
AS: I struggle with it myself, so I know that often just having someone who is willing to listen and encourage you helps. I think it is very important to always be kind and willing to help others.
BC: What are your extracurricular hobbies/interests?
AS: Guitar, music, and volleyball!
BC: What do you think are the biggest social issues facing young women today?
AS: Low self-confidence and esteem, because they are always comparing themselves to others.
BC: If you had a younger sister, what would be one piece of advice you would give her?
AS: Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
BC: What are your future goals/plans?
AS: Graduate from high school and attend a four-year university. I hope to study business and design for a future career in the fashion industry.
This weekend local resident Alena Smallwood will be competing for the title of Miss Washington Teen USA. While the judges make the final decisions, there are two awards (People’s choice and Miss Photogenic) given based on votes from her fans. To help put her in the semi-finals, please visit misswashingtonusa.com daily and cast your vote for a fellow Bellevue Club member!