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Two locals vie for titles, scholarships

Rebecca Anderson, 22, and Katie Busch, 18, both from Clackamas County, will be heading off to pageants in June to compete for the honor of representing Oregon at a higher level.

Anderson, a 2009 Oregon City High School graduate, was named Miss Cascade on April 26, and will move on to the Miss Oregon Pageant in Seaside June 25 to 28. The winner will advance to the Miss America Pageant in September.

Busch, a senior at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School, is the current Distinguished Young Woman of Oregon, and will compete at nationals June 26 to 28 in Mobile, Ala.

Rebecca Anderson

by: PHOTO BY WENDY TAUNTON - Oregon City resident Rebecca Anderson is crowned Miss Cascade, moves on to Miss Oregon pageant.Anderson graduated in 2013 from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a minor in sustainability. She works for a local nonprofit lawyer while taking classes in preparation for her second bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science at the University of North Dakota.

This will be the Oregon City resident’s fourth time competing at Miss Oregon. She was a top-10 finalist in her three previous pageants and was third runner-up and a preliminary talent winner in 2013.

“I am really looking forward to this year’s Miss Oregon Pageant, to making those lifelong memories and earning the most amount of scholarship money I can. After all, this organization is based on scholarship and, paying for my second degree on my own, it is much needed,” Anderson said.

At the local pageant, held at the Barclay Center in Oregon City, Anderson was given both the fitness award and the talent award, before being named Miss Cascade.

For her talent portion of the competition, Anderson sang “Let It Go,” from the current popular movie “Frozen.”

The main reason she chose that number was “because I have been through my fair share of struggles in life and always feeling like I had to be perfect. This song has become kind of an anthem for me, and so many others, that I thought it would be a perfect song to complete my last year of competing with the Miss America organization. Going out with a bang, and with a song that is truly me, I am still working on letting it go,” she said.

Anderson said she originally became involved with the program because she needed a positive outlet in her life. This was reinforced once she met titleholders and saw all the positive things they were doing in their communities.

“This program has done so much for me. I am much more focused on my education, making a difference, and discovering who I am and who I want to be. This program, in a lot of ways, changed the path of my life. I know now that being me is perfect and following my dreams is achievable. I am a much more mature, driven and confident woman than I was four years ago when I started,” Anderson said.

To learn more about the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, visit missoregon.org.

Katie Busch

by: SUBMITTED - Katie BuschAn Oak Grove resident, Busch has been involved with other scholarship organizations before, but said it was always in her plans to compete in the Distinguished Young Women program because her mother, Tami Montee-Busch, was Jefferson County’s Junior Miss, before the program changed its name.

“The unique thing about Distinguished Young Women is the program really strives to focus on the whole girl. There is a fitness component similar to other programs, but it consists of a high-cardio, full-body routine. We also have a 10-minute interview with a panel of five judges and a chance to articulate the answer to a question on stage,” Busch said.

In addition, there is a talent portion and an academic component during which a contestant’s high school transcripts are judged by a separate panel of judges with academic background and experience.

Girls are initially eligible for the local and at-large level programs during their junior year. If they win, they go to state the summer before their senior year, and if they win state, they go to nationals the summer after their senior year, Busch said.

The national competition takes place in Mobile, Ala., where the program was founded in 1958. When she gets there, Busch will spend time learning routines for the program night and volunteering in the community. She will stay with one other representative in the home of a host family.

“When the competition rolls around, we will all complete in the same areas of competition as we did at the local and state levels. There are two nights of preliminary competition with a third night for the finalists who have made top 10,” Busch said.

Distinguished Young Women has an outreach program called the National Be Your Best Self Program, and on April 21 Busch brought that message to Sojourner Elementary School and Cascade Heights Public Charter School, and to Lot Whitcomb Elementary School on May 2.

She spoke with the younger students about how they can be “healthy, involved, studious, respectful and ambitious, and how we implement those things in our daily lives,” she said. At the charter school Busch spoke with eighth-graders about how the aspects of Be Your Best Self can help during the transition to and throughout high school.

As for her future plans, in the fall Busch will attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., since it offers full-tuition scholarships to any state representative from the Distinguished Young Women program.

To learn more about this program, visit distinguishedyw.org.



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