One of Izabella Windom’s passions is teaching dance at the Augusta Youth School of Dance.
“Tap is my favorite thing to teach,” said Windom, a rising sophomore at Lakeside High School and the reigning Miss Augusta’s Teen.
Windom has helped instruct younger children for a couple of years and said she has noticed some of her students lack self-confidence.
She found it troubling, so she developed a platform devoted to changing that.
“Confidence is key,” she said of her platform. “So it helps promote confidence in youth since that is such a big issue now. In all my dance classes, I teach the 9-10 year-old age group. They are very self-conscious. There’s no reason they should feel that way. It’s younger and younger that are starting to feel this.”
Windom believes she can inspire girls to become more confident and said the crown plays an important role.
“I think little girls really look up to the crowns especially. They’re like – Oh my gosh, it’s a crown. They see them in movies with princesses, and that’s what they love. It makes them focus and zoom in. It draws attention,” she said.
In June, Windom took her crown to Columbus, Ga., where she competed in the Miss Georgia’s Teen event. The title was formerly known as Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen. The teen pageant is the age category one bracket lower than that of Miss Georgia and is part of the Miss America organization.
Windom joined other teens from around the state in nine days of competitions, interviews, rehearsals and other events that gave her a boost in her own confidence.
“It was very empowering. Everyone is so uplifting,” she said. “Everyone is there to support everyone. We all want what’s best for our community and the state. Everyone in our generation is pushing for that.”
Windom said previous contestants including 2022 Miss Augusta Quinn Shelt gave her an idea of what to expect at the pageant, but Windom said she didn’t grasp it all until she actually experienced it. The days were long, especially ones with preliminaries.
Unlike the Miss Georgia contestants who spent a lot of time in Columbus viewing the city and visiting places such as the children’s hospital, their teen counterparts didn’t leave the pageant headquarters, but Windom said she had a lot of fun in spite of that.
“We had themed dress-up days. I went to the duck derby and local parties,” she said.
With the state pageant behind her, she’s looking forward to making appearances and promoting her platform. She plans to help Shelt with the inaugural Miss Memories Pageant July 16 at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, which was Shelt’s platform during her reign.
When she heads back to school, Windom looks forward to being able to participate in some of the extracurricular activities a knee injury sidelined her from during her freshman year.
Windom is in the engineering tract of Lakeside’s IB program. She’s a member of the dance team, Technology Student Association, FCA and Student Council. She’s also part of Columbia County Youth Leadership.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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