pageantry interview ● rachel wyatt
Dancing Rachel Wyatt will soon
head off to college at Clemson
University, but not before leaving
behind a shining legacy as Miss
America’s Outstanding Teen
W hen Rachel Wyatt’s name was announced as
the newest Miss America’s Outstanding Teen
on August 18, 2012 in Orlando, she immedi-
ately cemented her legacy by taking a knee for
the popular “Tebowing” pose. A tribute to
former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, the pose
might not go over so well now with her new friends on the
Clemson University dance team, but they’d probably at
least appreciate the context, as Rachel’s win was the deﬁn-
ing moment of her young life.
But harmless rivalries between college football confer-
ences aside, Rachel’s new chapter at Clemson is just anoth-
er step for her on the long journey that she’s destined to
take in helping so many others with her unique world views
and sharp intelligence. Having already founded and main-
tained her own dance group, the Challenger Class, for spe-
cial needs students, Rachel is looking forward to not only
determining her professional path, but also expanding on
her already rich experiences in promoting her own philan-
thropy, as well as the Children’s Miracle Network as part of
the Miss America Organization.
While her future is yet to be written, Rachel knows that
no matter what she does, she’ll never stop dancing and leav-
ing lasting impressions on the many people she touches.
Pageantry magazine: It’s hard to believe that al-
most a year has passed since you won your title
in Orlando. What has this year as Miss America’s
Outstanding Teen meant to you?
Rachel Wyatt: This has been just an absolutely incredible
experience, and it’s something that I just didn’t expect. And
even though this year was unexpected, it has been such an
enormous blessing. Honestly, it’s so hard to put into words
what it means to me. I feel so absolutely and incredibly
blessed to have these opportunities, and now I’m looking
forward to passing along the crown to the next lucky girl
who will get to experience this wonderful title.
PM: When we last spoke, one of your goals was to
travel. How much time have you been able to spend on
the road this year?
RW: I think that I accomplished that goal. I’ve done quite
a bit of traveling throughout the year, and I’ll still have
quite a bit to come, because I’ll be graduating school and
right after that we’ll be taking off for the summer tour.
PM: Has there been any place that you’ve visited this
year that really stuck out and made you change any
preconceptions that you had?
RW: I have really loved anywhere that I’ve been able to
travel, but anywhere that I get to dance in front of people
and perform and do what I love, those are the places that I
have just enjoyed so, so much. Especially North Carolina,
because I didn’t expect it to be what it was, I guess, and it
was fun—it was really a lot like home—and the people
there were so welcoming and sweet, and they really opened
up their homes and hearts to my mom and I. It was really
a special experience. That’s one that sticks out for sure. I’ve
learned that it’s not the places that you go to, but the peo-
ple that you meet while you’re there.
PM: You’ve got to spend a lot of time with the Children’s
Miracle Network. How has that impacted your life?
RW: Oh my goodness, it deﬁnitely changed it for the bet-
ter. Just knowing that even if I just stop by for a little while
and interact with the kids some, that puts such a huge smile
on their faces. I love to let them hold the crown or wear it