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My First Days As The Titleholder

Miss Teen USA BLOG by Shelley Hennig


“I loved being in New York, doing my first official photo shoot with Fadil Berisha. That was my favorite part of my time there.”

– Shelley Hennig

Field of dreams – My dream has always been to enter the entertainment world of hosting, broadcasting, acting, as well as modeling someday. This is a great beginning. Being Miss Teen USA is allowing so many doors to open for me, such as this media interview during my Hometown Celebration Weekend.
Jackpot! – I’ve been asked, “What was it like to win Miss Teen USA?” My first thought is, “It was like winning the lottery. Everybody dreams of it, but nobody ever thinks it can happen to them!”
Hitting the books – Although I am Miss Teen USA, I don’t want people to forget that I’m still just a student at Destrehan (LA) High School. However, it is pretty fun being both.
Overnight camp – Spending two weeks in Palm Springs for finals to me was like the longest girl’s sleepover ever. We called it “Camp Teen USA.” My roommate was one my best friends, the wonderful, spectacular, fabulous Lindsey Catherine Sporrer, Miss South Carolina Teen USA (left).
Model in training – I love being in New York. In only a week, I’ve had media training, television interviews, a number of phone interviews, and my first official photo shoot with Fadil Berisha. That was my favorite part of my time there. I’ve also met with organizations such as D.A.R.E. and Seeds of Peace, with whom I will be working throughout my year.
Roommate hijinks – I got to meet one of my new roommates, Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey (left). She welcomed me by having a plastic rat on my bed. I returned the welcome by putting it in the refrigerator for her to find while she was looking for breakfast. That’s when I knew she was going to be awesome!
Dancing queen – I have been dancing since I was 2 years old, and there is no better way for me to express myself than through this art!  
Getting involved – Performing at pep rallies and Friday night football games (left, with my high school dance team, the “Desty Darlings”) will probably be one of my best high school memories!
Sober message – My brothers Glenn and Brad (from left) helped protect their little sister, until a drinking and driving accident claimed the life of Brad three years ago. Becoming Miss Teen USA 2004 gives me the opportunity to tell of my family’s loss and deliver the message to young people that you don’t have to drink to have fun!
Shelley Hennig of Destrehan, Louisiana, is a 17-year-old high school senior who was named an Academic Excellence Student at Destrehan High School and is an honor student and senior class representative. She has dreams of succeeding in fashion or commercial print modeling, but first Shelley’s goal is to finish high school and attend New York University. Shelley is also an accomplished poetry writer with two poems published in Young Authors Book of Poetry. After her brother Brad died in a drunk-driving accident three years ago, Shelley became an advocate against under-age drinking and began working with the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, a Louisiana non-profit organization, where she shares her family’s story of tragedy and speaks out to her peers about the use of alcohol and drugs.

Additional Miss Teen USA Stories

Discovering the New Tami Farrell, Miss Teen USA 2003

A trip home puts the process of growing up into perspective.
By Tami Farrell

Tami Farrell, Miss Teen USA 2003

Tami Farrell proves that a shining personality is pretty special, as Oregon takes its third Miss Teen USA title in the pageant's 21-year history.
By Fred Abel

Vanessa Semrow, Miss Teen USA 2002

Girls in jeans and motorized machines help redefine the pageant for TV's pop-culture youth market.
By Fred Abel

Marissa Whitley, Miss Teen USA 2001

Leaving behind the pageant atmosphere that once ruled the planet, the Miss Teen USA telecast leaps light years ahead with a youth-oriented production.
By J.J. Smith

Ashley Coleman, Miss Teen USA 1999

The Miss Teen USA pageant has a new look, a new feel, a new attitude and a new queen.
By J.J. Smith

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