Friday February 06, 2015
Striving for new experiences, South Burlington High School student Tammy Vujanovic found just what she was looking for in a brochure that came in the mail advertising for Miss Vermont Teen USA contestants.
In November 2013, accepted as the youngest contestant, Tammy entered the Miss Vermont Teen USA pageant for 2014. In her very first pageant, at the age of 14, she placed as 4th runner up, and received college scholarship money.
“Pageants are not just about beauty,” Tammy said. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle; eating well, exercising, and having the ability not only to communicate one on one, but to also be able to speak to a crowd, she explained. With a year to prepare for the next pageant, she learned how to balance being a high honor student with her commitments to gymnastics and lacrosse, community volunteering, her family and her friends.
The following year, in November 2014, Tammy entered the Miss Vermont Teen USA pageant again. The pageant contest runs every year in November for the title of Miss Teen USA for the following year.
Areas of pageant competition include swimsuit, evening gown, a personal interview and an on stage questions.
“The judges are not looking for skinnies,” Tammy said. “They are looking for girls who are comfortable in their own skin. This is who I am.”
During the personal interview, a panel of judges asked Tammy about her community involvement tutoring middle school girls and her favorite experience, working with the organization Give Kids the World.
Tammy placed in the top five, and was interviewed on stage. When asked about her career ambitions, she talked about her interest in the medical field. She was also interviewed about being bilingual; Tammy is fluent in Bosnian, her parents’ native language. Tammy’s parents Dalibor and Danijela Vujanovic moved to Vermont from the former Yugoslavia in the late ‘90s to forge a new life; they own the Euro Market specialty foods store on Williston Road in South Burlington. The Vujanovics have set an example for Tammy and her brother Danny, in showing them the value of supporting each other’s goals and dreams.
Tammy was awarded first runner up for Miss Vermont Teen USA for 2015, and again received college scholarship money.
At the end of January, Tammy and close pageant friends, whom she refers to as “her other family” met in Florida to watch the Miss Universe Pageant. She said, for her “watching this pageant is the equivalent to a soccer fan watching the World Cup.”
Tammy will continue to prepare this year for the next pageant in November, as her ultimate goal is to represent Vermont as Miss Vermont Teen USA in 2016.
SOURCE: Jen Savas, Contributor