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Catholic serves as Miss Arizona Teen USA

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Notre Dame Preparatory student Alexa Zellers, Miss Arizona Teen USA, is committed to making a difference in the lives of others. (Courtesy photo)

Alexa Zellers personifies the qualities of a beauty queen; she has poise, charisma and confidence, but it’s her spirit that sets her apart.

“I want to make a difference in someone’s life, and make the title mean something,” she said.

The 17-year-old Notre Dame Preparatory varsity cheer captain was crowned Miss Arizona Teen USA 2012 Nov. 20.

It’s a family fete first achieved in 2006 when older sister, Emerald, took the title.

“She had the spotlight and was always the beauty queen,” Zellers said. “I was laid back and had nothing to do with glitz and glamour.”

It was a Facebook message from a family friend that enticed her to enter. She had a month and a couple of weeks to prepare.

“I thought I would give it a try, and make new friends,” Zellers said. “I wasn’t going in it to win.”

The competition, for teens 14-19, is an affiliate of the Miss Universe Organization based in New York. Zellers was judged on evening gown, swimsuit and interview.

Brenna Sakas (Heater), 2006 Miss Arizona USA, and her sister helped coach Zellers with her walk and interview style.

With additional help from a personal trainer, Zellers was ready to hit the stage. Emerald loaned her little sister the same gown she wore six years earlier.

What was the hardest part? The interview.

“I’ve never had a five-panel judge fire off question after question,” Zellers said. “Conversational interviews are so much different than that.”

Even four months later, Zellers still refers to her win as a “miracle.”

“It was such a great experience,” she said. “I learned a lot and I made some great friends.”

Prizes included a $45,000 scholarship to a university in Missouri, along with a laundry list of free gifts and services.

Zellers is a country girl at heart who likes hanging out with friends and family, although she doesn’t have a lot of spare time due to her scheduled charity appearances on weekends.

She has always enjoyed volunteering for different organizations around the Valley because she likes people, not because she has to be there. Maggie’s Place, a home for expectant mothers who are alone or living on the streets, is one of her favorites.

“It’s great to go in and see where these women have been, and how far they are progressing now in their life,” Zellers said.

People sometimes like to tease, but don’t ask Zellers to do the infamous parade wave. She’s much too busy thinking about how she wants to leave the world a better place.

An experience recently during spring break in the nation’s capital had a profound affect on Zellers.

While doing appearances and greetings, she had an opportunity to visit the Lombardi Cancer Center where she met 6-year-old John.

“He inspired me,” Zellers said. “I want to emotionally give away everything I have to someone who is in need.”

Currently, Zellers has a rigorous schedule in preparation for the 30th Anniversary of the 2012 Miss Teen USA in the Bahamas, July 24-29.

A win there would send her packing to the New York Film Academy, and finishing high school online.

Although she would love to live and work in New York, she also has her sights on “The Volunteer State” of Tennessee.

Zellers said she likes the country lifestyle and wants to attend Belmont University and study public relations and music management.

“They have exactly my type of living,” Zellers said.

Although she claims she doesn’t sing, at least in public, she loves to escape into the music of Shania Twain, Kennny Chesney and Toby Keith.

Either way, Zellers said she is going to make the most of her senior year, and her reign.

“I want to touch some else’s heart. I hope I do that, even if it’s in a small way. I want to strive for that as Miss Arizona Teen USA.” ✴

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