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Sweet Success 2018 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Jessica Baeder is eager to embrace every opportunity her new role offers Pageantry magazine: It’s so exciting to be able to speak with you, since you had your national event down here in our hometown of Orlando, Florida. How was that experience for you? Jessica Baeder: It was amazing. That whole week in Orlando was just full of fun, but also a little stressful, but that’s why the other contestants and I got so close. And those are definitely friendships that I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life. PM: What memory still stands out as you were stand- ing there center stage awaiting the announcement for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen? JB: Oh goodness, wow. I don’t remember much from that moment because there was a lot of emotions and chaos, but I was standing there with Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen. She was actually the first MAOTeen pageant sister that I met in the organization, so it was pretty crazy to have my first friend in the system and going to nationals with her and then it being us two standing there in the end. PM: You’ve now joined the MAOTeen sisterhood. What are you looking most forward to? JB: I’m really looking forward to raising more awareness for the organization and what it does for young women across the country. It opens up so many scholarship opportunities, and it’s also a personal development program that I don’t think a lot of people understand. It helps young girls devel- op their public speaking skills and their talents and their pas- sions and it gets them involved in community service, and I’m excited to do that. And I’m also excited to take my plat- form to the national level and work with national organiza- tions to end hunger in the country. 56 PAGEANTRY