Springwood student first-runner up in Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, June 25, 2022

By Olivia Johnson

This past week, 38 scholarship hopefuls competed for the chance to win the title of Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen. In the end, Rebecca Zhang walked away with title, while LaGrange’s very own multi-talented Charlie Key finished first runner-up, while also winning a preliminary talent award.

“It was really the best experience ever. The Miss America organization has done so much for me and so many young girls,” Key said.

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The competition was part of the Miss America Organization, a 501(c)(3) and one of the most recognizable household names in America working to empower young women through education and service.

During Key’s time in the competition, there were many memorable moments, with one particular memory standing out.

“The final night of competition, I had gotten called for top 15. The first competition aspect was eveningwear and an onstage question. I went downstairs to put on my dress and as I was walking up the stairs, the zipper on my dress just ripped apart,” Key said.

“We tried to unzip it so we could get back up but nothing would work. So, they ended up having to safety pin me in the dress. I just had to have trust. If this is what God wants from me, then he’s going to make it happen. I did the best that I could and ended up first runner up.”

Key has been competing in pageants since she was 13-years-old.

Being able to compete in pageants allowed Key the chance to bring her platform the March Dimes into the spotlight.

“I’ve been supporting the March of Dimes for my entire life. But when I met Fabian Walker, who was born at 25 weeks, weighing one pound, three ounces, that’s when everything changed for me,” Key said. “Through this organization. I’ve been able to host a lot of fundraising events and really make a difference in the March of Dimes in the lives of families.”

Now back in LaGrange for a well-deserved break, Key’s short terms plans are to go into her junior year of high school at Springwood School and finish strong. Her long-term goals are to attend Baylor University and major in Christian ministry.  “I believe that’s a good place to go and the Miss America organization has awarded me with $2,650 in scholarship already. That gives me a little bit of a security knowing that I’m already preparing for my future.”