Senior Cierra Lathrop Proves Gaining Self-Confidence is the Ultimate Crown

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As a high school senior, Cierra Lathrop faced the exciting and challenging task of preparing for life beyond graduation. While many of her peers were focused on the typical senior year activities, Cierra decided to add another challenge to her plate. She chose to participate in a beauty pageant, knowing it would push her in new ways and help her grow as a person.

In September, Cierra competed in the Miss Indiana Teen Pageant. Lathrop placed fourth in the competition, earning a spot on the Queen’s Court, and qualifying for nationals in Orlando, Florida, this past November.

Lathrop shared her excitement about the competition, saying, “It was a great experience, and I’m so honored to have been a part of it. There were so many talented and inspiring girls there, and I’m proud to have represented my community.”

Reflecting on her journey to the pageant, Lathrop shared that she received a letter from the National American Miss organization a year ago, introducing her to the competition and its mission of promoting self-confidence and leadership skills in young women.

“I was immediately drawn to the organization and what they stood for,” said Lathrop. “I knew participating in the pageant would be a great way to challenge myself and grow.”

Lathrop’s impressive performance at the Miss Indiana Teen Pageant has earned her recognition within her community and beyond. Lathrop also opened up about her struggles with self-confidence and how the pageant helped her overcome them.

Cierra with her parents Jeff and Jennifer Lathrop, and siblings Hillari and Isaac.

“As someone who has struggled with self-confidence and believing in myself, this sounded like a great opportunity for me,” shared Lathrop.

Following the open call in June, Lathrop was selected as a state finalist and attended a workshop in July to learn more about the pageant and meet her fellow competitors.

“The workshop was a great way for me to connect with the other girls and get a better sense of what the competition would be like,” said Lathrop. “It was also a chance to work on my public speaking skills and learn more about presenting myself professionally.”

Despite the nerves and pressure of competing in the pageant, Lathrop remained focused and determined. Her hard work and dedication paid off, as she placed fourth in the competition and earned a spot on the Queen’s Court.

Lathrop also shared some of her favorite moments from the pageant, including wearing her pink pageant dress and receiving the Spirit of Pageantry Award on stage.

“I was so excited to wear my pink dress, and I loved how I looked and, more importantly, felt. And winning the Spirit of Pageantry Award was just the cherry on top,” exclaimed Lathrop.

The next day, Lathrop competed in the Top Model competition, where she posed for pictures and showed off her modeling skills. She also gave a confident and poised personal introduction in her pink formal dress, showcasing her public speaking abilities.

Lathrop on stage speaking at National American Miss pageant.

“I had been practicing my speech for months leading up to the pageant, so I was really proud of myself for delivering it with confidence,” said Lathrop.

Lathrop, who also plays varsity volleyball and softball, is involved in several extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society, the Senior Class President, Student Ambassadors, and wrestling manager. She has also worked at Libby’s Ice Cream and Gifts in downtown Fortville for the past two years.

Cierra Lathrop’s family has a strong connection to Scecina, as she is a third-generation alumna. Her grandfather Mel Lathrop ’68 and father Jeff Lathrop ’96 also attended Scecina.

After graduation, Lathrop plans to attend Muskingum University where she will study nursing and play volleyball.

“I’m so proud of myself for how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished,” said Lathrop. “I hope my experience can inspire other young women to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.”

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