Meet Miss Maine: Will she become Miss USA?

"It's a lifestyle for me," says Kaetlin Parent '10 about her pursuit of beauty pageant titles. Crowned Miss Maine last November, the sophomore communications major considered taking the spring semester off to train for April's Miss USA pageant. But, she says, "I feel that by staying in school and still working part time and training for Miss USA, I am more well-rounded." With a full course load, a part-time job at the Maine Mall, and 30 to 40 hours of pageant training a week, Kaetlin jokingly says, "Basically, I don't sleep."

Kaetlin Parent '10

Sophomore Kaetlin Parent

At the national pageant in Las Vegas, she will answer on-the-spot questions about herself and compete in the swim suit and evening gown categories. Her trainers, Heather and Marty Clark (the owners of Crown Consulting Productions in South Portland), help her keep in shape, decide on what gown to wear, and train for interviews and public speaking. Her director, Mackenzie Davis, trains her exclusively for the Miss USA pageant, and her number one fan, her mother, cheers her on through it all. While these supporters certainly help, Kaetlin says, "I feel that to get up, go to work, go to class, go to training ... all comes from my personal motivation, which is my desire to have the title of Miss USA."

As Miss Maine, Kaetlin knows the importance of reaching out to the community. She spends every Friday night volunteering at Strive, interacting and having fun with mentally disabled teens. She also participates in Saint Joseph's partnership with Camp Sunshine, a camp for seriously ill children. After seeking pledges for the organization's February fundraiser, the Polar Plunge, she did her part by jumping into the icy ocean at Willard Beach in South Portland.

The former Miss Teen Maine has competed in pageants since she was 6 years old. In her hometown of Van Buren, Maine, up on the Canadian border, her name now adorns a sign welcoming visitors. Always keeping her goal in mind, Kaetlin says, "This is my passion. I want to be Miss USA. And that pushes me through everything. This is what I want."

To see if Kaetlin won, go to http://missusa.com.

by Jennifer Jimenez '09