EDWARDS AFB – Desert Jr.-Sr. High School Class of 2014 graduate Emily Booth hopes to use her platform as Miss Antelope Valley to encourage children to follow their dreams. Booth participated in her first pageant when she was 11 years old, and after three years, she finally won the title Junior Miss California City.
“I had no idea what I was doing; I don’t even remember how I got into pageants. I just know I was in it and it was fun and I really enjoyed doing it so I came back the next year,” said Booth.
After three more years she was crowned Miss California City this past March, and on Aug. 2 at the AV Fairgrounds she added the title of Miss Antelope Valley.
“It was a lot of hard work, but my dad taught me this is my pageant not my parents’ pageant and if I want to win, if I want to work hard and do it and feel successful, I have to put the work in,” said Booth.
For pageant contestants, the hard work begins long before the pageant does with raising funds and securing sponsors. Booth shared that on the day of the pageant, the contestants are asked questions from their biographies, such as, ‘what is one word that you would use to describe yourself?'”
“I said spiritual and I was like, ‘oh no, I just lost’ because they would have never heard that answer before. Most answers are like brave, honest, happy, fun. I went on to describe that I’m a religious person, I have standards that I’ve lived my entire life that some people say prohibit me, but at the same time, I say they’ve helped me. They’ve led me, they’ve guided me throughout my life and they are there to protect me, not to hinder me in any way.”
Then it was time for the Contestant-Judge’s Luncheon, which replaces the talent portion of the city pageants. The judges, who were from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Judges Committee, spoke with each contestant and scored them by the impression they left.
“They asked questions that they wanted to know the answer to. Really good questions, but hard,” said Booth. “That entire process is judged by what they remember and we ask them questions, so it’s sort of flipped.”
During the pageant, the contestants participated in a group routine and delivered individual speeches to coincide with the pageants theme, “Poetry in Motion.”
Woven into her speech, Booth recited the poem “Hope” by Emily Dickenson as if she were the poet herself.
The final portion of the pageant was the formal wear and impromptu question.
“They want somebody who can walk with elegance and grace. They’re not looking for a supermodel, they’re looking for someone who knows how to carry herself. Not prideful, but is proud, with a confidence that shows they can represent the valley.”
As Miss Antelope Valley, Booth hopes to raise awareness about the community she lives in and inspire others to be proud of their hometowns.
“People don’t really know what the Antelope Valley is, where it is and what we have to offer,” said Booth. “The Antelope Valley goes all the way from Boron to Acton and Lake Los Angeles. I’m proud to be a Cal City resident, it’s my home town.”
Booth’s father, Lawrence Booth, works at Edwards AFB as a Mission Support scheduling specialist for the 412th Operations Support Squadron. Her mother, Cherise, is a business assistant for the 412th Maintenance Group.
“Emily loves people, she wants to do whatever is best for her community and she wants to lead by example. Emily knew that she would have to be real and she would have to work long and hard,” said Lawrence. “She knows that the crown will never be about her, but she will be focused on honoring that crown. She will serve with grace and gratitude in her heart for having the opportunity to serve others and put others before herself.”
“Emily has never put the focus on the crown,” added Cherise. “She wants to serve her community to be a mentor and role model for young ladies in the Antelope Valley.”
During her reign as Miss Antelope Valley, Booth will participate in a variety of community events, such as the Antelope Valley Fair and local parades. She will also visit elementary schools throughout the valley, speaking to students about preparing for success. She is determined this year to reach the schools that are located on the outskirts of the Antelope Valley, that don’t always make it on the schedule.
“I want people to know that it doesn’t matter how crazy your dreams might seem, just keep going for them, don’t let anyone tear you down and if they try to and you fall down, just pick yourself up and keep going,” said Booth. “I’m not just looking to encourage the little girls, its little boys too, they have hopes and desires. I believe all children, men, women, whatever age, should go for your goals.”
She will also be conducting fundraisers for City of Hope, a project inspired after a close family member was diagnosed with cancer and diabetes.
Booth has shown leadership in her educational career as well. During her freshman and senior years at Desert High, Booth was a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC, graduating as a senior airman. She also participated in the Drama Club, played Volleyball and managed the basketball teams.
Booth is currently enrolled in BYU Pathways and hopes someday to start a career in early childhood development.
“I want to work with children. I love children and I think they are just a blessing to everyone. They are the future generation of our entire world so we should teach them at a young age to do good things and be good people,” said Booth. “If you change one person’s life, you change thousands of people’s lives through that one person.”