Houston student named Outstanding Teen

Sun News correspondentNovember 21, 2012 

Taylor Peterson, an 11th-grader at Houston County High School was named Miss Historic Southern Plains Outstanding Teen on Nov. 10.

It is the fourth year in a row Taylor has held an Outstanding Teen Title. Previously, she has been the Outstanding Teen for Miss Warner Robins, Miss Southern Heartland and Miss Atlanta.

Outstanding Teen title holders compete at the Miss Georgia pageant for the chance to be Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen. Taylor has placed in the top five the past two years.

Outstanding Teen titles are unique since many pageant boards choose to appoint a girl to the title instead of holding a pageant. Taylor was appointed as Miss Historic Southern Plains.

“I met the board of Miss Historic Southern Plains my first year at Miss Georgia,” said Taylor. “They are basically just the sweetest people you will ever meet, and they always supported me even before I was their teen.”

Taylor said when she was approached about an appointment, she said yes immediately.

“It is just a great opportunity and a great group to work with,” said Taylor.

Of course, rubbing shoulders with a former president doesn’t hurt.

As Miss Historic Southern Plains Outstanding Teen, which is based out of the Americus/Plains area, Taylor will have an opportunity to meet Jimmy Carter.

“How exciting is that?” Taylor said.

Taylor, who will turn 17 next summer, is aging out of the Teen portion of Miss Georgia, and this will be her last year to compete as a teen.

“Every year I think I have grown from that first year when I was Miss Warner Robins and I was as young as you can be, 13. Every year you take some back with you. It is a progression,” said Taylor.

Crystal Waddell, director of the Miss Historic Southern Plains pageants, said the board was thrilled to have Taylor as its teen.

“She is absolutely a phenomenal young woman,” said Waddell. “She is not only talented and well spoken but works tirelessly with her platform with her library. I am so very impressed with her now. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes when she is older.”

Taylor is the creator of the nonprofit organization called Reading on My Mind, Inc. in which she provides free books to servicemen and women overseas through the nonprofit Hearts to Heroes, soup kitchens, hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses and outreach programs. Her goal is to provide books to all ages for those who don’t have access to a library. The Reading On My Mind library is located in Perry. Since 2009, Taylor has given out about 15,000 books.

Waddell said that Taylor, who finished third in the state competition last year and won the overall talent award, will work in the upcoming months on fine tuning.

“We are going to give her the support she needs to take on the crown,” said Waddell.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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