Olivia McMillan, Miss Warner Robins’ Outstanding Teen and a senior at Northside High School, was crowned Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen on Saturday as part of the Miss Georgia pageant held in Columbus.
McMillan, who was Miss Northside High School 2012 and is a former Miss Teen Dogwood, had never participated in a Miss Georgia system preliminary until she entered and won the Warner Robins title last summer.
At Miss Georgia last week, Olivia competed in three nights of preliminary competitions in talent, evening gown and fitness. She won the talent preliminary Wednesday night for her group.
Chosen for the Top 10 during the pageant, McMillan, who is a classically trained vocalist and has had singing lessons since the age of 14, sang “Nessun Dorma” for her talent showcase.
She was noticeably emotional at the end of her song.
“I did get choked up,” McMillan said. “Personally, I am not a very emotional person, but singing really saved me. Through singing I can let my feelings go. Then the people started clapping before I was finished and I was so touched by the appreciation of something that I am passionate about, I just broke down.”
She also was awarded the SueAne Dixon Spirit Award and was selected as the overall winner in the evening gown and talent categories.
“My mind was racing and people were clapping, but I do remember thinking that my hard work paid off. I am so excited that I can be a role model for young girls and can teach that you don’t have to be skinny, just a good size for yourself.”
She will spend the next few weeks preparing for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition to be held the end of July and will spend the next year promoting her platform, the National Sibling Support Project, an organization for children who have a special needs sibling.
McMillan’s brother, Max, has special needs, including autism, along with severe sensory issues, as a result of fetal alcohol poisoning. Both McMillan and her brother were adopted at birth by Greg and Tracey McMillan.
“His special needs have been a huge life-changer for me,” said McMillan. “When you are the normal functioning child, the other child needs more attention. It isn’t intentional; it is a hard situation for everyone. “
Through the Sibling Support Project, children can meet and talk about both the positive and negative aspects of having a special needs sibling.
McMillan, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall, lost 50 pounds since being crowned Miss Warner Robins’ Outstanding Teen.
“I worked very hard but not just because of the pageant but because I needed to be healthier,” she said.
McMillan will turn 17 in July. She is involved in the drama department at Northside High School, where she is also an Eagle Ambassador and a member of Senior Executive. She attended the Robins Youth Leadership Program last year.
The new Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen will leave to go to Orlando, Florida, on July 26 for the national competition, missing both the first day of her senior year and the opportunity to crown the next Miss Warner Robins’ Outstanding Teen.
Because she is still a high school student, McMillan’s schedule will be played by ear -- but she expects appearances for both her platform and the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Being Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen is an incredible honor,” she said.
“I am just so happy to represent Georgia and Warner Robins. I want to teach other that success and confidence and service is beautiful and to never be something that you are not.”
Also in the Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen pageant, Sarah Deloach, Miss International City’s Outstanding Teen, was named to the Top 10. Deloach also won a preliminary award. Melanie Wood, Miss Presidential Pathways’ Outstanding Teen, won non-finalist scholarship awards for both talent and interview. Wood is a 10th grader at Northside High School.
The Top 5 Miss Georgia contestants included three young women with ties to Warner Robins: Michelle Johnson, Miss Warner Robins; Courtney Walker, Miss International City; and Warner Robins resident, Betty Cantrell, Miss Presidential Pathways. Cantrell was named second runner-up; Walker, third runner-up; and Michelle Johnson, fourth runner-up.
In the Miss Georgia overall awards, Walker won the Evening Wear and Cantrell the talent.
Charlene Bibeau, last year’s Miss Warner Robins competing this year as Miss Southeast Georgia, also won a non finalist talent award.