Atkins hopes to come home with crown

Taylor Atkins, our reigning Miss California Teen will be leaving in a few weeks to compete for the title of Miss Teen USA 2008. Taylor’s competition begins in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on the morning of Tuesday, August 12th and continues through the final evening of Saturday, August 16th when the beautiful Hilary Cruz, Miss Teen USA 2007 will crown the new title holder.
Accompanying Taylor for family support during her competition on Paradise Island will be her mother, Tamie Chessani who resides in Piru and her father, Todd Atkins who resides in Ventura. Also leaving on this monumental journey will be her grandmother Donna Chessani of Piru, whom to this day has never taken flight on an airplane to go anywhere and is now planning to travel out of the country none the less! This is one event that Grandma Donna would not dream of passing up to see Taylor vie for the national title.
Taylor will work very hard and is determined to do her best from the minute she steps foot on the beautiful tropical island to the final night of her competition. Upon her return on the following Monday, she will begin her senior year at Fillmore Senior High and will continue to exceed in her studies to graduate with high Honors.
Please wish Taylor the best of luck in her wonderful adventure and keep in mind that whatever happens in the Bahamas whether she will still reign as our Miss California Teen or becomes our next Miss Teen USA, we can truly expect to see Taylor come back home as the same “girl next door” ready to pursue what lies ahead in her future.
The following are Q & A’s Taylor provided: How old are you? I am sixteen years old. What city do you live in? I currently live in Piru. What school will you attend in the fall, and what grade will you be in? (if you are going to college in the fall, what college will you attend and what major?)
I will be a senior at Fillmore High School.
Where and when does the Miss Teen USA pageant take place? The Miss Teen USA pageant will take place on August 15th and 16th in the Bahamas. I will be arriving on the 12th to begin rehearsals and promotional events.
How many girls will you be competing against at this event? (52?)
I will be competing against 52 other girls, one from each state, including Hawaii and District of Columbia.
How do you feel about getting this far in the pageant? (this is a huge accomplishment to get this far: what does this mean to you?)
I find it absolutely amazing that I've made it this far because I'd never had the desire to enter in pageant before. Being that I entered on a whim, I am extremely grateful for everything that has happened to me since then and it means so much to me that I have gotten this far. I never thought I would be where I am today, and because of this, I am very proud of what I have accomplished.
For folks unfamiliar with what it takes, exactly, to make it this far in the pageant, what did it take for you to get this far?
I would say that the largest influence has been that of my family and friends. Their encouragement and support has been such a necessity for me, personally. They have given me the ability to stay levelheaded and sustain a positive attitude.
Regarding the Miss Teen USA Pageant: what will this particular competition involve/entail?
This pageant will include an interview portion with a panel of judges (this takes place before the actual show itself), swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, and if chosen as a top five finalist, an on-stage question.
How will you stand apart from the competition? (what is your "edge"? what makes you unique?)
Being that I've only been in two pageants, I would say that I have a very fresh outlook. In addition, I am currently the ambassador for "Network For a Healthy California: Champions For Change". This position enables me to travel through the counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura educating elementary school children on nutrition and opting for healthier choices. Physical health is something that is extremely important to me and I love that I now have the opportunity to share that with others.
Please add anything else you'd like me to include in my story:
Regardless of what happens in this next pageant, I hope to continue to enrich the lives of others.