Snyder competes in teen pageant with eye on modeling

GUILDERLAND — McKayla Snyder will be competing in the National American Miss New York pageant, in the Junior Teen division, in August.

McKayla, 13, said this is her first pageant, and she entered because she wanted to try something new.

“A lot of my friends do modeling and I thought this might be a good way to get started,” McKayla said.

The 13-year-old seventh-grade student at Draper Middle School said she loves sports, and plays softball for the Guilderland Girls’ Softball League.

She is a pitcher and a catcher and said she loves the camaraderie of the team.

McKayla has also played the violin for four years and enjoys swimming recreationally, running, and hip-hop dancing.

McKayla’s mother, Susan Snyder, said, when McKayla told her she wanted to try modeling, she offered to take her to an open call for the National American Miss New York pageant.

“I think the pageants are a good way to help girls with self-confidence,” said Mrs. Snyder.

McKayla said she was excited when she learned that she had been chosen to compete in the pageant, which will be held in Rochester on Aug. 16.

To get ready for the pageant, she said, she has been participating in Pageant Prep, during which she practices public speaking, circling on stage, and maintaining eye contact.

She also had to find sponsorship and raise sponsor fees, and Mrs. Snyder said McKayla worked hard going to talk to different people in the community to ask for support.

She has received sponsorship from Camp Bow Wow and Crave N’ Chase.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,000 cash award, in addition to the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses, and air transportation to compete in the national pageant in California.

There are other prizes, including scholarships, awarded to winners in the different divisions, and the top five contestants from each division will be invited to compete in California.

McKayla said she is looking forward to interacting with the other contestants and making new friends.

“Even if she doesn’t win anything, I think this will be a good experience to help boost self-confidence,” Mrs. Snyder reiterated.

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