One middle school girl is using her passion as her platform to vie for Miss Teen South Carolina this year.
Megan Clark is an eighth grader at Newberry Middle says she is passionate about the environment and gardening and enjoys how it goes back into the community.
“I have a passion for it,” says Clark, “I love giving back to the community and would love to work (in the future) for an agency like the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) or EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).”
In fact, the 14-year-old young teen would love to attend College of Charleston and study agriculture and environmental studies. She doesn’t want to stop with a bachelor’s degree either, aiming for a master’s at the very least.
Clark raises rabbits, volunteers with 4-H at the Clemson Extension office, helps out around the office of the Newberry USDA office a couple of times, spends time in her family’s garden and still keeps up with her grades in school and participates in activities including cheerleading, Junior Beta Club and journalism.
Clark is eligible for Miss Teen South Carolina 2012 because she won Miss Piedmont Teen this year. She has also competed in Miss Greater Irmo and Simpsonville in the past and won the Miss Newberry Middle pageant this school year.
However, when asked why she is looking forward to the non-glitzy, natural beauty Miss Teen South Carolina pageant, she says it’s a good system with a family-like environment. She also says there is scholarship money for college available.
When deciding on her platform, her mom, Tosha Ramirez, helped her realize that she already had one.
Clark’s family has a garden in the back and on the side of their home where they grow vegetables and herbs.
Clark says it definitely helps with responsibility as she or her mom have to check on it every day.
“It means a lot to me,” says Clark about gardening, “my mom got me into planting and being green.”
Or, environmentally conscious as her mother points out. Let’s not forget Clark is a young teen who is into using hip language.
While Clark is contending for the crown, she is using the plant-a-row campaign to help raise awareness about gardening and the environment.
The plant-a-row consists of an information packet and seeds to get people ready. Clark and her mom received the seeds from a local nursery.
Clark has gone to the Newberry Cub Scouts Pack 88 and 1 to help them plant seeds using the plant-a-row.
It’s something that anyone could do because it doesn’t take up much space, Clark says and it’s free.
Even Clark’s principal, Kelli Farmer, supported Clark by purchasing a seed kit for herself.
Farmer is an advocate for all her students, but she does have this to say about Clark, “Megan is a very well-rounded student. She does well in the classroom and with extra-curricular activities. She’s such a kindhearted student who is well-respected by her peers and teachers.”
While Clark is passionate about the environment and gardening, she is also excited about the talent portion of the pageant. She has taken dance for seven years and enjoys the fast-paced nature of clogging and says she wants to dance as long as she can.
When she’s not steadily going, she does enjoy her church youth group at Glory Tabernacle, concerts and Justin Beiber. She’s also looking forward to going to the beach with her family after the pageant for some much needed relaxation time.
Also Clark has a mentor for the pageant, Kirah Able, who helps release pressure and build up her esteem.
Overall, Clark says she has met so many people through the pageants and while there are nerves that arise, she is looking forward to journey filled with many smiles and supportive people.
Join Clark at Firehorse Deli on Main Street Newberry this Thursday between 5 and 8 p.m. as she will hand out starter kits for the plant-a-row. Also, 10 percent of the funds made at the deli will go towards Children’s Miracle Network.