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Meet Mississippi Crown's Teen 2023, Megan Bowlyou!

Hello! My name is Megan Bowlyou and I am your 2023 Miss Mississippi Crown’s Teen. Currently I am a junior at Sherrard High School and will be graduating in May of 2024. I’m already looking forward to life after high school and have already begun my college search! I like to be prepared! Speaking of being prepared, I’d love to share a little with you about my preparation for Miss Illinois’ Teen in June.

During my day at school I am preparing for my future career in media/broadcasting in courses such as English and my personal favorite...Media. Being a part of these classes helps to prepare me for Miss Illinois’ Teen by allowing me to practice my communication skills and growing my comfort with public speaking as well as being on camera. I am also a member of our school’s Junior Class Senate and a member of The Gray Matters Collective promoting mental health awareness in our community. After school, I am part of the Shooting Stars Dance Team at Myrna Rae’s Studio of Dance. I’m looking forward to this year’s competition season which starts in March...but first we will be performing at Disney World this February! My favorite area of dance is tap, which I will be performing at Miss Illinois’ Teen. I have been dancing since 2nd grade and love the freedom of expression that it gives me. My tap dance and costume are ready to go for Miss Illinois’ Teen so now it’s just lots of practice on and off the stage. When I’m not at school or dance you will probably find me working at our family’s restaurant. I love being a barista and cook, but I really enjoy talking with our customers. I’ve also learned so much about being an entrepreneur by watching my parents both start small businesses.

My Service Initiative is Overcome T.H.A.T.~ The Hidden disAbilities Traits. Many people would never know by looking at me but I have learning disabilities and dyslexia. For me reading comprehension, spelling and math are huge challenges. Unlike others who can sit down and write a paper in one step, I have to complete a paper in several steps. First using voice typing, then proofreading, spellcheck, then have another person proofread. What sounds good to me in my head, may sound choppy or unorganized to everyone else. Spelling is also another challenge for me as I usually try to phonetically spell words. At school I have an Individual Education Plan, also known as an IEP, that provides me services throughout my school day to help me be successful with my studies. Because of my daily struggles, I want to educate others about disabilities that are not always visible with the human eye. I want others like me to know that there is no shame in the hurdles we have to jump through every day. Each Wednesday I share educational information on hidden disabilities on my social media platforms as a way to raise awareness on various medical and psychological issues. These have included dyspraxia, epilepsy, autism, dyslexia, and anxiety just to name a few. The more we talk about these hidden disabilities the greater chance we have of dropping the stigmas against them. I also enjoy spending time volunteering to help others. Riverbend Food Bank, Quad Cities Honor Flights, Night To Shine, Polar Plunge, Festival of Trees Sugar Plum Ball and donation collections for the food pantries of local schools are just some of the great opportunities I have had to help make a difference in my community.

Join me on my Miss Illinois’ Teen journey and learn more about Overcome T.H.A.T.~ The Hidden disAbilities Traits at Facebook: Miss Mississippi Crown's Teen 2023, Megan Bowlyou

and Instagram: Mississippicrownsot2023

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