Wichita’s Miss Teen United States contestant spreading info on dangers of tobacco

06/24/2014 6:48 AM

06/24/2014 6:49 AM

Alexandra Adkins, a junior at Wichita West High School, will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to participate in the Miss Teen United States pageant.

Adkins, 16, won the Miss Teen Kansas United States pageant in Overland Park in April. Her pageant platform is tobacco danger awareness, which she said has a personal meaning for her.

“Smoking is a really big deal to me because I have asthma,” Adkins said. “We know so many dangerous things about it, and people don’t know about them. I just want to make a lot of appearances telling people the dangers of tobacco.”

This is not the first time Adkins has won a pageant, but the last time she won, she was 6.

“It was all about being cute back then,” she said. “Now it’s about community service.”

When she is not participating in pageants, Adkins splits her time between varsity cheerleading and singing with the school’s madrigal and jazz choirs. She volunteers with various agencies in Wichita, and earlier this month she was seen on stage in Music Theatre Wichita’s “South Pacific.”

“I feel pretty confident. I have a lot of people that are helping me and totally rooting for me,” Adkins said. “Once I hit that stage, I start having fun.”

Adkins is still accepting donations to help pay for her $3,000 trip to Washington. As of Monday, she said she was a little more than halfway there. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/88y6h0.

“Absolutely everything counts, especially right now,” she said.

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