Meet the 2023 Miss Dowagiac Contestants — Contestants 4-6

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 20, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The 2023 Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant will be hosted at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 28, at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are available at the Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce office, 200 Depot Drive, Dowagiac, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday to Friday. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door the night of the Pageant. Tickets are priced at $15 each, and must be paid by cash or check. 

Leader Publications will be featuring the nine contestants over the course of the next two days.

Introducing 2023 Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant Contestants Olivia Stanger, Ella Josephine Wilson and Audrey Marrs:

Olivia Stanger

Contestant Number: 4

Age: 17

Parents/Guardians: Michael and Melissa Stanger

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School

Grade: 12

School Activities: Environmental Club (Co-Founder), Rotary Interact Club (President), Studen Senate (President), National Honors Society (Member), Humanities Club (Member), Chieftain Heart (Member), Competitive/Sideline Cheer Team (Member), Powerlifting Club (Member)

Outside Activities: MMC Dance Team (Member), Miss Michele & Co. Dance Studio (Instructor), Volunteer Teacher’s Aide at Holy Maternity of Mary Religious Education Program, Michigan Gateway Foundation Youth Advisory Council (Board Member)

Interests and Hobbies: Reading, watching movies, spending time with family and friends

Awards and Honors: 4.0 all four years of high school, 1st Team All-Conference Competitive Cheer, Academic All-State Competitive Cheer, 1st place Regional Champion Michigan High School Powerlifting Association, 5th Place State Runner-Up Michigan High School Powerlifting Association, selected for Rotary Youth Leadership Award, Senior Hip Hop Dancer of the Year 

What are your ambitions and plans after graduation? My ambition and plans after graduation are to attend a four year university, majoring in English and minoring in Social Policy.

What is your greatest accomplishment(s)? My greatest accomplishment is co-founding Dowagiac Union High School’s Environmental Club. It has been so rewarding watching the club grow and our message spreading. 

What are three words to describe you? Compassionate, Driven, Optimistic

Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac? I decided to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to grow my public speaking and interview skills, as well as my overall confidence. I am also looking forward to making lifelong memories with friends.

Ella Josephine Wilson

Contestant Number: 5

Age: 17

Parents: Gregory and Jennifer Wilson

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School

Grade: 12th

School Activities: Sideline cheer, Competitive Cheer, Environmental Club, Student Senate, Humanities Club, Chieftain Heart, journalism and yearbook.

Outside Activities: member of the MMC Dance Team, student assistant for tumbling at Miss Michele and Company, election inspector, member of Holy Maternity of Mary Church, volunteer with the church’s youth Catholic religious education program, work with a child with special needs, and volunteer at the Dowagiac Elks Lodge

Interests and Hobbies: tumbling, dancing, shopping, traveling, camping, and making memories with family and friends

Awards and Honors: Essay winner at Dowagiac Middle School for America and Me in 2018, Tumbler of the Year 2021 at Miss Michele and Company, four year honor roll student, and 2022 Homecoming Queen.

What are your ambitions and plans after graduation? My ambitions and plans after graduation for my future are to attend a four year college or university to further my education and to become more independent. I am interested in seeking a degree in child psychology.

What is your greatest accomplishment(s)? My greatest accomplishment is learning how to manage my time. The past four years I have been able to participate in school extracurricular organizations, events and sports. I dance several days a week in both studio and competitive classes. On Sundays, I volunteer at the church and spend afternoons with my extended family. I

have learned to manage all of these activities while remaining an honor roll student and increasing my self-esteem on stage and in social group settings.

What are three words to describe you? Loyal, comical, and humble

Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac? I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac because I would love to represent our community and be someone that our youth can look up to. You never know what you can accomplish unless you try. Life can be too short and move too quickly to sit by and let opportunities slip by.

Audrey Marrs

Contestant Number: 6

Age: 17

Parents/Guardians: Aaron and Meredith Marrs

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School

Grade: 12th

School Activities: National Honors Society, Student Senate, Chieftain Heart, Environmental Club, Rotary Interact Club, Humanities Club, Sideline Cheer, Dual Enrolled

Outside Activities: Competitive dancing.

Interests and Hobbies: Dancing, reading, hanging out with friends, cleaning, organizing, listening to music, shopping, and working out.

Awards and Honors: In school, I received high honors for all four years, was inducted into the National Honor Society, as well as being crowned Prom Princess. For dance, I have received tap dancer of the year, hip-hop dancer of the year, senior dancer of the year and senior team dancer of the year. I have also earned the most improved dancer of the year award.

What are your ambitions and plans after graduation? My ambitions and plans after graduation are to attend a four-year university to receive my bachelor’s degree. I plan to go into business marketing as my full-time job.

What is your greatest accomplishment(s)? My greatest accomplishment is being team captain for my dance team. It was such an honor to be given that position. I had always put my all in at dance practices and when I was handed this title it felt like all my hard work had really paid off. This is my greatest accomplishment because it taught me that hard work really does pay off in the long run, as well as ways I could be a better teammate, and how to handle the responsibility of being a captain.

What are three words to describe you? Genuine, Ambitious, Confident

Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac? I decided to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac because I want to live life to the fullest and experience everything I can. Going out for the pageant gives me an opportunity to help build and create memories with my classmates and my senior year. I’m also participating so that if I do make court I can give back to my community. If I was chosen to be on court, I would be a good role model for younger girls in my community. By showing them that it is okay to try new things and to step out of your comfort zone.