Meet the 2024 Miss Dowagiac Contestants – Contestants 4-6

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, December 21, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The 2024 Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant will be hosted at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center.  Advance ticket sales have ended. 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. 

Six contestants will be vying for College of Choice Scholarships on pageant night. Each will be judged based on personal interviews, and pageant night presentation skills including platform speeches. The pageant production will also feature a performance by dancers from Miss Michele & Co.

Leader Publications has been featuring the first three contestants yesterday. Introducing the final three 2024 Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant Contestants: Hayley Jones, Abbey Dobberstein and Natasha Griggs.

Hayley Jones

Contestant number: 4

Age: 18

Parents: LaDonna Sandora, Brandon Sandora, late father Kelby Jones

Brothers/ Sisters: Kyle, age 22, Marissa, age 21, Collin, age 19, Kaden, age 19, Tayla, age 18, Lila, age 14

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School and Southwestern Michigan College 

Grade: 12

School Activities: National Honor Society, Student Senate, Student Representative for the Dowagiac Board of Education, Chieftain Heart, Chamber Choir, Sideline Cheer, Competitive Cheer, Musical, Track and Field

Outside Activities: Volunteers on the Dowagiac A.Y.S.O. board as concession stand coordinator

Interests and Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Singing, Drawing, Photography

Awards and Honors: High Honors

Three Words to Describe You: Adventurous, Thoughtful, and Passionate

What are your ambitions and plans after graduation?

My ambitions and plans after graduation are to finish my last year at Southwestern Michigan College to get my associates degree to get a step closer to becoming a teacher.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is being able to balance all of my after school activities while maintaining an honors GPA for school.

Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac?

I decided to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac in 2018. Pageant girls were entering into practice as us musical kids were leaving. I was able to interact with a few of them as I was leaving and that alone made me decide that I wanted to participate in Miss Dowagiac.

Abbey Dobberstein

Contestant Number: 5

Age: 17

Parents: Mark and Molly Dobberstein

Sister: older sister Anna

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School Grade: 12th

School Activities: Vice President of Student Senate, NHS, Varsity Volleyball, and Varsity Soccer

Outside Activities: Working at Fitch Camp during the summer, babysitting, playing indoor soccer, and hanging out with friends and family.

Interests/Hobbies: Watching movies and sports, traveling, swimming, paddle boarding, and reading.

Awards and Honors: Four-year varsity award for volleyball, 1st Team All-Conference for volleyball senior year;Honorable Mention All-Conference for volleyball junior year, Individual Academic All-State; Honorable Mention and co-MVP for soccer junior year, Student of the Month, received High Honors every year with 4.0; Chosen as one of 16 delegates to represent Michigan electric co-ops at the national convention this past summer in Washington D.C.

Three Words to Describe You: Kind, Driven, and Optimistic

What are your ambitions and plans after graduation?

My ambitions and plans after graduation are to attend a 4 year university in Michigan to study Human Capital and possibly minor in communications or international relations. I also plan to study abroad and hope to become an HR manager one day.

What is your greatest accomplishment(s)?

My greatest accomplishment is the positive outlook I’ve implemented in my daily life. My optimism has shaped who I am today and has helped me get through all the good and bad days. I truly believe if you send out positivity good things and good people will be drawn to you.

Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac?

I decided to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac because it was a chance to improve my public speaking and interview skills. Also, it is a great opportunity to get more involved in my community. I’ve grown up going to the Miss Dowagiac pageant always looking up to the contestants and I am so grateful to finally be a part of it. Lastly, it’s a great chance to make memories with my fellow contestants.

Natasha Griggs

Contestant number: 6

Age: 17

Parents/Guardians: Tonya Griggs and Chris Griggs

Brothers/Sisters: Only child

School Attending: Dowagiac Union High School 

Grade: 12

School Activities: President of Rotary Interact, Secretary of Student Senate, Community Relations Chair of National Honors Society, Sideline and competitive cheer, Tennis, Journalism, dual-enrollment

Outside Activities: Competition Dance, Volunteering at the Niles Scream Park, and Dog sitting.

Interests and Hobbies: Reading, Photography, Puzzles, Sudoku

Awards and Honors: Highest Honors Roll, National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award

Ambitions and Plans after Graduation: I plan to attend a four-year college and study Biochemistry before going on to get my PharmD degree.

Greatest accomplishment: Receiving Most Improved Dancer of the Year.

Three words that describe you: Determined, compassionate, honest

Why did you decide to compete for Miss Dowagiac? 

I decided to do Miss Dowagiac for my little cousin, Aubrey. I wanted to be a good influence on her and show her that she could do anything she wanted to if she worked for it and that being happy and having fun are the important parts of life. I also got to watch my friends do it last year and have a wonderful experience which made me want to do it even more.