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Q&A with Miss Camden and Miss Camden Teen

Posted: June 16, 2016 5:01 p.m.
Updated: June 17, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Miss Camden Grace Smith

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Miss Camden, Grace Smith and Miss Camden Teen, Cassandra Gibson will head to Columbia today to begin preliminaries for the Miss South Carolina 2016 pageant. Preliminaries will be held June 21-23 with the final Teen Competition on June 24 and the final Miss Competition on June 25.

Smith and Gibson, who began preparing for Miss South Carolina in January, will compete against women from across the state in talent, evening gown, swimwear and interview divisions.


Miss Camden

Grace Smith


Can you tell us about yourself? What are your future plans?

I’m 18 years old and I just graduated from Camden High School. I will be going to the University of South Carolina in the fall and will major in psychology. I ride horses and I dance ... (and) this is my first time competing in the Miss American organization.


What has your experience been like as Miss Camden Teen?

This process teaches you a lot ... it teaches self confidence and maturity. I have got the opportunity to reach out into the community and get involved. I’ve also gotten to meet so many people, like Mayor Scully. It’s been a positive experience to be able to meet these kinds of people and to have these opportunities.


What is your platform and how did you choose it?

My platform is mental health awareness. I have personal experience with this and I know people who have struggled with this. Since I’ve experienced first hand I knew it was something I could relate to other people ... I want to reach out to other people who are going through the same thing.


How do you feel about the upcoming competition?

I am excited and ready for this to get here. We have been preparing for this since the day after I was crowned Miss Camden. I have been practicing dance many times during the week to prepare for the pageant’s talent competition. My dance coach is also my pageant coach, so she has been helping me as well. I will also be going to a mock interview later this week...There are a lot of preparations.


Miss Camden Teen Cassandra Gibson


What has your experience been like as Miss Camden Teen?

My experience has been wonderful. I am so blessed that have been chosen for the title of Miss Camden Teen. I have been able to work with so many different organizations including the United Way of Kershaw County, Children’s Miracle Network, Food for the Soul and the Special Olympics.


What is your platform and how did you chose it?

My platform is "Be the Change." It is an anti-bullying based platform. I chose this platform due to the cyber, physical, and verbal bullying that my friends and I have personally been affected by and have witnessed. If you think bullying is not happening in our schools and workplaces then you must be living under a rock.


What will be your talent for the talent portion of the competition?

My talent will be a classical ballet performance on pointe. I will be dancing to "A Spoonful of Sugar" from the musical Mary Poppins. I chose this song because I would like to be a Disney princess in the future and this song just makes me smile to dance to.


How have you been preparing for the Miss South Carolina Teen competition?

I have been preparing since January through physical activities such as dance practices, dress fittings, and exercising to be ready for the pageant. This is a week long pageant, so you must be physically and mentally prepared to compete against 63 of the most talented and successful teens in our state.


The pageant will air on Saturday, June 25 and can be viewed on WACH Fox and the Sinclair Network from 8 until 10:30 p.m.

To vote for either Miss Camden or Miss Camden Teen for the People’s Choice award, go to to vote by June 23. Votes are $1 per vote.


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