Alyssa Sullivan, of Cape May Court House, didn’t shy away from controversy when she picked her platform for competing in scholarship pageants. She chose promoting sexual abstinence until marriage, she said.
“Everybody told me, ‘Pick a platform that’s real,’” said Sullivan, who was crowned Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen on Saturday night at Millville Senior High School. She won a $2,000 scholarship and a trip to the national pageant in August in Orlando, Fla.
“This was a moral code instilled by my family, and I realized it was the right thing for me,” she said.
The Middle Township High School junior works as an instructor with a group based in Cape May County called Peer Challenge in which she talks to teens in South Jersey about abstinence. It is funded through the federal Title 5 grant program.
“I also speak about risk-taking behaviors, and how partying and drinking can lead to not abstaining,” she said.
Sullivan, 17, was Miss South Shore Area’s Outstanding Teen, and she won the interview and evening gown portions, as well as the People’s Choice award, said pageant director Joan Cooper, of Millville.
She attends Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Cape May Court House, and plans to to study musical theater at a music conservatory after high school.
Other local teens among the 15 competitors for the state title were Amy Phillips, of Seaville in Cape May County, Miss Cape Shores Outstanding Teen, who was second runner up and Miss Congeniality; Madison Kennelly, of Ocean City, Miss Cape May County Outstanding Teen; and Sandra Okuboyejo, of Vineland, Miss Coastal Shore’s Outstanding Teen.
Atlantic Cape Community College basketball player Armin Cane, of Pleasantville, was honored during halftime at the Jan. 24 home game against Camden County College for scoring 1,000 points this season.
Cane reached the mark at the Dec. 13 game against Cumberland County College.
On Friday, Nicholas Marandino,18, of Minotola in Buena Borough, won first place for a “Sympathy” flower arrangement, while Elijah Brown, 17, of Estell Manor, took first in the “Corsage” category, at the 32nd Southern Regional FFA Flower Show at the Deptford Mall in Deptford, Gloucester County.
Both are seniors at Buena Regional High School in Buena, and members of the Buena Regional High School FFA.
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