UTC student Brooke Johnson is redefining the world of pageantry with her work as Miss Chattanooga Teen on her way to compete for Miss Tennessee Teen USA.
“I think people are misinformed about what pageantry is,” said Johnson. “People tend to think that it’s just gowns and glamor, but what they don’t see is that you’re in the gym five days a week, getting out in your community, and there is a lot of hard work that is involved in preparing.”
Johnson said a cousin of hers from California is the one who inspired her to first get involved with pageants. Overtime, Johnson observed the work her cousin put into pageants and became interested in the idea of getting into them herself. After being introduced to the pageant world by her cousin, Johnson began competing in fair pageants and working her way up to become Miss Chattanooga Teen.
“I was involved in the Miss America organization, and that was when I was back at home,” Johnson said. “I was Capital City’s Outstanding Teen 2020, which allowed me to go to the Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen competition where I was first runner-up. I raised money for the Children’s Miracle Network. I raised over $3,000 to be donated to those hospitals and won an award for that. I won preliminary onstage question and over $4,000 in scholarships.”
Johnson became a literacy advocate after becoming involved with the social initiative, “Read with Me,” in 2019. According to Johnson, she has read to over 1,200 elementary school students and encouraged them to get involved with literacy, which she defines as reading, writing, and speaking as an extension.
“As Miss Chattanooga Teen, I want to partner with schools in Chattanooga,” Johnson said. “I want to leave a good imprint on the Chattanooga community. Pageant wise, I would love to be a major title such as Miss Tennessee Teen USA. But mostly, I want to impact my community and continue to help people.”
“I have learned to stay true to who you are,” Johnson said. “When you go into an interview room, you can’t control the thoughts of judges. The only thing you can control is how you convey yourself to them, and I’ve learned that I’m most successful when I go in there and advocate for my beliefs and passions.”