By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield High School senior Lateishah Schultz is making her may into and through Wisconsin pageants as she finds her footing in the nation’s pageant system in the hopes of attaining scholarship funds and a title.
“I saw a Facebook ad for the Miss Wisconsin Teen USA pageant, and I looked it up and figured that I would apply to be a contestant,” said Schultz. “I was chosen as one of 50 contestants out of 500 applicants.”
After competing in the pageant this past September, Schultz felt that she had found her niche.
“I learned a lot, and out of 50 girls, just to even be there was an honor,” Schultz, said.
Using what she had learned with Miss Teen USA, Schultz applied for the Miss America pageant circuit. Schultz obtained a spot on the stage and traveled to Madison this past February to compete.
“How America works is you are supposed to go through a local pageant first, and then you go on to state, and then you go on to nationals,” explained Schultz. “I was in a local pageant for Miss Madison Capital City. … It was just one winner out of 12 girls.
“It was a really good experience, and I learned a lot from that one too.
“I’m learning a lot of people skills. The interview portion is possibly the most nerve-wracking part of the pageant. It’s the first part, and it happens before that actual pageant itself. You have a limited amount of time to actually get these judges to know who you are, and that is where pageants are really won. If you don’t have a good interview, then you are probably not likely to win.”
“I will compete as long as I can until I age out,” said Schultz. “It’s fun, and you meet new people, and you learn a lot of things. Along with the pageants, I started modeling, and I am looking to pursue an acting career. I’m definitely a lot more confident than I used to be.”
Schultz will next compete in the United States circuit in April, where she will vie for a title in the teen division.
“For this one I have to compete in the teen division, which is kind of strange because in both USA and America, I am too old to compete in the teen division, but in United States you have to be 20 to get out of the teen division,” added Schultz.
Schultz will represent Marshfield as Miss Teen Marshfield in the state pageant of the United States circuit.
“It’s exciting because I am representing my hometown,” said Schultz.
While Schultz is initially looking toward acting, she also has plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County and later transfer to pursue an education in kinesiology, dentistry, or journalism.