Tori Pedruzzi, Wichita, is the new 2019 Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen winner.
Tori Pedruzzi hasn’t let the fact that she is young stop her from persuing her dreams. Pedruzzi is the new Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen for 2019 at just 14.
She won the competition June 8 as she competed against nine other teens from across Kansas. When the time came to choose the winner. The girls stood side by side. As she waited in line with the rest of the candidates, she kept thinking “please, please let it be me.” Then her name was called.
“I double checked it was me and it was. It was amazing. It was surreal,” Pedruzzi said.
This was Pedruzzi’s second year of competition. She won the talent award both years, being just 13 when she won the award the first time. But she wasn’t satisfied that she didn’t win the overall title. She knew she could better.
“I wanted to redeem myself, Pedruzzi said. “I have a good talent and I wanted to show it.”
Pedruzzi is a dancer and was continually moving to music as a child. So her mother put her in dance classes. When she got her first solo, she was hooked.
“I really committed to it,” Pedruzzi said. “It became my platform.”
Pedruzzi’s platform is “Fancy Feet; Building Dreams of Dance.” In middle school, she had low self-esteem issues and dance was her outlet. She wants to make dance available for other youth whether they choose to pursue it or not.
Pedruzzi has taught dance to first through third graders. During her year as Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen, Pedruzzi wants to reach out and teach as many elementary students as she can. She wants them to explore and learn the value of dance.
Competing in the Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen program requires support and for Pedruzzi, her mom has been there for her. When Pedruzzi has been stressing out about school, her moher was there to help organize competition dresses and accessories.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without her,” Pedruzzi said.
Pedruzzi doesn’t have much time to prepare for the national Miss America’s Outstanding Teen coming up the third week in July. She said she will enjoy traveling and teaching and developing her platform as she prepares.
Dedication to the job sometimes means sacrifice. Pedruzzi said she has multiple commitments and had to drop some activities so she can concentrate on being prepared.
“I want to be the best I can be,” Pedruzzi said.
As for her talent competition, she is looking at another song that better expresses herself. She wants to use it if she can get the necesary permission in time. But if she can’t get permission, she will use the same song she used to win the state title but change some of the choreography.
Winning the state title also impacts the rest of the family. Pedruzzi said since she had been in the program last year, they knew the demands and knew the preparation necessary to compete.
Pedruzzi said she is anxious to take on this next step in her life’s journey.
She is prepared to be flexible and gracious.
“We’re ready,” Pedruzzi said.