May 10, 2002 - The Pageant Trail

Who will be Miss America ten years from now? How about 16 years? Two very young beauties with dreams of glory can be found right here in Baton Rouge.

Ten-year-old Bailey Purvis is up-front with her ambition. "I'll probably start with Miss Teen America, Teen USA. If I can win some of those, then I'll be going to Miss America really confident." Bailey has already finished in the top five internationally in the Cinderella Scholarship Pageant. Her four-year-old friend Emilee Hamilton is just starting out. Both are regional winners and headed for the state finals.

Their proud moms say that a lot of coaching and hard work go into preparing for the event, but that the Cinderella Pageant insists on real kids in real clothes, party dresses off the rack, none of those really expensive specialty gowns from pageant shops.

Bailey says she and her friends have always been allowed plenty of time just to be kids. "You meet a lot of girls from all over the world. I met three of my best friends through pageants."

The road to Atlantic City may start right here. All of the top prizes in the Cinderella pageant come in the form of academic scholarships, $500 for first place in Louisiana and $4,000 at the national level.