A Carroll High School graduate will be competing at the Miss America Pageant as Miss Oregon.
Fort Wayne native Rachel Berry was crowned Miss Oregon on Saturday night, the official preliminary to the Jan. 12 Miss America competition in Las Vegas. The 2006 Carroll graduate is the daughter of Jim and Beth Berry.
Berry competed as Miss Willamette Valley and showcased her tap dancing talent.
“It's been a huge assistance to finishing my degree and now hopefully going on to get my master's,” she was quoted in The Daily Astorian. “But also,” she added, “I want to be Miss America!”
While living in Fort Wayne, she danced at her mother's dance studio, Steppin' Out Studio of Dance, and danced for Carroll's Electric Blue Dance Team.
In high school, she also served as captain of the track and cross country teams, spent 3 years as class president, and graduated 11th in her class of 400, her mother wrote. Her love for competing in pageants began when she was crowned Miss Allen County in 2006, Betty Berry wrote.
After graduation, Rachel Berry attended Chapman University in Orange, Calif., where she was a member of the women's NCAA cross country team and cheer squad, in addition to serving on the Chancellor's Student Advisory Board as one of seven student leaders.
She hopes to earn a master's degree in psychology, work as a national news correspondent, and eventually become the first female to host “The Tonight Show.”
To get help in learning the trade, she interned for Fox News, “Access Hollywood,” CBS, The Tennis Channel, and “Ellen Degeneres.” She was awarded the Outstanding Broadcast Journalist Award, and as a finalist in a nationwide MTVu competition spent a week covering the 2010 Oscar events and interviewing celebrities including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock on the red carpet.
She is writing an inspirational, faith-based book entitled “Persevering Dreams.”
For now, Berry will be working to succeed Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler of Kenosha, Wis., and promote Girls Inc., a nonprofit that encourages girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges, according to its website, as her platform. Indiana will be represented at the pageant by Miss Duneland MerrieBeth Cox, whose platform will be “overcoming challenges” and will showcase her talent of baton twirling.