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By Chris Edwards
“Everyone has a crown, but it’s your job to let it shine” is a mantra coined by 17-year-old Kamryn Grammer.
If Grammer’s talent for creating motivational statements that could put a seasoned advertising copywriter to shame weren’t enough, the Woodville High School junior also is a budding track and field star; National Honor Society member; serves in Interact and plays for the Lady Eagles’ basketball squad.
If you are wondering when Grammer finds time to hang out with her friends, or even sleep, she is also a beauty pageant competitor and the reigning Miss East Texas. She was crowned Junior Miss Tyler County in 2022 and has been heavily involved in pageants since then.
She said that Kristi Holmes, the director of the Miss Tyler County and Junior Miss Tyler County pageant pushed her to compete. Since then, she competed for Miss Texas Teen USA, an experience she said was “way out of what I’m used to.” She added that the opportunity was great “for a small-town girl like me.”
On her upcoming agenda is the Miss Beaumont pageant and in late June she will compete in the National American Miss Texas Teen, for which she was accepted to be a state finalist.
Grammer said she’d always been thought of as being mature for her age, as a young girl, and when one meets her, she comes across as articulate, thoughtful, well-spoken and with an intelligence that does not seem at all common to her generation.
With those attributes and her visible platform in the pageant world, she decided to use her abilities to create a platform for community service that she is calling “Crowns for Change.”
Grammer said she has adopted a mission statement that is all about “giving back to the community in any possible way that we can.”
“I have a passion for community service,” she said. “We should be able to give back to our community.”
The concept she based her platform around is to be able to give some help to whomever might need it.
“The people of Tyler County really helped me to compete in pageants. I feel that as much as they have helped me, it’s only right to give back,” she said. “Pageants allow you the opportunity to embrace what you want to do with the world.”
Grammer comes by her heart of service naturally. Her parents, Trey and Elizabeth Grammer, are both civic-minded people, whom she said have stressed the importance of community involvement and service throughout her upbringing. They also instilled in her an imperative to treat everyone with the same kindness and respect, she said.
Looking toward the future, Grammer said she hopes to attend Baylor University on a track and field scholarship, and eventually earn a degree in law. She said she recently visited the campus and was elated by the campus and its culture.
Grammer said that her pageant preparation schedule consists of practicing in her gowns, and warming up on fashion, interviewing or whatever she needs to hone, and in doing so, she uses her mother’s business, Venue on the Square. The process usually takes about a month to prep for a pageant appearance, she said.
Along with the practicing for the pageant itself, she said there is also logistics with sponsorships and deadlines, and she said she is grateful to all of the sponsors in the community who have supported her in her endeavors.
One aspect of the pageant culture Grammer has enjoyed is being able to meet and interact with younger girls whom she said she enjoys bonding with. “You meet all of these little girls and become close with them…and get to mentor them,” she said.
Grammer said that ultimately, one of the biggest takeaways from competing in local, regional and statewide pageants is that the world they inhabit is a mirror for the community at large, and the unity of the pageant scene gives a model to promote within the community outside of it.
“Everyone sees what happens onstage, but no one really sees what happens backstage. We’re doing our best to have a standard of giving back to the community and doing what we can to give back to that community. Everyone has a crown, but it’s your job to let it shine,” she said.