Hunter Fraley, Pitt State sophomore biology pre-med student, claimed the position of Miss Teen Kansas USA June 22 with focus of advocating for bullying and suicide prevention.
“So I competed in November and I was first-runner up to Hailey Colborn, and she went on from winning the state pageant to win Nationals, and the state directors decided that the since the Nationals pageant was so early on in the year they wanted to go ahead and crown the first runner-up for the state title so they can carry out for appearances, and parades, and whatever,” Fraley said.
Fraley, a native of Vinita, Oklahoma, competed her last year for Miss Teen Kansas USA in November as the oldest contestant in her category and was appreciative for the opportunity.
“It humbles me a lot because I did work very hard and I’m not originally from Kansas, so it’s very exciting to represent Pittsburg as my new home …” she said.
As a pageant girl in her youth, Fraley later found inspiration her junior year to join competitions again from an Oklahoma local.
“… What got me started again was Olivia Jordan won Miss USA 2015 and she’s from a town that’s about an hour away from my hometown, and that was really cool to see somebody from around my area go and win the national title,” Fraley said.
With her new title, Fraley anticipates to use it as an opportunity to impact youth by taking stance as a traveling advocate.
“I hope to spread more awareness with my platform,” she said. “I’m a suicide and bullying prevention advocate and with appearances you go to multiple schools and parades and I just want to talk to people about being nice to each other because bullying especially in middle school and high school can lead to, eventually, suicidal thoughts in young adults and that’s really important to me.”
Alongside pageantry, Fraley also dedicates herself to her academics and showing her Pitt State pride.
“I’m on the Crimson and Gold Dance Team through the University …” she said. “I plan to participate in the Students for Violence Prevention this coming school year and that’s something I’m super excited for.”
Shelly Grimes, Crimson and Gold Dance Team coach, was enthusiastic to see Fraley take the crown and represent Pitt State.
“First of all, Hunter Fraley she’s an Oklahoma girl, so typically she’s a great team player,” Grimes said. “… She’s always real happy, lots of spirit, always in a great mood. She comes in to dance practice ready to work … and has a desire to continue to grow as a dancer and then also she works really hard with her academic studies.”
Grimes supported Fraley from the beginning through her work, pageantry and dance otherwise.
“I think she’s very well-deserving of the honor, of Miss Teen Kansas US,” she said. “Her work ethic during dance practice and on game day demonstrates that, and I can see where her personality would certainly help her with the pageantry.”
Along with Fraley’s extracurricular activities, she has steady plans regarding graduation and her future.
“I am currently a biology pre-med major,” Fraley said. “What I hope to do with that is graduate with my undergraduate in biology with a chemistry minor and then go on to KU Medical School for dermatology … Through all the appearances that you get with this title and all the publicity … you get to meet a lot of different people, hopefully that can help me meet people at KU because that’s where the Miss attends school. Sometimes it’s who you know and how you meet people through the connections to get where you want to go. …”
Grimes, who is entering her second season with Fraley as part of the dance team, also foresees that the position will advance Fraley’s essential skills sets.
“I think as far as Hunter would go, just any time you have a title of Miss USA or Miss Teen USA it’s going to help you with your public speaking skills as well as just your stage presence … so it can do nothing but just continue to grow her professionally when it comes to working with others,” Grimes said. “… She’s a great kid, Pitt State should be proud to have her.”