The Shea family hails from Kansas City, Miss. but moved to Newman three years ago.
Along with winning the title of State Ambassador Princess, Autumn also acquired ribbons for the photogenic contest, portfolio cover, and for her active participation. She was also voted on by the other participants in the contest as Miss Personality.
Autumn will take her title to the Nationals contest, located in Anaheim, from November 22 to 28.
Carrie was adamant that this was no stereotypical beauty pageant.
“It’s not a beauty pageant. It’s based on your self esteem, confidence, and your work around the community and with others,” said Carrie.
No makeup is allowed under the age of 12-years-old, and “everything has to be age appropriate,” added Carrie.
Although Autumn showcased her confident nature by beating out 91 other competitors in the contest, she and her family has shown an abundance of strength and vigor far beyond the pageant stage as well.
Her mother, Carrie, is currently fighting a battle with uterine cancer, and is going through her second round of chemotherapy.
Autumn’s father, Gerald, also has been battling health issues, after having a heart attack on August 23, 2013, adding numerous struggles for the Shea family.
Carrie and Gerald never put any extra pressure on their daughter, making sure she understood before the contest “that she was good,” said Carrie. “She was with us. That she could do this. That as long as she came back happy with herself that she was a winner.”
They hoped to allay all her fears and keep her relaxed as possible before it was show time.
This was a family effort that has rewarded their daughter with an opportunity of a lifetime.
Winning the National American Miss California State Ambassador Princess title comes with its fair share of responsibilities for the five-year-old. By Oct. 10, Autumn must complete a minimum of four hours on a single community project of her choice.
Contact Erick Torres at 892-6187, ext. 31, or email@example.com.