Excerpts by Stacy Trevenon in the half Moon Bay Review
"La Honda resident Shailo Rae Rushing is hopping with excitement these days. The athletic, animal-loving 12-year-old was recently picked as a state finalist in the National American Miss California Pageant. The pageant, set for late June, will culminate Saturday, June 30, when the new Miss National Pre-Teen of California is crowned at the Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara. Rushing was beside herself when she learned she was in the running. "She screamed and cried and hugged me," said her mother, Rebekah Rushing of La Honda...the National American Miss pageant celebrates the country and encourages future leaders, according to its Web site. It emphasizes self-confidence, learning new skills, good attitudes about competition, achievements and setting and reaching goals. Each year, it awards 1 million in cash, scholarships and prizes to assist in the development of young women nationwide. With family-oriented and age-appropriate activities, the pageant is held for girls ages 4 to 19 in five age groups. Shailo Rushing auditioned in Santa Clara in late March and was told by pageant officials she had what it took...On her application, Shailo, who attends sixth grade at Pescadero Elementary School, listed soccer and swimming, shopping, Girl Scouts, drama and dancing, hanging out with friends, going to movies and theme parks, fashion, animals and music as her interests. She hopes to be an actress, her mother said, or to work toward protecting animals. "She doesn't want anybody to hurt anything that's living," her mother said. Shailo is ready for the pageant. "Of course, I hope to win," she said with poise. "But I also want to learn how to be a better lady. Have more confidence."