Williamsport teen Sydney Robertson was at it again. After being crowned second runner-up in Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2012 in Pittsburgh in Dec. 2011, she went on to be crowned National Teen 2013 at the Princess America Pageant held in Orlando, Fla., on July 27.
Robertson's start in pageantry began at age 14 when she responded to an advertisement on Facebook. The Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2012 pageant was her first, with the Princess America Pageant being only her second. She was just 15 years old while competing in her latest pageant.
According to Robertson, along with her win, she received "a cash prize, a dress from Regalia (the pageant's dress sponsor), photo shoots, an opportunity to do a runway show in Orlando for a local boutique and other smaller prizes."
Shown is Sydney Robertson of Williamsport, who recently was crowned National Teen 2013 at the Princess America Pageant in Orlando, Fla.
Robertson is supported in her pageantry endeavors by her father, Allan; mother, Diane; sisters, Lindsey and Holly; as well as her extended family. It is a group effort to help her prepare for the competitions. Her father is her hair stylist, her mother and sisters assist with her make-up and wardrobe shopping, and a collective effort is put into preparing for interview questions.
The interview portion of the pageant is Robertson's favorite part, but she also feels it is the most challenging. The questions for the teens focus on getting to know the girls on a more personal level. As the girls move up into the Miss group of pageantry, the questions shift to a more political standpoint. Another challenging aspect for Sydney is the swimsuit or evening gown segment. "Getting the right pose and my best walk down are pretty tough," she said.
As part of the pageant in Orlando, all the girls worked hard through personal fundraising and a gala event to raise $25,000 for an organization known as Give Kids the World. It is a charity that uses the money raised to send terminally ill children and their families on all expense paid vacations to the Orlando theme parks. Helping with this fundraiser was a basket of local goods donated by Robertson for the charity.
Along her journey, Robertson has made many friends in the pageant world that she feels will last a lifetime. It even has opened up many new avenues for her future.
Her first pageant proved successful in creating a modeling opportunity for the teen. She has been pursuing modeling in New York since that time and even has done a television commercial, in addition to work for stores such as Kohl's and Party City.
A well-rounded girl, Robertson is a distinguished honor roll student who leads an active social life. She is enrolled with Commonwealth Connections Academy, a public cyber school, and is on track to graduate from high school a year early. She says she loves to act and sing and has been involved with theater, choir, musicals and even improvisations. Most recently, she was in the Little League Grand Slam Parade.
Being involved in many daily activities, in and out of school, helps the participants show their depth and versatility as well as showcasing their personality and commitments.
Her father, Allan, said the Princess America pageant "helps them [teens] realize the potential they have for [being] role models. Along with the title comes a lot of responsibility."
He says pageantry has changed his family in terms of how a title, like the National Teen title his daughter won, can influence how much they are put in the direct view of people.
He feels his daughter has a trait that distinguishes her from all the other girls in the pageants; she has short hair. All the other girls have long hair, so Sydney stands out to the judges. "She walks on stage and kind of knocks people over," he said.
However, the pageants aren't meant to focus solely on physical features. The short hair helps to capture the attention and make an impression. The true focus is on the personality of the girls and all their hard work. Allan says all the girls involved in pageantry are "incredibly talented, well-rounded, authentic individuals." Those qualities are what win a title.
Robertson said she feels accomplished after each pageant regardless of whether or not she wins.
"Honestly, at the end of the day, pageants aren't about competing with the other girls. It's about focusing on yourself and knowing what you're capable of and really believing in yourself. It's about being the best you can be, and not comparing yourself to the other girls," she said.
Her father shares similar feelings on the topic of focus. He tells his daughters to "focus on one thing." Once they find what it is they are passionate about and want to do, he encourages them to focus all their energy and efforts into reaching their goals. This advice will help guide Robertson toward achieving her dream of a full-time modeling and acting career.