Dallas County native competes for Jr. Miss title

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2004

Lindsey Bamberg, Dallas County’s Junior Miss 2004, will be competing in the state finals today and Saturday at the Montgomery Civic Center.

Bamberg is one of 56 candidates who will be representing their home towns during the Alabama Junior Miss Program, which is set to begin today at 7 p.m.

Terry Ballant, publicity director for Junior Miss, said the candidates have been in Montgomery rehearsing for the program since Jan. 9.

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Ballant said the girls will vie for $50,000 in cash tuition scholarships and more than $2.2 million in college-granted scholarships.

If Bamberg is named the winner of the state program, she will go on to compete in the 48th annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals held in Mobile this June.

In order to make it to the next level, Ballant said, the contestants will have to undergo intense scrutiny by the program’s judges.

The categories in which Bamberg will be evaluated are scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and poise.

“This is not a beauty pageant, and the girls will not be judged based on aesthetic beauty,” Ballant said. “This is a program where the contestants are awarded for their academic achievement and community involvement.”

Each contestant will receive percentage points from the judges depending on how well they do, and the one with the highest score is named the winner.

“Miss Bamberg is doing really well,” Ballant said. “She is a real sweetheart.”

Ballant said America’s Junior Miss scholarship program was founded in 1957 and is the oldest scholarship program for high school seniors.

“It has helped thousands of girls pay for their education and pursue their ambitions,” Ballant said.

More than $2 million in cash scholarships and $61 million in college-granted scholarships are available through America’s Junior Miss Program each year.

Local sponsors of the state program include the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Barbara Nettles and B.N. Ivey Foundation, BellSouth, Business Performance Solutions, Inc., the Has Beens Association, the J.K. Lowder Family Foundation, and Southern Guaranty Insurance Company.