Carissa has been involved in pageants since she was six years old. The first pageant she competed in was Little Miss Muscatine in 2008. Since that pageant, she has been competing for a title every year with the Miss America Organization.
Carissa has held numerous titles, including Little Miss Muscatine 2008, Junior Miss Muscatine 2010, Junior Miss Scott County 2011, Junior Miss Great River Days 2011, Miss Pre-teen Muscatine 2012, Miss Wild Rose’s Outstanding Teen in 2015, Miss Scott County’s Outstanding Teen 2017, and now Miss Metro’s Outstanding Teen 2018. Being Miss Metro’s
Responsibilities Carissa have as Miss Metro’s Outstanding Teen is representing the metro areas at the state competition, making public appearances at fundraisers and events in the metro area, and promoting her personal platform, “Helping Win the Gold with Special Olympics,” around Iowa.
Carissa’s campaign works with the Special Olympics in Muscatine. Her first time volunteering was as Little Miss Muscatine 2008. She did cupcake sales, sold water at Great River Days, and she’s done restaurant nights at Salvatore’s. Overall she has helped raise about $4,000 for the local Muscatine Special Olympics.
“My aunt Misty has special needs, and that is what initially attracted me to [the Special Olympics],” says Carissa. Now Carissa has developed a lot of relationships with the athletes and gets to work hand-in-hand with them.
Carissa faces many different challenges when competing in pageants. Every competitor has their own personal challenges when competing, but for Carissa, the hardest, yet most beneficial part of the competition is the eight-minute private interview with the judges.
“Another challenging part of competing is the amount of work put into it, such as the volunteering, and keeping myself aware of current events, while trying to keep up with everything else, like school and work.” Grades in school are very important to pageants and go into scoring at the state level.
Competing in pageants comes with the opportunity to grow as a person. Carissa says you can learn social skills, interview skills for jobs, resumes for jobs and college applications, presentation skills, and helping young women pay for college. The four points of the Miss America crown stand for four things: style, service, scholarships, and success.
Learn more about Carissa, her platform, and her title on her Facebook page, Miss Metro’s Outstanding Teen 2018 Carissa Johnson.