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Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Beauty and books for Miss Teen Earth

Nathan connects with community through reading
Emmett Miles
Sophomore Vera Nathan visits St. James-Santee Elementary School to participate in the Reading Nook program—an initiative to encourage reading in schools. “I wanted to tie this into the Miss Teen Earth program so we thought going in and reading to them about the environment would work” Nathan said.

Beautiful long gowns. Spotlights beaming. Glittering crowns and silky sashes: the goal of all of her work. This aesthetic is a major part of sophomore Vera Nathan’s life.

A total of five whole months of prepping for a pageant. Preparing to answer any questions, to walk perfectly and to present your platform “I have nationals in 90 days, and I have been preparing for two months,” said Vera.

In the world of pageants, each competitor is required to have a platform that they run and manage. Vera’s platform is called Reading Nook.

“It started as an online platform where we would read children’s books, and we post them on YouTube,” Vera Said.

At each pageant, Vera explains her platform and what it means to her. She explains how it has impacted her life and what it has taught her.

Vera’s motivation to start this platform stems from her love of reading. Her mom, Beth Nathan, recalls how much she loved reading when she was younger.

“She would read so much, she would walk into the walls,” Beth said.

During the pandemic was when the Reading Nook was launched. Since then, it has grown to Nathan going into schools, reading to kids, and even raising money for schools.

“We ended up raising $4,000 for St. James Santee,” Vera said.

Vera is currently South Carolina Miss Teen Earth. The Miss Teen Earth system values conservation and community service.

“We organize beach cleanups, neighborhood cleanups and park cleanups,” Vera said. “It’s also a really great way to raise awareness for global warming, and the things happening to our environment.”

Vera has long been passionate about the environment, so the Miss Teen Earth system fits her well. Cyrus Frakes, Vera’s Pageant Coach, highlights that she has always believed in the importance of community service.

“She’s always gravitated toward pageants that put an emphasis on community service,” Frakes said.

Vera values genuineness above all else. Being herself is what Vera believes wins her pageants.

“[Judges] don’t want a fake, perfect teenager. They want a real teenage girl,” Vera said.

Vera is known by her Mom and her pageant coach to always be herself.

“She’s true to character. She definitely stays herself everywhere we go,” Beth said. “She is different than most people would think of a pageant girl.”

The perception of a pageant girl is often viewed as very stereotypical, yet Vera Nathan disrupts this stereotype. Though she loves pageants, she does not let it consume her life.

“She never lets the process change who she is,” Frakes said.

Her drive to keep coming back to the pageants comes from her passion for her platform and her hope for her future.

“The feeling of being on the stage after you’ve worked so hard and actually winning is awesome,” Vera said. “I feel like I put in a lot of hard work and it actually paid off.” From here on, Vera will be going to Miss Teen Earth Nationals where she will be competing against 49 other contestants.

“She’s truly passionate about what she believes in and I think it’ll definitely serve her well in the future,” Beth said.

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