Evelyn Harrison had a unique reason for entering the Miss Outstanding Teen competition.
“When I started pageants, I actually had zero interest,” Evelyn said. “But I wasn’t really close with my sister (Bella), and I wanted something we could do together. I knew she did pageants and there was one coming up. On a last-minute decision, I decided to sign up. Capital City is the one I did last year and it was the first one that I won. This year is so much better because the whole reason I got into pageants was because of my sister, and now I get to go through the whole week of Miss Indiana with my sister. We’ve gotten a lot closer because of it.”
The Carmel sisters will compete in different portions of the Miss Indiana week, which culminates with the finals June 15 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center. Evelyn, 17, who will be a senior at Carmel High School in the fall, will be in the Miss Outstanding Teen competition for the second consecutive year. Bella, 18, who graduated from CHS in December 2017, will be in the Miss Indiana competition, with the winner advancing to the Miss America contest. Bella was a Miss Outstanding Teen contestant in 2017.
Bella earned the Miss Heart of Indiana title to qualify for Miss Indiana. Two years ago, she was Miss Heart of Indiana Outstanding Teen.
“I love the friends that I’ve made,” Bella said. “The women are so amazing. They inspire me to keep going.”
Bella said she thought it would be good for Evelyn to get involved to boost her confidence.
“I thought it would be a great thing for her to get involved and make friends from outside of her area and outside of her comfort zone,” Bella said
Bella created her own platform called Connect the Dots.
“It’s about improving mental and physical health,” said Bella, an exercise science major at Indiana University. “I have a passion for helping people understand how their mental and physical health connect.”
Bella, who will play the piano for the talent portion, has an internship this summer with the public health sector of the State Dept. of Health.
Evelyn, who advanced by winning Miss Southern Heartland Outstanding Teen, will sing for her talent portion. Her platform is the fight against human trafficking. She is working with State Rep. Karlee Macer to get information about human trafficking taught in health classes.
Two other women from Carmel are competing for Miss Indiana. Jenna Schmidt, who moved to Carmel in 2018, will be a participant in the Miss Indiana competition for the third consecutive year.
Schmidt, 25, is a special education teacher at Hamilton Heights High School.
“My platform is ‘See the Able, Not the Label,’” said Schmidt, who will perform a jazz dance routine to “My Strongest Suit.”
Paige Harder, whose parents moved to Carmel after she graduated from Zionsville Community High School, will be in the Miss Indiana contest for the second consecutive year.