Competing in pageants has helped Mae Farmer find ways to help those dealing with mental health issues.
“I’ve personally dealt with mental illness in my life and I’ve known it’s very important,” Farmer said. “When I was younger, I dealt with some anxiety and depression. It was definitely a hard time. It made me stronger. I’m glad I went through it and hope I can help other people.”
Farmer said it’s important for teenagers to talk about it, so she has made mental health her platform in the Miss Indiana Teen USA competition, which will be held Oct. 21-22 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.
Farmer, 16, joins fellow Fishers residents Micayla Ditlevson and Jinnie Tomes in the pageant.
This will be Farmer’s second time in the Miss Indiana Teen USA competition. She made the top 15 in last year’s competition.
“Pageantry sometimes gets a bad rap with people thinking the girls might be stuck-up or mean,” said Farmer, a junior who takes online high school classes. “But everyone was so welcoming and so sweet.”
There will be an opening musical number for all the contestants. There also is evening wear and active wear competition.
Ditlevson, a Cathedral High School senior, is appearing in her first pageant.
“I heard about it from one of my friends and decided it would be an awesome experience,” Ditlevson said. “I have always wanted to do a pageant, so I am super excited for this one.”
Ditlevson is a varsity cheerleader and student ambassador at Cathedral and is a member of several clubs.
“My platform is Food Insecurity,” she said. “I want to help kids to never have to go home hungry and always know they have a meal coming their way.”
Ditlevson said her motivation for competing is to be an inspiration to girls.
“I hope to encourage girls to follow their dreams and motivate them to do anything they set their minds to,” she said.