Three young ladies from our area have been chosen as State Finalists in the National American Miss Missouri Pageant, which will be held June 27 and 28 at the Holiday Inn in Columbia. They will be competing in the Miss Missouri Princess age division.

Maleah LilyanJo Merrill, 5, is the daughter of Amber Chiles. She enjoys singing and dancing, and her sponsors are Jerry and Jeanne Cantrell and extended family.

Paige Marie Elizabeth Schulz, 5, is the daughter of Karen Schulz. This is her second pageant experience, last pageant she won “Directors Choice.” Paige will be attending Mathews Elementary School next year as a kindergartener.

Diamond Faye Hicks, 6, is the daughter of Amanda Stephens. She enjoys dance, gymnastics, mixed martial arts, Judo and Rainbow Girls. She also likes spending time with her cousins, playing outside, taking day trips, vacations and eating. Her sponsors are Caveman Crew, Metcalf Bank, Mr. Goodcents employees, family and friends.

The National American Miss pageants are held for girls ages 4 to 18, and have five different age divisions. All activities and competitions are kept age appropriate. Girls under the ages of 12 are not allowed to wear make-up, and there is no swimsuit competition. The program is based on inner-beauty, as well as poise and presentation.

The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the National Pageant in California.