ST. JOHNS, Mich. — She always wanted to be a princess, now her dreams are coming true. St. Johns High School senior Olivia Melton, also known as Miss Michigan High School, is competing for the national title of Miss High School America this weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas.
"Today started the first day of real competition, and that started with my interview which was about an hour ago," Olivia said. "That went great. So excited to see how that goes."
The preliminary competition starts Friday, where Melton will compete against 53 other girls. There are three areas of competition.
"We have interview, fun fashion and evening gown," Olivia said. "My interview is a lot like -- I send in my resume, and they ask me questions that are like, 'If you were given this opportunity, what would you do with it? What would you take from it?'"
Olivia said the night of the finals, top five girls will be asked an on-stage question about the pageant's national platform, Building Respect And Values for Everyone (BRAVE).
The question will be something like, "What does the BRAVE program mean to you, and what will you do to promote it?"
Olivia answered,"Anti-bullying is something that we stress all the time, yet it still has to be stressed, because it still happens daily. We still have lots of kids that are suffering from it. I've been in the shoes, it's not fun. It sucks, actually. It really sucks."
It took a lot for Olivia to make it where she is today, including 12 hours in a car, a couple fundraisers, a GoFundMe and support from not only her mom, but also the St. Johns community.
"I did not expect the amount of support from the community that I got," Olivia said. "It was thousands of dollars raised."
"A lot of the support we received were from my high school classmates, and I can't even begin to say how much that means to me," Staci Melton, Olivia's mom, said. "When her fun fashion snafu happened, her fourth-grade teacher stepped in and bought her new dress."
The support she has gotten means "everything" to Olivia.
"To be able to represent Michigan at a national level pageant is just something that not many people get to do in their lifetime," Olivia said.
"I could never put myself out here like this, and she thrives," Staci said. "She just meets every challenge head-on and tackles it."
If Olivia wins the title of Miss High School America on Saturday, her reign will begin immediately.
"If I won, I would be eligible for well over $50,000 renewable, every single year of college," Olivia said. "And for me I want to be a surgeon, so that would help a lot."
Olivia will find out Saturday afternoon if she made it to the final round of the competition. To see how you can watch the competition live, click here.
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