Little girls get the chance to show off academics in pageant

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COLUMBIA — The Columbia Boys and Girls Club teamed up with an organization called Elite 23 International Incorporated to host The Little Miss Elite (LME) Academic Pageant in Kimball's Ballroom at Stephens College.

The purpose of the pageant was to build little girls' confidence, help them gain self-love and give them a chance to experience an opportunity to remember.

The Boys and Girls Club Unit Director Breane Broadus helped the Elite members prepare the girls for the pageant. Broadus said she enjoyed the show's outcome. 

"Tonight went amazing," Broadus said. "It is by far the best Little Miss Elite Pageant thus far, out of the three years that I've witnessed them."

More than 15 girls, ages 7 to 13, competed in a number of categories that express the participants' personalities, skillsets and natural beauty.

The show consists of the young girls performing choreography, showcasing their talents and participating in a questionnaire. 

Elite founder Valencia Seuell said her goal was to encourage the girls to embrace their inner beauty and believe in themselves. 

"I want the girls to feel beautiful inside and out," Seuell said. "I want them to think if they can do this, they can do anything."

Contestant Kyan Hill said this experience is a dream come true. 

"This pageant means that you can be who you are no matter what," Hill said. "You can do what you want to do."

The girls did not wear any makeup on the stage, but they wore pretty dresses and brought their creativity, smiles and academic skills to the stage.

All the girls were crowned, and three young ladies took home trophies.  

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