Nicole Hannah, a rising sophomore at Appoquinimink High School, was crowned Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen 2017 and will be representing the First State in the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade and then the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant July 25-29.

Nicole Hannah, a rising sophomore at Appoquinimink High School, was crowned Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen 2017 on April 9 at Cape Henlopen High School.

She is now preparing for the national preliminary and final pageant at the end of July, and will also be representing Delaware in the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade.

Nicole’s community service platform is “Animal Connections – The Bond that Heals” which promotes the connection that animals have with people and the bond they share. The three areas she focuses on are the adoption of animals from shelters, pet therapy programs, and the accessibility of service dogs.

She is currently running a shoe drive to raise money to enable a child with epilepsy to receive a seizure alert service dog. Gently worn used or new shoes can be dropped off at Fusion Fitness in Newark, B-Fit in Wilmington, or Crossfit Unlocked in Georgetown.

Nicole started competing in pageants in the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization when she was 8. When she saw Miss Delaware 2010, Kayla Martell, in the Middletown Fourth of July Parade, she asked her mom how she could get to be the girl in the car. When her Mom told her that the girls in the cars are the girls who win pageants, Nicole asked if she could try it. She went on to be crowned 2011 Little Miss Diamond State and has been competing ever since.

This Fourth of July, Nicole will be in the United States of America Independence Day Parade in Philadelphia as Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen.

Nicole’s talent is baton twirling. She started twirling when she was 4 at Dance Unlimited in Middletown. She moved to Premier Centre for the Arts (then in Middletown) when she began twirling competitively in 2007. She is now coached by Russell's Dance and Baton studio in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Nicole holds the titles Miss Majorette of Delaware 2016 and World’s Perfect Twirler 2016. She is also a member of the award-winning Appoquinimink High School Colorguard.

Nicole will represent Delaware at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, with the preliminary competitions July 25-27, and the finals July 29. One of the nation’s leading achievement programs, the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization encourages positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our nation’s youth. In the past decade, MAOTeen has paid out nearly $1 million in cash scholarships to more than 200 colleges and universities, while developing mentoring programs and community-based initiatives across the country. MAOTeen has a long-standing relationship with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, raising more than $100,000 this year to help improve the lives of children nationwide.

Additional information about the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization can be found at www.maoteen.org

The Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen Organization is the "little sister" of the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization. The not-for-profit organizations are official state preliminaries for the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Competitions and the Miss America competition, respectively, and are scholarship-based programs. For information, see http://www.missde.org/miss-delawares-outstanding-teen-1/

Middletown-area residents can follow Nicole's journey on Facebook and Instagram at Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen 2017 – Nicole Hannah