LUMBERTON — Cailee Calabrese demonstrated beauty and brains at the Miss U.S.A. Ambassador Jr. Preteen Pageant at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida, where she was crowned Miss U.S.A. Ambassador Jr. Preteen.
Representing North Carolina, Cailee, a rising third-grader at Fayetteville Academy, competed with girls ages 7 to 9 from across the country. She also won the talent, photogenic and acting competitions.
Apart from competing, Cailee said she enjoyed making friends with girls from other parts of the country.
“I liked to learn and understand more about their goals and dreams,” Cailee said.
Cailee’s mother, Kimberly Calabrese, said her daughter’s win “provides her with the confidence and the capability to deal with competitive situations,” which follows suit with the pageant’s objectives.
The pageant strives to enable personal growth in females ages 4 to 25 by building a foundation for individual success through leadership, integrity, character and confidence, according to its website.
The U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant also emphasizes community service and involvement by holding projects and events throughout the year.
Cailee has volunteered with many organizations, such as American Red Cross, March of Dimes, as well as local nursing homes. Cailee has her own organization called “Movies for Military,” which in her words exists “to give a gift back for protecting us.”
To date, she has been able to collect and donate more than 1,500 DVDs to troops.
According to Cailee, the most significant lesson she’s learned from the experience is to “always be helpful to others and provide support to the military members who protect our freedom.”
Her father is Carmen Calabrese.