LEEDS – Brooklyn Holt’s daily routine is altogether different than most 16-year-old high school sophomores.
“I go to the gym at the YMCA everyday,” she said. “I listen to (National Public Radio) in the car, so I can learn about current events. And I study my platform and my resume all the time, so I can be as prepared as possible.”
Holt, a student at Oak Mountain High and the reigning Miss Leeds Area Outstanding Teen, is preparing for the upcoming Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen event, set for March 2-3 at Sylacauga High School. On Sunday, classmates, family, friends and supportive members of the Leeds community gathered at The Livery in downtown Leeds, for a sendoff party.
Holt won Outstanding Teen last June. This is her second year as part of the program.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Holt said. “I’ve gotten to meet so many wonderful people along the way.
“I love Leeds. It’s like my second home now.”
As part of Sunday’s party, Holt “modeled” the dresses she will wear in the upcoming state competition. She also sang, which will be her “talent” next weekend in Sylacauga.
Holt’s platform is “Raise Your Voice for Children,” something she says is near and dear to her heart.
“My father abandoned me when I was 6 years old,” she said. “I chose that (platform) because I can really relate to young people who are hurting, to help them be successful in the future.”
Her mother, Clarisse Dittenhoefer, was on hand Sunday, and will be in Sylacauga to cheer on her daughter.
“She’s about as perfect a daughter as any parent could ask for,” Dittenhoefer said. “She’s so thoughtful, driven, motivated – she has her head in the right place.”
Sandra McGuire, the executive director of the Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce and director of the Leeds Area Committee, said Holt and the reigning Miss Leeds Area, Chandler Champion, have been great representatives for the city.
“I don’t have to motivate them,” McGuire said. “I don’t have to call them and ask, ‘Have you done this? Are you ready for this?’
“It’s really great to have two like this. It’s probably the easiest year I’ve had as director.”
Holt also rejected any notion of nervousness, as well.
“I’m just excited,” she said. “I’m ready to be there.”