By Crystal McGough, Associate Editor
TRUSSVILLE – Hewitt-Trussville High School juniors Abigail Wideman and Reagan Hanson both placed in the Top 10 at the Miss Alabama’s Teen competition, held March 10-12, at Thompson High School.
Wideman and Hanson were among 38 young women from all over Alabama who competed in the 20th anniversary of Miss Alabama’s Teen competition, which is a division of the Miss Alabama Organization, the official state competition of The Miss America Organization.
Both girls are dual-enrolled at Auburn University in addition to being HTHS Highsteppers, members of Service Association, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, National Honor Society and serving on the Junior Board of Dancers Against Cancer. Wideman also currently serves as Junior Board Vice President at HTHS.
“Considering this was a statewide competition, it was impressive to have two talented teens from Trussville place in it!” Abigail’s dad Brad Wideman said. “Abigail and Reagan are best friends and … they are so well-rounded by doing well academically while also spending time volunteering and serving in their school and community as young leaders.”
Prior to competing in the state competition, Wideman and Hanson each won preliminary competitions last summer, with Wideman selected as Miss Leeds Area’s Teen and Hanson selected as Miss Hamilton’s Teen.
As Top 10 finalists, Wideman and Hanson each received a $500 cash award and a plaque.
Additionally, Wideman won the Collins McMurray Academic Award for the highest scholastic achievement among the contestants and received a four-year renewable full tuition scholarship to the University of Alabama (including freshman housing) and the University of Montevallo. She also received an additional $500 cash scholarship.
“I am so honored to receive the Collins McMurray Academic Award and to be named Top 10 at Miss Alabama’s Teen this weekend,” Wideman said. “It was an incredible experience with girls from across the state! I’m so thankful for the friendships I’ve made and the chance to promote my social impact initiative of improving literacy across Alabama.”
For the past two years, through her social impact initiative “Let Your Imagination Soar, Read More,” Wideman has partnered with Better Basics and donated over 2,000 books that were redistributed to children throughout central Alabama. She also volunteers at the Trussville Public Library and recently spearheaded “Read Across Leeds” a friendly competition encouraging young readers at Leeds Elementary School and Leeds Primary School to see which class could read the most books.
In addition to placing Top 10, Hanson also won the Most Photogenic award, receiving a $150 cash prize and a plaque.
A multidiscipline dancer for eight years, Hanson was inspired by her longstanding love of volunteering with organizations such as Dancers Against Cancer to found her social impact initiative, “Reagan’s Rally: Encourage to S.E.R.V.E.”
Hanson said “Reagan’s Rally: Encourage to S.E.R.V.E.” is a way to share her love of volunteering and inspire others to do the same. She has volunteered with Mercedes Marathon, Kid One Transport, the Magic City Marathon and has read to 20 classes across Marion County about volunteering this year. Hanson is also involved in Girls in Engineering, Mass Media, and is the Secretary of the junior class at Hewitt-Trussville High School.
“I am so thankful for this organization, and the ways it has shaped me as a person,” Hanson said. “I had the best time with 37 of my Teen sisters at Miss Alabama’s Teen 2023! I plan to continue to spread my love of volunteering for the rest of my year as Miss Hamilton’s Teen.”