For queen, perseverance defeats any obstacle.
JASPER — Melanie Roberts was crowned 2018 Miss Dubois County and Chaney Barrett Teen Miss Dubois County at the Dubois County 4-H Fair Queen Contest Sunday afternoon at Jasper High School.
Nine young women competed for the title of queen and three competed for teen miss. The Dubois County 4-H Fair runs July 16-20.
“We want someone who is outgoing, very poised, and who can talk to any age of people they run into at the fair,” said Queen Committee Chair Sandy Neukam.
The queen contestants were required to present a one-minute, prepared speech on any topic of their choice during the professional wear portion of the competition.
The daughter of Lisa Shipman of French Lick and Chad Roberts of Selvin, Melanie chose to speak about her experience restoring her great uncle’s 1989 Chevy Silverado.
“That same truck was destined to be my first vehicle and there was work to be done,” Melanie said. “We painted, sanded and welded nonstop for seven days. Once we finished, I was in love, I even named it Ruby. This project taught me that what can seem to be the ugliest situations can turn out to be the most cherished memories and greatest lessons learned.”
A 2017 graduate of Northeast Dubois High School, Melanie now attends Indiana State University where she is majoring in art education and minoring in nonprofit. She hopes to become an art teacher and later work in the nonprofit field. She is actively involved in State Dance Marathon, the Indiana Student Education Association, Residence Hall Association, soccer, softball, kickball, and the Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club.
Chaney, the daughter of Scott and Carla Barrett of Huntingburg, will be a junior at Southridge High School this fall. She is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, German Club, Spirit Club, cheerleading, swimming and track. A four-year member of 4-H, Chaney has participated in projects including painting, drawing and reed craft. She plans to attend Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis to study pre-dental and hopes to work in orthodontics.
During the Teen Miss formal wear competition, Chaney was asked to describe qualities that a teen role model should possess.
“I believe a teen role model should possess confidence and leadership skills,” she said. “Both of these will draw people close to you and love and trust you.”
Melanie was also asked an impromptu question during the Miss formal wear competition. She was asked to describe her greatest strength and greatest weakness.
“My greatest weakness is my desire to always be a perfectionist, but my greatest strength is my perseverance to always overcome any obstacle that is ever thrown at me,” she said.
During her farewell speech, 2017 Teen Miss Dubois County Presley Neukam said, “4-H is more than just what you bring to fair week, it is a yearlong dedication.”
Melanie can attest to the hard work and dedication 4-H requires. “I have so many happy emotions right now, all of the hard work has paid off,” she said.
For all contestants, it is clear that 4-H has had, and will continue to have a lasting impact on their lives.
“It has made me more confident, doing the projects and meeting new people, it’s a really fun time,” Chaney said. She also had the opportunity of experiencing 4-H and the contest with her sister, Bailey Barrett, who was named second runner-up in the queen’s contest.
“It was interesting having your own person back there. It was a great journey together,” Chaney said.
Melanie is excited to represent the county.
“I want to be a highly influential and positive role model for kids,” she said. “I want to show the county that we are more than just tiaras, that we are super great girls who are willing to help throughout the county.”
A full list of winners as well as more photos from the contest are below:
• Miss Dubois County Melanie Roberts
• Miss First Runner-up Louisa Nino
• Miss Second Runner-up Bailey Barrett
• Miss Third Runner-up Elizabeth Huebner
• Miss Photogenic Olivia Brames
• Miss Congeniality Brianna Lammers and Colleen Hopf
• Teen Miss Dubois County Chaney Barrett
• Teen Miss First Runner-up Jaclyn Haug
• Teen Miss Second Runner-up Leah Wilmes