McDonough teen competes in regional pageant

Shannon Wells is prepared to win pageant gold.

The 14-year-old freshman at Henry County High School will participate in her first-ever pageant as she competes for the title of 2010 Miss Jr. Teen Atlanta, on Sunday. The pageant is scheduled to be held at 4 p.m., at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro.

"I feel honored," said Wells. "I've always wanted to do a pageant. It makes me feel special. I am sort of insecure myself, and I wanted to show girls that, if I can do it, they can do it, too."

The McDonough teenager said she took part in an interview session which earned her a spot in this year's regional pageant, one of four divisions that includes girls from ages 7 to 19. She will compete among others this weekend for a chance to go on to the national competition in Orlando, Fla.

"I'm very outgoing and friendly," said Wells. "I hope to win."

Wells, the daughter of Joseph and Wanda Wells, is one of three children, including an older sister, Deanna, 19, and a brother, Terence, 15.

"She chose to do this to inspire girls with low self-esteem," said her mother, Wanda Wells. "And that's why I wanted her to do this. She's learning to appreciate herself now, since she was chosen. She's learning not to stop, and just keep trying."

The younger Wells, who aspires to become a fiction writer and "fashionista," said she has begun to try new things to expand her horizons. She said she plans to tryout for her school's soccer team.

The high schooler said she recently suffered the loss of a friend and classmate, Miracle Parham, who was killed after being hit a car in October.

"I felt like she didn't deserve to die," Wells said. "She was a very sweet person. I've learned never to take anything for granted, and live your life with no regrets."