Rachel Geblein, 19, was crowned Miss Mecklenburg on Jan. 5 at Hough High School.Competing against 10 young women for the title, the Hungersville resident sailed through her private judges interview with flying colors because of diligent preparation. “It is usually nerve-wrecking being in the private interview, but this time I was so prepared for interview that I was ready for any question that they gave me,” Geblein said.For the talent portion of the pageant, Geblein had to select the perfect song, one that was vocally challenging that showcased her talent, yet was only one minute and ninety seconds long. She found her perfect song and wowed the judges with her vocal rendition of “Ah! Jeux Veux Vivre” from “Romeo et Juliette.”With her title, she received a college scholarship for $1,000 and received a wardrobe allowance to Reign Fine Apparel and Gregory Ellenburg.Though Geblein has been a pageant competitor for less than a year, she is no stranger to pageants. In her first ever pageant, she won Miss Lake Norman Charter in her senior year of high school.“That pageant led her to the Belk Carrousel Pageant, where she was recruited for the Miss Mecklenburg County Pageant,” said Linda Geblein, Rachel’s mother and former pageant competitor.“I competed in a local Miss Junior Achievement pageant two years in a row in Maryland. I didn’t enjoy the success Rachel has had,” Linda Geblein said.Rachel Geblein became interested in competing in pageants because of the college scholarship opportunities. “College is so expensive that any chance to receive money for college is worth a shot,” Geblein said.It is no surprise that she captured the title of Miss Mecklenburg. Geblein has a long history of personal achievement and success. Her list of accomplishments is long for a 19-year-old first year college student at Appalachian State.At Lake Norman Charter School she was a member of the Key Club, Spanish National Honor Society, president of National English Honor Society for two years, and president of National Honor Society in her senior year. She was also a member of Rachel’s Challenge, a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonreligious organization based in Littleton, Colo. According to the organization’s website, Rachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies to equip students and adults to combat bullying and allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.Geblein was also a student leader of Big Knight/Little Knight. She was captain of the Lake Norman Charter School softball team for four years, and a member of the cheerleading squad her freshman year. Geblein also was a member of North Carolina All-State choir her freshman year, a member of the Mars Hill Choir for three years, and selected for the NC Honors Chair in her senior year.When asked how winning Miss Mecklenburg County has changed her life, Geblein said “It has enabled me to further reach out to my community through various events such as Hinds’ Feet Farm’s Checkered Ball and The Angels of 1997’s annual 5K race.”Rachel’s mother, Linda, is a piano teacher and the director of music at Fair View United Methodist Church in Mount Mourne. She plays the accompaniment for Rachel’s competitions and auditions.“I would advise parents of girls who want to compete in pageants to make sure their daughters know they are far, far more than just a pretty face,” said, adding she and Wayne -- Rachel’s father, an IT Release Manager at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte -- have nurtured Rachel’s intellect, her Christian faith and her personality. “Pageants are not inexpensive and they can be stressful,” Linda said. “Be sure your daughter is prepared for the difficult times and that you have the resources to pay for coaching, evening wear, spray tans, hair and makeup.”The Gebleins are proud of their daughter and her accomplishments. “Rachel is successful because she has an incredible work ethic. She isn’t lucky; she works really hard at everything. She is very determined to get what she wants and she will put in the effort. I know her future is going to be really bright because she won’t give up in her quest to achieve her goals”.As Rachel prepares for the Miss North Carolina state, she keeps things in perspective and is gracious about thanking those who have supported her the most.“I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and for always telling me “not to forget your dress.” I would also like to thank my pageant coach, Katie Britt-Greenway. Katie has made all the difference in my interview and modeling and without her I would not have my crown.”The Miss America Organization is the biggest provider of scholarships for women in the United States. The Miss North Carolina pageant will be held in Raleigh on June 22.
Sunday, Feb. 03, 2013
Hard work earns Appalachian student Miss Mecklenberg crown
Appalachian student, 19, is crowned Miss Mecklenburg
Rachel Geblein, 19 of Huntersville, was crowned Miss Mecklenburg County on Jan. 5. The Appalachian State University freshman will compete in the Miss North Carolina state pageant in Raleigh on June 22. COURTESY OF LENN LONG/PAGEANT PICS