Cass Tech junior wins national US scholarship pageant and wants to inspire others

Alana Harris is a junior at Detroit Cass Tech High School and is on a mission to inspire.

"It doesn't matter if people are not going to like you for it, just do what you want to do. You never know the outcome," she said. "I don't have a perfect body. I'm kind of insecure about it. My mom doesn't have a perfect body, my sister doesn't either.

"I feel like you should embrace who you are, you should embrace who you are because God made you exactly who you should be."

Harris was recently crowned Miss Michigan High United States 2021 in the National United States Scholarship Pageant.

The competition is a community service, and platform-based competition showcasing the achievements of students and graduates. They want to encourage communication skills, building self-confidence, leadership skills, community involvement, and making a difference.

"I do have a lot of anxiety too, so I wanted to do things for me," she said. "I just joined the pageant and I wasn't joining it because I thought I was going to win. I just wanted to join to see if I could do it - and I did it."

The 16-year-old wants to empower girls and women. She is working on creating a texting platform to let teens blow off steam and is heavily involved in community services like creating and donating blankets to Michiganders who need them.

"Some people aren't as fortunate as others, so I feel like you should do as much as you can," she said.

She's already studying chemical biology at Cass and hopes to be a nurse or gynecologist. Harris will compete in the national competition in July, it takes place in Hershey PA.