MIDLOTHIAN — Midlothian High School has a budding beauty queen in its midst.
She is an unpretentious young lady with a flawless peaches-and-cream complexion, sparkling eyes and a smile that lights up the room. She is indeed a special 17-year-old. And while some would expect being born with Down syndrome would limit her, Jamie Lollar and her parents, James and Gay Lollar, would disagree.
Jamie has been selected as a finalist in the Miss Texas Teen Contest and will compete at the state pageant July 31 and Aug. 1 at the Hotel Intercontinental in Addison. There she will compete with young ladies from all over the state in an interview and formal wear.
“She is the only special needs child in the competition,” Gay said. “She’s good and we have as good a chance as the other kids. This is based on inner beauty as well as outer beauty.”
The winner of the competition will receive a $1,000 cash award, bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the National American Miss pageant in California as well as a tour of Hollywood and two VIP tickets to Disneyland.
The Lollars have lived in Midlothian for about three years. Jamie started modeling school in Amarillo.
“We went to Los Angeles through IMTA, the International Modeling and Talent Association and she won a soap opera award there in 2008. She took first place in that,” Gay said. “Then we moved to Midlothian and got her into Model Makers last year. They sent us the information on NAM and said she would be a good candidate for it. “
Gay said Jamie had her interview before the judges March 30 and a photo shoot. “The next thing we know she is a state finalist. She really enjoys it and it would be nice to win,” Gay said. “In her age group there were 300-400 kids and she was the only one with Down syndrome.”
She has modeled clothes for major retailers and participated in modeling workshops and fashion shows.
Jamie said she likes to walk down the runway and the pretty clothes. But she is more than just a pretty face. She will be singing before her church Sunday and she is in competitive cheerleading, plays on a basketball team and enjoys dancing and bowling. She plans to attend Navarro College when she graduates from high school to continue her education.
“There is a stigma to Down’s and basically we want to show the world that they can do so much like modeling, acting, sports and singing,” James said. “They need to get out into the world and try things. They can do it.”
Jamie’s high school schedule includes both mainstream and special needs classes. When asked about her favorite class in school, a wide smile crosses her face and she blushed a little before answering that she likes P.E. best. She said she makes good grades and enjoys computers, making friends and spending time with her dog, Joe Boxer.
She said she doesn’t get nervous answering the pageant interviews and looks forward to continuing with modeling and pageant competitions.
“Don’t limit your child by the stigma the world puts on them – just because they look a little different,” James said. “They can do all sorts of stuff.”
Contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 469-517-1451.