Thanks to Pace’s Tire and Service Center for their support. Family-owned since 1960, they specialize in professional, bumper-to-bumper auto care and repairs on foreign and domestic cars and trucks.
West St. Paul Days are coming in May, and that means a new batch of West St. Paul royalty will be crowned. We talk with Celia Dickey, the 2019 West St. Paul Princess, to learn more about this scholarship program.
Perhaps the biggest misconception is that it’s a beauty pageant. It’s not. It’s a scholarship program that teaches leadership skills. The royalty court volunteers in the community and represents the city at various events (a lot of events—at least 50). It’s also not just for girls—anyone ages 8 to 20 can enter. The deadline is March 23, so apply now.
“It is such a wonderful and eye-opening experience because you get to see how much giving back and volunteering in your community changes people’s lives.”Celia Dickey
Nineteen-years-old Dickey is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She’s majoring in microbiology and minoring in Spanish. Dickey likes to paint, go on hikes, and hangout with her roommates and friends. She’s also in a sorority at school and there are a lot of events and volunteer opportunities that she loves to participate in.
Dickey lives with her mom and two sisters in West St. Paul. Royalty is a bit of a family affair as both of her sisters have served on the royalty court before, and her mom is on the board of Celebrate West St. Paul Days. This is the third time Dickey has been on the royalty court.
Conversation With Dickey
We talked to Dickey to find out more about royalty (after she finished a test at school—priorities).
What’s your favorite part of being a West St. Paul Princess?
My favorite part about being a West Saint Paul Princess is the connections I make with other royalties and ambassadors from other cities, but also the connections and friendships I have formed with the other girls in my court. If I had not been a part of this program, I would never have met such amazing people who I will continue to talk to after my year is up.
Why do you participate in West St. Paul royalty?
I have been a part of the West St. Paul royalty program since I was 8 years old when I was crowned the first Little Miss West Saint Paul in 2009. My journey continued when I was crowned Junior Miss West Saint Paul in 2014. I have continued to participate in this program because of the experiences I have had. There are so many events within your city and surrounding cities that I would never have known about or even been to if I wasn’t a part of this program. It is such a wonderful and eye-opening experience because you get to see how much giving back and volunteering in your community changes people’s lives.
How has the royalty experience changed you?
I can tell that each time I have been with this program I have grown as a person. I have gained more self-confidence, public speaking skills, networking skills, and teambuilding. I have a deeper appreciation for volunteers that help run the programs and everyday functions of West Saint Paul.
Some people have criticized the royalty programs and lumped them in with beauty pageants that might seem to objectify women. What do you say to those kind of critiques?
Beauty pageants tend to select women based upon looks and talent, and the judges meet the women the day of the pageant. This program is a scholarship program where we go through a month-long candidacy so the judges can see how we interact with the community and if we would be great representatives of our city. We work on poise, etiquette, and other skills that we will use for the rest of our lives.
How do people react when they learn that you’re West St. Paul royalty?
Some people think it is really cool and want to know more about it. Other people just say “oh” and then drop the topic. It is really a mix of both sides, and while people will ask what it is about, they still think of it as a beauty pageant rather than a scholarship program.
Not all of the West St. Paul royalty are from West St. Paul, but you are. So what do you love about West St. Paul? What do you miss when you’re away at school?
I love the diversity of West St. Paul—not only the community but the wide variety of things to do. I can go to Thompson Park and go hiking or I can go down Robert Street to shop and eat. The thing I miss most about West St. Paul when I’m at school is its proximity to everything. At school, If I drive 20 minutes out, there are fields. If I drive 20 minutes out of West St. Paul, I can be in downtown St. Paul or at the Mall of America. I can drive in any direction and there will be something to do.
Thanks to Celia Dickey for taking time away from her studies and royal duties to share her thoughts.
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