A six-year-old area resident is already working on developing her confidence in poise. Pyper Benedict will be competing in the National American Miss Princess Pageant July 14-15 at Westin Galleria in Dallas.


To be in the pageant, girls have to be nominated by a person in the community, a community leader or a former pageant member. Pyper received a letter in the mail a few months ago saying that she was chosen as a finalist for the pageant.


“At first, I was not sure if I wanted her to compete in the pageant, but then I looked it up and it’s not about makeup and looking older,” Pyper’s father William Benedict said. “When we told friends and family about the pageant, they thought about Honey Boo Boo. This is not like that. This pageant really cares about the girls and their minds. There is no swimsuit category for her. She cannot wear any makeup in the pageant. It is about teaching confidence. It will teach her how to walk across a stage and help her grow as a young lady.”


Pyper’s mother, Terri Benedict, said pageants should be less about beauty and more about brains.


“I want her to be able to showcase her intelligence,” she said. “It is all about developing her confidence in herself and teaching her about the importance of having confidence. When you know how to present and carry yourself, you are not nervous when it comes to going to an interview for a big job. You know how to express yourself and you have the confidence you need to do that.”


Pyper Benedict looks forward to being around other girls who are working toward the same goal she is, the pageant crown.


“I am not a risk taker,” Terri Benedict said. “A big reason why she wants to do this pageant is because she likes to take risks. She likes to put herself out there and that is a good thing.”


In the future, William Benedict said, Pyper will not have a fear of speaking in public.


“She will learn the art of conversing,” he said. “We want her to grow up knowing she can do anything that she puts her mind to. It is important for her to know that there are not restrictions on what she can be. If she wants to be president. She can do it.”


Pyper is already showing leadership qualities.


“She likes to excel,” William Benedict said. “She has won a lot of art awards. She has had her art featured in a lot of places. She knows what it means to be a winner and know to work hard to achieve. This is just going to be an extension of that.”


Terri Benedict is proud that her daughter already knows the value of hard work.


“Not everything comes to you for free,” she said. “A lot of children are entitled and they think that they can just have what they want. This pageant is just another way that she will be proving that she can work hard and working hard will help her achieve good things.”


The prize for the competition winner will be $1,000, a crown, banner, trophy, roses, a trip to Hollywood, a VIP day at Disneyland in California, travel opportunities and the chance to take part in the national competition in California.