Girl to represent Truckee in teen California pageant |

Girl to represent Truckee in teen California pageant

Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Emma Von Auw will be competing in the Miss Teenage California Pageant in May.

Sixteen-year-old Emma Von Aue is about to go on her second vacation ever.

Von Aue, a sophomore at Tahoe Truckee High School, is one of two delegates in Truckee who will participate in the Miss Teenage California Scholarship Pageant in Los Angeles, April 16 – 18. The week before the competition, which happens to be spring break, she will travel down to L.A. for a vacation.

“I’ve never been down there before,” Von Aue said. “I’ve never technically been on vacation before; except for one time I went to Monterey, [Calif.,] for a couple days. Vacation for me is like going to Reno or Sacramento.”

The pageant, sponsored by Danfranc Productions and the California Scholarship Foundation, offers more than $30,000 in scholarships and prizes to contestants based on their activities and achievements, personality and communication skills, poise and appearance.

In preparation for the pageant, Von Aue has had to “do a lot of shopping” for clothing for the pageant, find sponsors and write a 30-second speech on her career goals.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also overwhelming,” Von Aue said. “There are so many girls. It’s not really a beauty pageant. It’s not really an issue of how pretty you are; it’s who you are.”

However, getting on stage in front of thousands will pale in comparison to Von Aue’s most frightful life experience: saving the life of Deborah, her mother.

Last year, Deborah had a heart attack and Von Aue breathed life back into her, literally.

“It was kind of instinct,” Von Aue said, recalling the incident. “In middle school we had some training about CPR, but I don’t remember any of it.”

“Then, she started breathing again,” she continued. “It was probably the scariest moment in my life. That’s also my greatest accomplishment … saving my mother’s life.”

Von Aue has lived in Truckee for 11 years. She and her mother live in the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments, where Deborah is allowed affordable housing because she is on disability.

In her spare time, Von Aue volunteers to help neighboring seniors by cleaning their apartments.

“I love elderly people,” Von Aue pauses, “because they’re so wise.”

She also volunteers to help her grandpa, Hans Ostermann, with Dial-A-Ride.

Von Aue had to get sponsors to participate in the pageant, but without the financial support of her grandparents, Von Aue said, she wouldn’t be able to compete in the pageant.

“I love them so much. There’s no way I could do this without them,” she said.

Adding to her accomplishments, Von Aue maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout middle school and is active in student leadership at Tahoe Truckee High School.

After high school, Von Aue wants to attend a junior college and then attend UC Santa Cruz or Berkeley to study marine biology or oceanography, something she has wanted to do since age 5.

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