age: 16 | Student/Titleholder | Texas High School/Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Org.
In some ways, Allie Graves is a normal teenager. “I’m a 16-year-old girl, so I’m new to driving, and I love it,” she said. “One of my favorite things to do for fun is to drive my car out in the country with the windows rolled down, music cranked up, and sing my favorite songs. I also really enjoy dancing with my Texas HighStepper sisters and hanging out with my friends.”
In many ways, however, Allie stands out from her peers. As a successful competitor at the Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen pageant, she is often seen with a tiara on her head — but it’s what comes out of her mouth, and from her heart, that is truly extraordinary.
“I take great pride in competing within the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization. Through this professional development organization, I’ve developed a platform based on my life experiences of abuse, foster care, and adoption and turned them into a message of hope and healing,” Allie explained. “I receive so much joy and fulfillment when I invest in the lives of children and adults and encourage them to be difference- makers in our world. I strive to take every opportunity I’m given, whether I’m speaking in a crowded football stadium or I’m down on my knees in front of a group of foster children. I want to show the world that you are never defined by your circumstances and that God can use all things for good in the lives of others.”
Best advice you’ve ever received:
“WHEN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING HARD AND WONDER WHERE GOD IS, REMEMBER THAT THE TEACHER IS ALWAYS QUIET DURING A TEST.” — LISA SPOONER, ALLIE’S INTERVIEW COACH
Allie has performed over 1,200 community service hours, giving her time to CASA, For the Sake of One, the Child Welfare System, Alzheimer’s Alliance, American Heart Association, Race for the Cure®, First Choice Pregnancy Center, TISD Dash for Cash, United Way, Run the Line, and others. Aptly, Allie has been awarded Leadership Texarkana’s Youth Wilbur Award and the Kiwanis Club of Texarkana’s Stuart Daniels Leadership Award.
In 2017, Allie was named the Overall Community Service Award winner (as well as the Overall Talent winner) at Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen competition. “I believe my life’s purpose is serving others,” she said. “I’d love to be a catalyst in the Child Welfare System to bring awareness to the epidemic of child abuse and helping to facilitate change in the lives of children who have gone through unthinkable circumstances.”
Name something about you that very few people know:
“My life is truly an open book, but one thing that people don’t immediately realize about me is that I was adopted by my parents, April and Mark Graves, at the age of 5. It’s pretty hard to believe since I actually look (and sometimes act) a lot like my dad.” ￼