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Marion teen with Down syndrome preparing for Miss Amazing nationals

13-year-old Shelby Kurth was crowned Junior Teen Queen in April. Now, she’s preparing for an even bigger crown.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:10 AM CDT
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - This year’s Junior Teen Queen from the Miss Amazing pageant in Iowa is a 13-year-old from Marion. The pageant aims to provide opportunities for girls and women in Iowa of all ages who have disabilities.

Shelby Kurth has Down syndrome and received the Junior Teen Queen crown in April. She’ll soon compete for an even bigger crown.

Shelby has been participating in Iowa’s Miss Amazing pageant since she was nine. She’s been crowned princess four times, but this year, she’s happy to be queen.

Shelby’s dad, Jay Kurth, says she really came out of her shell this year and is always going out of her way to help others.

During the pageant, Shelby wore a hot pink dress.

“It’s a hot pink dress because it’s my favorite color,” Shelby said.

Her parents say competing in the Miss Amazing pageant the past four years has made her more independent and ambitious at home.

“It feels like I’m a princess. It makes me feel happy,” Shelby said.

In her free time, Shelby likes to help her dad with cars while staying dressed in full princess mode. She also likes watching wrestling and jumping on her trampoline.

The junior teen competition is for those ages 13 to 15. It includes a one-on-one interview with judges and a passion presentation.

This year, she shared the stage with her dad. They performed to Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm, Shelby’s choice.

”True to form, we showed up and we kind of decided while we were on stage. But she was working it. She’s got over her stage fright and it’s gotten to the point of just going out and working the crowd,” Shelby’s dad, Kurt, said.

Iowa’s Miss Amazing Pageant is free, but nationals is not. Shelby’s already reached her fundraising goal of $4,000.

She’ll use her extra donation money to sponsor another competitor at nationals. Nationals begins the last weekend of July in Nashville.

But on or off stage, with or without a crown, Shelby’s always serving as a role model for others like her watching.

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