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Miss Birmingham Teen USA gets support from City Council

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From right: Birmingham City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring; Kennedy Whisenant, Miss Birmingham Teen USA; her mother, Cindy and Councilor Wardine Alexander. (Max Rykov of the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office)
By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday recognized a Ramsay High School senior who will compete in the Miss Alabama Teen USA pageant next week in Montgomery.

Kennedy Whisenant, Miss Birmingham Teen USA, who was in the Council chambers with her mother, Cindy Whisenant and Birmingham City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring, said she plans to make the city proud.

“I’m just excited and I am very humble to have the support of Birmingham behind me and I promise that I will not let you guys down,” Kennedy said, “I will bring back the crown and make you proud like I know I can . . . you can just follow me on my journey and just keep me in your prayers,” she said.

The pageant will be next Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center.

Miss Birmingham Teen USA is a pageant that allows girls to share their platforms on a national stage. This pageant leads to the Miss Alabama, Miss Alabama Teen USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.

Kennedy’s platform is “One Girl at a Time,” an anti-bullying campaign for young girls. She was diagnosed with ptosis — drooping upper eyelid – when she was younger.

“I get questions about it all the time like ‘hey, what’s going on with your eye’ . . . so I created this platform to show girls that beauty is not perfection and we don’t have to be what society thinks is perfect . . . it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin and I just really wanted my platform to mirror that.”

Her mother, Cindy said, “Kennedy is a very hard worker and a very humble child and what you see is what you get and I think that anybody will tell you that. Her heart is very open…she tells me all the time, ‘mom, it’s not about the crown or the sash, it’s about being able to help people on a larger scale.’”

Council President Valerie Abbott and councilors Steven Hoyt and Sheila Tyson gave Kennedy donations to help with her duties as Miss Birmingham Teen USA.

Hoyt told Kennedy, “in addition to having brains, you have beauty and so that goes together and it goes a long way.”

In another matter, the council voted to provide $35,000 to building maintenance and equipment for six Birmingham City Schools. The funding for the projects comes from Councilor Sheila Tyson’s Discretionary Fund.

Wenonah High School will receive $5,000, A.H. Parker High School, $10,000; Booker T. Washington K-8, $5,000; Hemphill Elementary, $5,000; Arrington Middle School, $5,000; and Glen Iris Elementary, $5,000.

“Improving the schools for all our students is something that I care deeply about,” Tyson said. “I can’t think of anything more important to spend this money on, especially since so many of our schools are in need of repairs. Our students in Birmingham deserve the best and hopefully this contribution will put us on that path.”