January 15, 2012 by staff
Teresa Scanlan, Teresa Scanlan, (born February 6, 1993) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Gering, Nebraska who was named Miss Nebraska 2010, subsequently winning Miss America 2011 and becoming the youngest Miss America since Bette Cooper in 1937.
Scanlan is of Croatian ancestry. Her maternal grandparents, Frank and Nives Jelich, immigrated to the United States from Ilovik, Croatia.
Scanlan was home-schooled until her junior year of high school, before attending Gering High School part-time for half of her junior year. She graduated early from Scottsbluff High School in the spring of 2010 after taking a double load of classes throughout high school. Teresa was named a Salutatorian for the Scottsbluff class of 2010. While at Scottsbluff High School, she played the lead role Sharpay Evans in Disney’s High School Musical Onstage. She also participated in choir, show choir, and speech.
In her spare time, Teresa enjoys singing, acting, dancing, playing piano and guitar, composing songs, baking, participating in activities with her local church, and making clothes out of duct tape, among many other hobbies.
She won the title of Miss Nebraska on June 5, 2010, when she received her crown from outgoing titleholder Brittany Jeffers. Scanlan’s platform is “Eating disorders: A generation at risk.” Scanlan’s passion to combat eating disorders stems from a friend who struggled with bulimia. Scanlan did research about eating disorders for her friend and discovered how rampant it was across the nation. She hopes to educate children and adults alike as to the signs and risks of eating disorders, as well as how and where to get help for themselves or a loved one. Her competition talent is piano. At 17 years of age, she is the youngest Miss Nebraska ever crowned. After winning the title of Miss Nebraska, Scanlan announced that she was taking a year off from school to fulfill her duties as Miss Nebraska, and that she had deferred enrollment to Patrick Henry College until the fall of 2011.
She won the Miss America title on January 15, 2011, becoming the first Miss Nebraska to win the title, the youngest winner in 74 years, and the first titleholder from Nebraska to win Miss America, Miss USA, or Miss Teen USA.
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