Connor, an incoming senior, will compete in Miss Indiana’s Teen competition for the third time from June 14-17 at STAR Bank Performing Arts Center in Zionsville. Connor won the Miss South Bend’s Teen title Sept. 10, 2022, to qualify for the competition for the third time.
“I look forward to showcasing my growth over the years on the Miss Indiana stage,” Connor said. “The Miss Indiana Organization has provided me with so many valuable life skills, but also a newfound confidence. I was always an outgoing kid growing up with a love of musical theater, but I never believed that I would be able to speak about my passions on a larger platform.’
Connor’s community service initiative is Keegan Cares, which is her nonprofit. She was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 13. The office manager at her orthodontist noticed that her shoulder blade sticking out was a sign of scoliosis. Connor had thought her back was just tight because of dancing in various forms. She had vertebral body tethering surgery at Mount Sinai in New York.
She has also created a nonprofit organization, Keegan Cares.
“I’ve presented to more than 700 seventh-graders about scoliosis awareness and shared my story nationally,” she said. “Awareness is important because since 2007 Indiana stopped requiring school screenings because it was deemed unnecessary. This has caused a lack of awareness and even prompted me to create a flyer that showcases the recognizable signs of scoliosis found on my website, KeeganCares.com. I’m excited that I’m now working with a state representative to craft a Keegan Cares Bill to reinstate school checks.”
Connor said she will stick with her musical theater roots and sing “The Life I Never Led” from the musical “Sister Act!”
“The song’s message is all about living life regardless of what others think,” Connor said. “When that happens, that’s when you can truly step outside of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest. Talent is my favorite phase of competition because of my love and passion for singing. Being onstage ignites a fire within me and the Miss Indiana Organization has given me another opportunity to one day pursue my dreams of performing on Broadway.
Spending time with the other contestants is enriching as well.
“I love being involved with this organization because of the hard-working and kind girls that represent Indiana,” she said. “Some people wonder what we do before we step on the stage. In between the phases of competition, we girls bond with one another and make everlasting connections. One of our favorite pastimes is making TikToks, which always helped alleviate the pressure of the competition aspect. At that moment, we’re all just teen girls hanging out and laughing.”
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Written by Mark Ambrogi