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Miss Teen USA 1999
Shreveport, Louisiana
August 24, 1999

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Boston by name

"Academics are 95 percent of my life," says Rachel Boston. That doesn't leave too much time for pageants, but she has done all right. A couple of years ago, she was third runner-up to Miss Junior National Teenager. And of course, she's now Miss Tennessee Teen USA.

Ms. Boston attends a private, all-girls high school, where everyone wears uniforms. It's easy to concentrate there. "I like to overload myself with schoolwork," she says, and she's an achiever.

Rachel Boston

She took part in Girls State, a program in which girls learn about government, politics and leadership.

So what does this smart, sensible girl want to do when she's out of high school? She wants to kick up her heels on Broadway. She became intrigued by musical theater a few years, and the more she has done the more she likes it. She played a Farmerette at the Hotbox Club in "Guys and Dolls," and she was a Dogpatch wife in "L'il Abner," wearing one of those famous skimpy costumes that are so different from a high school uniform.

Broadway is a long way from Chattanooga, but Ms. Boston has no qualms about moving to New York when the time comes. The Big Apple is one of her favorite places. "I'm a Tennessean at heart," she says, "and a New Yorker in spirit."

Tennessee is famous for its rural scenery and its country music, and Ms. Boston is proud of that, but she wants the world to know that it is also a very sophisticated state.

 Its people can be folksy and informal, and even jokingly call themselves "hillbillies," but it is definitely not Dogpatch. "I wear shoes every day," she says, poking fun at the stereotype. And she's a distant relative of the vice president of the United States.
Photo by Benjamin Gibbs / PNB

Busy beauty

Swimsuits and evening gowns are almost like ordinary work clothes for Danielle Demski. She's a model -- catalog, print and runway -- and has worked for an impressive number of major companies. But she doesn't consider modeling her job. It's just something Miss Arizona Teen USA does in her "spare time."

It's surprising that she has any spare time, because Ms. Demski is a very industrious young woman.

She also won $1000 in a national creative writing contest, and that set her on her career path. She plans to become a journalist.

Danielle Demski
"I'll be studying broadcast journalism at Arizona State," she says, "and someday I would like to host a TV newsmagazine." Never one to waste any time in pursuing her goals, she has already completed an internship at a television station.

By her own reckoning, Ms. Demski doesn't have much pageant experience. But she has competed in one national pageant already, and won the USA National Teen Grand Talent Title in 1997. She did what she called a "jazzed-up lyrical dance."

Have we left out any of her accomplishments? Yes, plenty. But here's one we have to mention As a Girl Scout, she was top cookie seller for two years running.

Photo courtesy of Robert Black Agency, Ford Models

New England casual

When Jill Donahue won the Miss Massachusetts Teen USA crown last November, she didn't think of it as an early Christmas present. But that's what it turned out to be.

"My mother accidentally threw out most of our holiday ornaments," she recalls, and the family's Christmas tree was left bare. So Ms. Donahue decided to use the adornments she had at hand. She decorated the evergreen with a few lights, a crown and a banner. The photo of the tree is one of her favorite mementos of her reign.

Jill Donahue
Ms. Donahue, who has lived her whole life in Massachusetts, doesn't fit the old image of a stern and stodgy New Englander. She seems almost like a California girl, blond and laid-back, not afraid to be a little silly, very much at home in a swimsuit. Her attitude toward the future is refreshingly relaxed. "I want to do lots of things," she says, with a sunny laugh, "and I want to be the best I can be at everything I do."

She recently visited California and, not surprisingly, found it "a terrific state."

She wore her bikini on the beach at Malibu, dipped into a Jacuzzi at a Beverly Hills hotel and met a few celebrities, including actor Cuba Gooding Jr. But she isn't forgetting her roots. When she begins college at the end of August, it will be in Beverly, Mass., which is a long way from Beverly Hills.

One New England tradition that Ms. Donahue strongly upholds is commitment to public service.

She is heavily involved in public and private charities, including literacy programs and campaigns to give toys to poor children. She also recently volunteered her services as a pageant judge. The contestants were guys, so maybe that doesn't count as a real chore.

By the way, if she looks familiar, you've probably been watching MTV. "I'm in the video 'Baby,' by the group Spy," she says. "I'm dancing in a black dress."

Photo courtesy of Jill Donahue

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