MPS student competing in National American Miss Wisconsin pageant

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools student Quantejia Champion is spending her 14th birthday on Friday traveling to Wisconsin Dells to compete in Wisconsin’s National American Miss competition.

The competition builds and rewards self-confidence and communications skills.

Quantejia said that she is, of course, nervous – but she has a simple goal: “I hope to win.”

Her grandmother, Dorothy Collier, said she hopes the contest will build Quantejia’s inner strength and reward her triumph over adversity. The now 14-year-old lost her mother three years ago. Collier said the girl’s late mother, Lea Champion, molded her into the young woman she is today.

Quantejia, who attends MPS’ Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning, a K-12 school, will compete with other girls in her age group to represent the state at the national pageant.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving 80,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000 and growing math standardized test scores representing 10-point growth in the last six years.