Miss Whitefish Teen looks to put purpose behind pageantry

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Dani Mayeaux is Miss Whitefish Teen USA and in September will be competing for the title of Miss Montana Teen USA. She spends much of her time with her horse Daire. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

Dani Mayeaux says one day she may just run for President of the United States.

She smiles and laughs when she says it adding that it’s a running joke. But you also never know.

A sophomore at Whitefish High School, Mayeaux is a few years away from meeting the age requirements for leading the country. So for now she’s focused on aspirations that are closer to her grasp.

Mayeaux is serving as Miss Whitefish Teen USA 2018 and this month will be competing for the title of Miss Montana Teen USA. This is her first foray into pageant competition, but she sees it as a way to spread her message.

“I want to work with other teens providing awareness about bullying and teen suicide,” she says. “Winning Miss Montana Teen will give me the ability to take my platform around Montana.”

Mayeaux recently participated in Run with Angel, a 5K organized by family friends who lost someone to suicide. She says the event is meant to honor their loved ones who committed suicide and bring awareness to the issue.

“I feel like mental health issues are not talked about enough,” she said. “If we could talk about them then we could have a chance to lower suicide rates. It’s an issue people need to pay attention to.”

She’s thinking beyond the Big Sky state too, to a potential eventual run for Miss Teen USA.

“If I win I could show how amazing Montana is,” she said. “That we’re really just a big giant community.”

Mayeaux has participated in policy debate on the high school speech and debate team and in pole vaulting on the track team. This summer she attended the Rotary Young Leaders of Awards leadership camp.

She been riding horses since she was very young and four years ago got her own horse, Daire. She spends much of her time after school at the barn working with her horse, and competes in hunter and jumper.

“I was interested in doing eventing once I got my own horse,” she says. “But Daire was horrible at cross country, so we had to change directions and now we prefer hunter and jumper.”

This summer she gave back working with Pony Up, a nonprofit horse camp for children, sharing her love of horses with youngsters.

“I liked working with kids trying to learn about horses,” she said. “I learned from the experience to have more patience. I got to work in the barn and meet a lot of kids that were total characters. It was a cool experience.”

Mayeaux is available for appearances as Miss Whitefish Teen USA 2018, and can be contacted at 406-890-4558.

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