Aria Warren: Miss Amazing

Aria Warren shares her experience winning the Miss Amazing pageant.

Vera Tanas, Copy Editor

The moment when the hard work and preparation that’s been done for an event pays off spectacularly is incredibly special. For Aria Warren ‘26, this moment came when she won the Iowa Miss Amazing pageant. 

Aria explained what the pageant is, saying “Miss Amazing is a pageant for people who have disabilities. It’s all about uplifting and empowering girls. It’s in all 50 states.”

Aria and Audra Warren, Aria’s sister and paraeducator, had known about the pageant for a few years, but with deadlines and the pandemic, Aria hadn’t had the chance to participate. This year, however, one of the cheer coaches let her know it had resumed again after the pandemic.

“Ever since then, Aria started working really, really hard. She was practicing everything, getting her outfits ready, and she put in a lot of work for it,” said Audra. 

The pageant includes three parts: a one-on-one interview with the judges, an on-stage introduction, and a passion presentation. Aria did a lot to prepare for the pageant. Her passion presentation included a compilation of cheer dances, and she danced to “So What” by P!nk. For the judge interview and stage introduction, Aria worked out her answers to their questions and her introduction on her communicator and saved them for the pageant. 

Aria’s favorite part of the pageant itself was performing her passion presentation, but the most memorable part of the experience came later.

“My favorite memory is when the judge who was announcing the queens said my name. I kept screaming out of joy. I was on cloud nine!” said Aria. 

Audra was overjoyed to see Aria succeed. “I was so nervous when they were about to announce her, and then when she [won], I just started screaming, and everyone backstage was staring at me, and Aria was screaming on stage,” said Audra.

Alex Michenfelder, a special education strategist and Aria’s case manager, had full faith that Aria was going to win.

 “I told her when she came back the next day, I told her that I wasn’t surprised at all because I had a really good feeling she was going to win. Just because I mean, she’s incredibly smart, very very sarcastic, and very honest,” said Michenfelder.

Aria’s supporters explained why seeing Aria win was fantastic, with Audra saying, “It was just really awesome seeing her so excited for something that she had put so much work into, and she’s being recognized for something that she did on her own and totally individually.”

For Michenfelder, the occasion for Aria to showcase her talents was important.

“I think unfortunately, she doesn’t always get some of the same opportunities, and for her to have an opportunity to show her talents was big for her,” said Michenfelder.

Aria described what it means to be Miss Amazing, saying, “I have to advocate for disabled people’s rights. So I plan on making clothing like sweatshirts, t-shirts etc. and selling them and donating that money to different charities.”

My favorite memory is when the judge who was announcing the queens said my name. I kept screaming out of joy. I was on cloud nine!

— Aria Warren

Audra explained how it was great to be in the pageant with all women and girls with disabilities because there was less confusion about how to interact with Aria. 

“These girls know, and they experience it. She had a buddy there for the day, and her buddy was just so amazing. It’s just such a good organization, and it’s really awesome that Aria has the opportunity to fundraise for them and do more work for them because she’s really passionate about that,” said Audra.

Aria’s official title is Iowa Miss Amazing Junior Teen 2023, and the next step is nationals, where she and other Miss Amazing Junior Teens will compete for the national title.