Natalie Jones, who wears the Miss Teen Long Beach 2017 crown, will compete alongside models from over 60 countries at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center from July 3 to July 7.
Every year, WCOPA sponsors local talent with five scholarships to individuals in the Long Beach community who have participated in charitable programs. The producer of Miss Teen Long Beach, Justin Rudd, recommended Jones for a scholarship because of her talent, as well as the hours spent volunteering with beach cleanups, food drives for the homeless and more through the Rudd’s Community Action Team (CAT).
“I am very excited about being a contestant at WCOPA because I like challenging myself to try new things, and I am excited to meet models from all over the world,” Jones said in a statement. “Also, I love modeling because it builds confidence. I started modeling at age five for local businesses, and just recently modeled at my school, Cal State University/Long Beach Campus Couture Fashion Show.”
As a child, Jones had speaking problems due to an abnormal growth of her jaw, ultimately leading to her undergoing surgery in an effort to correct her speech. Following the procedure, Jones’ speech-language pathologist worked with her to improve her confidence. Jones has since decided she wants to work with children who’ve had similar or worse struggles with communication, and is currently studying Pediatric Speech-Language Pathology at Cal State Long Beach, according to the release.
Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.
The Terrace Theater is located at 300 East Ocean Boulevard.