Recent Long Beach Poly graduate Kaysee French received a major honor when she was named the National American Miss California Teen in July. The 2023 Jackrabbit grad was one of the stars of the school’s big musical production of “Chicago” last year and has aspirations of becoming an actress.

“It’s so exciting, I’m looking forward to the opportunities to go out and serve as Miss California,” said French. “I get to do a lot of volunteering as part of this and that’s the part I enjoy the most.”

French has been competing in pageants since she was 4 years old but recently took a two-year hiatus. Coming back was exciting and helped her appreciate the process again, she said. The National American Miss pageant was a three-day weekend event that included formal wear, community service, and an interview with judges, as well as a personal introduction speech.

“You never know in pageants, I felt like I was doing my best, but it’s always a shock to win,” she said. “You feel good about what you’re doing but when the results come in it’s still always surprising.”

French said that the charity she’s most excited about working with is called Miss Amazing, a pageant geared towards kids with special needs.

“I grew up in pageants and I’ve been volunteering with this organization for a long time,” she said. “These things aren’t always accessible for all girls, and I want to make sure that they can share these experiences.”