Peru State student, Kaelia Nelson, named Miss Chadron 2018

Peru State student, Kaelia Nelson, named Miss Chadron 2018

September 12, 2017, 11:00 p.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 620-363-2461

Chadron, Nebraska – Kaelia Nelson, a student at Peru State College, won the title of Miss Chadron 2018 at the Annual Miss Chadron and Outstanding Teen Pageant.  She will compete in the 2018 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program competition.

The Miss Nebraska Organization writes, “Kaelia Nelson . . . will represent the Chadron area at the 2018 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program competition, after winning a local title at the Miss Chadron Pageant Saturday night.”

Nelson writes, “I was blessed to win the Miss Chadron Outstanding Teen 2011 pageant -which was my very first pageant.  Now I feel honored to be back and able to represent Chadron once again in the Miss Division.”

She was “awarded $200 in cash scholarships, a photo session with Heidi Barnes Photography, and …. will compete to become Miss Nebraska 2018, the state’s official representative at the Miss America Organization pageant.”

According to the Miss Nebraska Organization Facebook Page, “Nelson plans to spend her year of service [as Miss  Chadron 2018] spreading awareness of mental illness. She will also advocate for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Nelson has already raised more than $2,500 for CMN Hospitals, including Omaha’s Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.”

Nelson is a junior studying Elementary Education, K-12 Special Education and Coaching.  She is also a member of the cheerleading squad.

Brooke Earnest, head cheerleading coach at Peru State writes, “Kaelia has a ladder of personal goals and dreams that she just keeps climbing—it is amazing to watch! She truly is a joy to be around; her passion and drive are simply contagious.”

“I absolutely love having Kaelia in our cheer program. She is someone you wish you could keep around forever.”

Nelson was also Miss Alliance 2017 and competed in the Miss Nebraska 2017 contest.  According to, in June she received the Children’s Miracle Maker Award and a $750 cash scholarship in honor of Emily Stadler.  The award is presented to the woman who raises the most funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Before the 2017 contest, she told the North Platte Telegraph, “I would absolutely love to win Miss Nebraska and get to represent this amazing state, but my main goal isn’t about the crown on my head. Instead, [I focus on] the message I have to share and the people I get to meet because of it. It’s what you set your mind and heart to that will count in the long run.”

Nelson is no stranger to state titles, having served as Homecoming Queen for the state of Nebraska in 2015.  She represented Nebraska in the America’s Homecoming Queen national contest in Memphis that year.

She told the Alliance Times-Herald, “A lot of girls, I feel like, do it for the crown, the sash and to have the title, to be a princess. But I guess the main purpose I have done it is not for the girlie aspects of it because I grew up with older brothers, I don’t like wearing a dress or doing my hair and make up, in fact that’s my least favor part of it. But I do the pageants to get recognition for my platform and for the scholarship money.”

Kaelia Nelson crowned Miss Chadron 2018 by Carsyn Long, Miss Nebraska Outstanding Teen. Photo by Kaelia Nelson, Miss Chadron 2018. Photo by Linda Teahon.

Kaelia Nelson crowned Miss Chadron 2018 by Carsyn Long, Miss Nebraska Outstanding Teen.  Photo by Linda Teahon.

Nelson writes, “I’ve been around pageants since I was born, attending every Miss Nebraska pageant thus far. This will be my second year actually competing at Miss Nebraska.”

The North Platte Telegraph continues, “Kaelia Nelson was born with a mother and grandmother deeply invested in the Miss Nebraska Organization, so it seems fate that 20 years later, the girl with the name that means fortune, health and spirituality will compete for that title.”

Nelson continues, “Last year was about taking it all in and getting experience – and now I’m ready to put all of that knowledge to work!  I’m ready to put the work in early and to change things, starting with my talent, switching from jazz to my favorite style, contemporary.”

Nelson told the Telegraph, “I have been dancing since I was three years old.  The feeling I get when I’m on stage dancing and hear the crowd cheering is something so amazing and thrilling for me.”

“Already this year I feel more prepared for the Miss Nebraska pageant in June,” Nelson concludes.

Kaelia Nelson is from Alliance, Nebraska.  Her parents are Mark and Shardel Nelson, also of Alliance.

Kaelia Nelson, Miss Chadron 2018. Photo by Linda Teahon.

Kaelia Nelson, Miss Chadron 2018. Photo by Linda Teahon.