VERMILION PARISH, La. (KLFY) — In the pageant industry, you often hear about the pressure to appear perfect. But for one Vermilion Parish teen, she’s using her pageant platform to help break the stigma.

Kelsey Miller, 17, was recently crowned 2022 Miss Louisiana High School America.

“I was so surprised that I was the winner,” said Miller. “I did not expect it at all.”

The pageant life is full of glitz and glam, but for Miller, the platform has a purpose.

“Two weeks before the pageant I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go in the interview and tell the judges why I want to win,'” said Miller. “Then I said, ‘It’s not about me anymore. It’s about serving others and advocating for others who do not have a voice.'”

Miller said few people know she is biracial. She’s been bullied and talked about because of her race.

“When I’m in a room with white or black people, they all make ignorant phrases towards both sides,” said Miller.

 When in challenging situations, she positions her crown and sash and rises to the occasion.

Miller says she has a choice. “You either educate them on their ignorance, or you remain silent.”

She uses her platform, “B.R.A.V.E.,” which stands for Building Respect And Values for Everyone to help those watching to remain confident in themselves, no matter what.

That includes her five-year-old little sister, Abbigiel, who is also biracial.

“She does always say she wants hair like me, but I have to encourage her and say, ‘Abby, you are beautiful, you are one of a kind.'”