Boise native Kate Pekuri stepped out into the public eye to find more ways to serve her community, including being a role model for others.
With no pageant competition experience, the Capital High senior entered the Miss Idaho Teen USA competition in September and won. The title has given her more exposure and chances to volunteer and serve.
“I wanted to try something new and different,” Pekuri said. “I never saw myself being a pageant girl. My education prepared me to win the crown — having the knowledge behind me that I needed to excel in the competition.”
Pekuri plans to be a positive role model as she prepares to represent Idaho in the Miss Teen USA competition.
“I volunteer to give back to the community that has given so much to me,” Pekuri said. “Boise has provided me with numerous opportunities throughout my life.”
Judges selected her based on character, poise, confidence and personality.
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve never met a student with such a positive attitude,” Carla Zumwalt, Pekuri’s former AP English teacher said. “Kate carries the class and I think she has so much kindness because of her brother.”
Pekuri’s brother, Grant, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of seven. His needs and life challenges prompted Pekuri to volunteer at Camp Rainbow Gold — an organization for kids who have cancer.
“Camp rainbow gold has definitely taught me to celebrate life and the importance of having fun.” Pekuri said.
Pekuri owns a 3.9 grade-point average, including Advanced Placement classes. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is a three-year member of the varsity cheerleading team. She plans to apply to the University of Utah and the University of Idaho to study media.
“My education is very important to me and I love being involved on campus,” Pekuri said. “I can’t wait for what the future holds.”
Since winning the crown, Pekuri participated in the University of Idaho homecoming parade and made plans to volunteer and train for her second pageant (Miss Teen USA).
“I have a new sense of confidence,” Pekuri said.
Pekuri’s economics teacher and cheer advisor, Tara Niederer, describes Pekuri as one of the best students you can ask for.
“Kate comes to class and understands the lessons and is always the first one done,” Niederer said. “For someone who is so beautiful, talented and smart — she doesn’t rub people the wrong way.”
Pekuri plans to use her new-found fame to improve her community.
“It’s a passion of mine to give back,” Pekuri said.