Talk with Baylee Martin, and you may find yourself in awe of this enthusiastic young lady. You’ll find a teenager bubbling with personality, yet someone who carries the maturity of a well-refined young lady.
Martin, a 17-year-old junior at South Webster High School, recently earned the title of the 2018 Miss Columbus Teen at Capital University in Columbus. She received $1,150 in cash scholarships, a gift certificate for entry into the 2018 Ohio Cinderella State pageant to be held in May and a $200 Vera Bradley gift certificate.
Martin is the daughter of Teresa and Cale Maybine, and Buck and Sarah Martin. She has a younger brother, Jonah, two stepsisters and a stepbrother.
The Miss Columbus Teen competition included 10 talented young ladies, ages 13-18 from across the state. The competition required the girls to compete in private interviews, present a performing arts talent and model evening gowns and casualwear outfits. Martin presented a vocal rendition of “Shy,” from the Broadway musical “Once Upon A Mattress.”
Martin also received the Young Woman of Excellence Award, which is particularly special since it is only given to the young woman who best exemplifies all that is good about pageantry, including cheerfulness, courtesy, kindness, helpfulness and sensitivity to all those around her, as well as being a role model to her peers. The award is voted upon by members of the Miss Columbus Teen staff after they have spent the entire day with the contestants. She was also named the Patrick O’Neil interview award winner and the evening gown winner.
Martin was especially excited to be crowned by last year’s winner, Kylan Darnell from Franklin Furnace. This marks the third time a girl from Scioto County was crowned the winner. The other winner was Cecili Weber, who is currently Miss Virginia America and was a finalist in the Miss America Pageant last fall. “It was super fulfilling, especially since Cecili Weber had also carried this title,” Martin exclaims. “Wow! How cool is that, to carry a title with someone that is that cool and amazing!”
Martin will make appearances across the state in parades and charity fundraisers for many organizations, such as Wounded Warriors, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and several other notable organizations.
“I had no experience, unless you count when I was 13, I did pageants for a while,” Martin confesses. She says she didn’t know what it was all about until now, and it was not like just wearing a pretty dress.
“It’s about the STEM girls, the girls who go above and beyond expectations, those who go up on the stage and leave everything there, but to make a difference,” Martin says.
“It’s those girls who are in Science and Technology, those fields that are more dominated by men. They go above and beyond what girls usually choose to be the basic of what you think of, when you are a woman choosing a career.”
She also speaks of the women who fight against adversity. “You go and make a name for yourself. I have great respect for those women and the girls who speak out and make the change, even though as teenage girls we might be disregarded by our age or our gender. I admire anyone who has the courage to speak up about anything, whether you’re a man, you’re a woman or you have a different religion or race. I feel like everybody deserves to feel safe, to feel needed, to feel a part of something. This is what is so great about pageants. They don’t just celebrate the things you would think everyday, like, ‘she’s really pretty,’ …. it’s the girls who go and are really educated and really different and really care about people. People don’t expect that a lot out of pageant girls, until you meet one and you are like, ‘wow, you’re a real human being’.”
Martin says winning the $1,000 scholarship was amazing. “To win this early — I’m just a junior — to win a scholarship for something, so I was absolutely thrilled. I also won the spirit award (Young Women of Excellence).” As an awarsd voted on by the staff, she believes it says the recipient “has a great attitude, is a hard worker and has great confidence, and that’s the girl the pageant wants on and off the stage. That’s the girl that represents herself and her pageant the best. I never expected that, I was really touched.”
She is also excited that she has been chosen Miss South Webster for River Days this year.
“I am so thrilled and ecstatic and excited, I can’t even explain the emotions that are like running through my body. It’s River Days, River Days is us. It’s the time when I’m proud to be a part of Scioto County,” Martin says.
She emphasizes that it’s good to be from around here. “We all care about each other, we all stick together. We have great culture, great people who care, great people who are willing to pitch in and put together this huge festival.”
She says her aunt, Lynn Patrick from New Boston, was a Miss River Days, and she really loved that. She jokes about being Miss Teen River Days herself and how she was the smallest one and probably looked like she should have been in the lower age group.
After she graduates from high school, she says she will attend college, because her mom (Dr. Teresa Martin) has instilled in her the value of hard work. “Mom attended UK (the University of Kentucky), and I may go there or not, I’m very proud of my mom. I want to travel, whether it be in my work or outside of my work. Right now, I’m thinking of a traveling journalist. I love talking to people one on one. Maybe a therapist, a journalist in the army or a pilot? I want every day to be something new. She tells her father, Buck, “take me somewhere I’ve never been, and to do something I’ve never done.”
South Webster is fortunate to have such a fine example of a young woman representing its community, not only locally, but in all the areas she will visit as a queen, then contestant and then as a young adult.
Few would argue that Martin seems to have it all — the personality, the character, the spunk, a compassionate nature and an overall love for humanity, qualities she can carry with her through her future endeavor as she aspires to be a wonderful representative for all young women.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928