Miss Oklahoma 2013, Kelsey Griswold, will be in Altus next week for the Miss Altus Pageant to be held on Saturday, Feb. 8. While here, she will be visiting local schools to visit with students, as well as participating in events leading up to the pageant on Saturday. She will visit Rivers, Sunset and Roosevelt Elementary Schools on Wednesday, Navajo Schools on Thursday, as well as Will Rogers and Washington Elemetary, and will visit Blair Schools on Friday.
Kelsey is a senior at Oklahoma City University majoring in Acting. She has performed in numerous productions including professional co-productions with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. She is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and has held leadership positions within the house. She is a graduate of Union High School in Tulsa.
Kelsey has been performing since the age of five beginning with Theatre Arts in Broken Arrow where she learned to sing, dance, and entertain. She has won several awards, but none more life changing than at the age of 8 winning the Oscar Mayer Weiner Jingle Jam Contest when she appeared on the Rosie O’Donnell Show and was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. Kelsey has had the chance to perform all over the world including London, England, while she was studying abroad at Kingston University.
Kelsey began her journey with the Miss Oklahoma Organization when she was eligible to compete for Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen at age thirteen. She competed in the Teen program for several years, placing in the top 5, and becoming first runner-up to Alicia Clifton in 2008. Miss Bricktown was the first and only local title Kelsey held while competing for the title of Miss Oklahoma. In addition to winning the title of Miss Oklahoma 2013, Kelsey was awarded the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, was a Preliminary Swimsuit Winner, a Rookie Talent Winner, and tied for an Overall Preliminary Talent Award. She was also the Rookie Interview Winner, and Rookie of the Year. During Miss America, in September, Kelsey won a Preliminary Swimsuit Award and also placed 2nd Runner-up to Miss America 2014.
Kelsey has experienced adversity in life that not many young women face at an early age. Her mother passed away when Kelsey was 15 years old and from that was born not only a heart for the family that is the Miss Oklahoma Organization, but also to give back to a community that had embraced her in an incredibly tough time in her life. Her platform, A.R.T.: Artists Reaching Together, is a mentorship program that gives children with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop creatively through the arts, improving their self esteem and quality of life. Her plan as Miss Oklahoma is to educate people about the need for artistic development in children with disabilities, while also promoting the production of these programs throughout the state.
Kelsey has been incredibly involved in her community including church and school functions. She was selected as a speaker for the Methodist State Conference held in Oklahoma City, and was chosen as the student speaker for the Incoming Student Matriculation Ceremony. She not only enjoys theatre, including playing roles such as Julius Caesar in the all-female production of Julius Caesar, but she also prides herself on being a leader within her university.
Kelsey is the daughter of General Edward Wheeler and the late Alinda Griswold of Tulsa.
Tickets for the Feb. 8 Miss Altus Pageant, to start at 8 p.m. at the Altus City Auditorium, can be reserved by calling Carol Steen at 482-0145.