A Cleveland native, Devon is the daughter of Joe and Cheri Vaughn. She has an older brother, Cameron, 19. The Cleveland High School student said she wasn’t sure about being a contestant in Junior Miss.
“I wasn’t used to it,” she said.
She was already enjoying varied interests. Soccer was her big thing — she is co-captain of the CHS Girl’s soccer team — she ran track and she has studied piano for almost 10 years.
The Raider Scholar has a 4.0 GPA , is a graduate of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class and was the 2010 delegate to the American Legion Girl’s State. She has been chosen as a presentee to Teen Board of Knoxville. She participates in the FCA Leadership Team, Anchor Club, Interact Club and the National Honor Society. Also, she was a part of the Miss Life Care project.
At First Baptist Church, she is a member of the Student Senate and is involved in mission work. She has been to Philadelphia, New York and Costa Rico with mission teams. “I love my church, “ she said. “And I love Cleveland.”
From a young age, Devon had grown up watching the Junior Miss Program and, like many girls, thought it would fun to be a part of it. But not until she was in high school and met others who had participated in the program, did she seriously consider entering.
But friends and family encouraged her in the venture. Devon said she knew it would be “a lot of fun and I would meet new people.” The fact that it would be a really great experience attracted the 17-year-old. Her mother and father, along with her brother, were supportive of her decision. She said her parents “have been incredible — I honor my parents.” She called them her support lifeline. She said they have provided her with so many opportunities. And her mother is her special confidante and encourager. “I can’t go an hour without talking to mother,” she confided.
Devon said she is glad she became involved in Junior Miss. “I learned better people skills and interview skills,” she said. Her expectations, she continued, turned into amazing opportunities — such as getting to meet girls from other schools. The Junior Miss theme, “Be Your Best Self,” she explained, focuses on branching out and utilizing your abilities and talents.
Since her selection as Cleveland Junior Miss 2011, Devon has been invited to speak at several clubs, such as Pilot, Rotary and the Kiwanis. “I’ve even made “Linus’ fleece blankets for older children,” she said.
Her career goal is in nursing and she is looking at Samford University and the University of Alabama, both of which have good nursing programs.
In her immediate future are a round of activities prior to the Junior Miss Program at Lee University. She is one of 22 in the Tennessee Junior Miss Program. “Isn’t She Beautiful” with Hits by Stevie Wonder is the theme for the event.
After a sendoff with a pool party, the coming week will be filled with packing and practicing. The girls will work out their routines at the Dixon Center and at Mountain Laurel Studios with Heidi Longwith. Devon will stay with a host family in Ooltewah, sharing the home with another Junior Miss contestant. Best wishes can be sent to her in care of the Dixon Center in Cleveland.
To other girls who have the opportunity to be a part of Junior Miss, she advises to get involved. “I have no regrets having had this experience,” Devon concluded.