15-Year-Old to Hit the Runway Today as Pageant Semifinalist

Article excerpt

Byline: Adeline Dobbins

Like most of us, 15-year-old Amber Samuelson of Bloomingdale enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.

Unlike most of us, she has to fit into a swimsuit and evening gown this weekend.

Samuelson, daughter of Rita and Alan Samuelson, is competing as a semifinalist in the 1999 Miss Illinois Teen USA pageant, which begins today in Schaumburg.

A sophomore at Lake Park High School, Samuelson will compete with about 50 young women chosen from hundreds of applicants throughout the state.

Her invitation to participate in the pageant was based on her credentials, biography, evaluation of photos and a personal interview.

Samuelson is on the dean's list at Lake Park and is taking honors courses. She is a member of the student council, sophomore class council and French club. She also plays on the Lancers' basketball team and is a leader for the school's Operation Snowflake program.

She said she enjoys singing, acting, writing and dancing and is an avid pageant fan.

"I've always watched pageants on TV," she said. "When I read about this one in some magazines and got an entry form, I talked to my parents. When they checked it out and said it was OK, I decided to enter."

One of the conditions stipulated by her parents was that she secure her own sponsorship.

"Getting sponsors took a lot of planning and kept me busy on weekends," she said.

Her Bloomingdale business sponsors include Active Auto Sales; Alltemp Fireplaces; Hats-N-Hides; Lake Street Cafe; Pickle Piano Co.; and Signs by Tomorrow.

Her other sponsors are Dr. Richard L. Lang, an Elmhurst dentist, and Dr. …