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JBLM teen seeks crown

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Kalie Wright does not let life's challenges stop her from pursuing her dreams.

"I believe I have to do more to be successful," the 15-year-old freshman at Clover Park High School said recently as she enjoyed a caramel macchiato at a local coffee shop. "I take the lessons learned to turn every challenge into a positive, a stepping stone."

Wright and her family - mother Janet Denyer, stepfather Staff Sgt. Clayton Denyer, and little brother Carson Denyer - came to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in February 2012. 

Assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade, Staff Sgt. Denyer is currently deployed to Afghanistan.

Kalie inspires her mother's pride.

"She has always been helpful, always willing to pitch in and help," Denyer explained. "JBLM is our first duty station, and Kalie has adapted very well to her new environment."

Denyer pointed out that Kalie struggles with dyslexia and dysnomia, both of which make learning and memory difficult.

"I want to continue to prove myself, to not let myself down, to not let anything stop me," Kalie said.

Soon after arriving at JBLM, Kalie became active in the Teen Youth Center and the programs it offers.  She said the center is an important outlet that has introduced her to positive teens, events and clubs.

Kalie works with her peers to raise awareness about breast cancer, child bullying and dyslexia.

Emboldened by her experiences at the center, in March of this year Kalie decided to interview for the Miss Teen Washington USA Pageant. The event is the preliminary to the Miss Teen USA Pageant.

Her interview was a success, and she has been invited to be a contestant in the Miss Washington Teen USA Pageant, which will be held in Seattle the third weekend of October.

Last year, the Washington State winner received more than $68,000 in cash, prizes, awards and scholarships.

Kalie's focus, however, is on the more immediate.

"I want to bring a positive light on military families," she said.  "I want to show that life may hand you changes, but you can grow more than you ever imagined by following your dreams no matter where life lands you."

Kalie still requires sponsors to participate in the upcoming pageant.  For those interested in learning more, email Denyer at

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