Kennewick woman had a love for pageants early in life. She’s now living her dream

Miss Tri-Cities Reagan Rebstock

Miss Tri-Cities Reagan Rebstock offers these words of gratitude to the community as she prepares for the Miss Washington competition.
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Miss Tri-Cities Reagan Rebstock offers these words of gratitude to the community as she prepares for the Miss Washington competition.

The Miss America competition won Reagan Rebstock over when she was still in elementary school.

The fourth-grader watched with her twin sister and grandparents in Las Vegas as dozens of young women competed in the weeklong event.

“We just loved it so much,” she said. “We loved being there and having that experience. Not only watching Miss America, but sharing that with our grandparents.”

Now Rebstock will get a shot to earn a spot among the same type of women she idolized when she was younger. The 2018 Miss Tri-Cities is competing to be named Miss Washington next weekend.

Rebstock has embarked on a week full of events that culminate in Saturday’s final competition. The 20-year-old Kennewick native is excited to be heading to Western Washington.

“I’m excited to be with all of the other girls. Everyone is so kind and so uplifting, really,” she said. “It is a competition, but it’s also fun to be in a place where everyone is trying to build each other up.”

A family tradition

The Miss Tri-Cities competition is in Rebstock’s blood. Her mother and grandmother worked on choreography for the program for years. Her mom competed for the title years before.

After her first visit to the Miss America competition, she went three more times.

At the time, it seemed like a distant dream that she would even wear the Miss Tri-Cities crown, but she did compete in Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen and earned the title in 2013. The following year, she crowned her twin sister.

“It is hard to believe sometimes that I am Miss Tri-Cities, because I had always dreamed about being in this role but never actually thought that I could be as amazing or capture the title just like those other women have,” she said.

She believes the program has a lot to offer. Beyond providing her scholarships, it has given her the poise and confidence to succeed.

For much of the past year, she has spent time trying to get grade school children to be more accepting of children with disabilities. She was inspired by a friend who created what she calls “Reagan’s Challenge.”

The four parts of the program ask grade school students to open the door for a person in need, smile and wave when they see someone different, give a high five to encourage someone and include someone new at lunch, recess or during library time.

“I talked with over 2,200 students and I still feel like I could do more. With only four weeks left, I’m going to try and jam it in there,” she said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.