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Déja Fitzwater, 14, passionate about converting STEM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to STEAM, including art

On June 28, 2014, 9-year-old Déja Fitzwater watched onstage as her name was drawn out of a hat, and she was named Oregon's Princess 2014. She then accompanied Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen 2014 to the national pageant in Orlando, Florida.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Deja Fitzwater, 14, hopes to turn her Miss Meadowlark's Outstanding Teen title into a state title in the upcoming Miss Oregon and Miss Oregons Outstanding Teen Pageant in Seaside on June 29. Fast forward to the present, and Fitzwater, now 14, recently was named Miss Meadowlark's Outstanding Teen and will vie for the title of Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen in Seaside on June 29.

Fitzwater is a Clackamas County resident who will be a freshman next year at Tigard High School, where her interests include theater, art, creative writing, tennis and volleyball.

Her ultimate goal is to receive a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Oxford University.

At the upcoming Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen pageant, Fitzwater will compete in lifestyle and fitness, talent, evening gown, interview and scholastic achievement.

All contestants must pick a platform that showcases an issue they're passionate about, and Fitzwater's is "Advocating for STEM to STEAM." (STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.)

"I chose this platform because I think that the arts should be incorporated into STEM permanently, due to the fact that multiple aspects of STEM involve art," she said.

"Some schools have already started to make STEAM an option for their students to participate in. My goal is for the entire community to know about STEAM, how it benefits students and how it should be available to everyone."

For her talent presentation, Fitzwater will sing "Colors of the Wind" from "Pocahontas."

At the pageant, Fitzwater said she hopes to sharpen her people skills, interact with others and make new friends.

She wants to be Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen because she loves the state, feels she would be a good representative for all teens and would have the opportunity to promote her platform.

"Throughout the year, and also as I travel for events across Oregon, I will discuss the importance that the arts have in our lives and will champion the movement #fullSTEAMahead," she said.

The finals of both the Miss Oregon and Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen pageants will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Seaside Convention Center, 415 First Ave. For more details, visit missoregon.org.


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