But when a pageant consultant approached her after she operated the microphone for a fashion show hosted at her high school, she decided to explore the world of pageantry.
Wyckoff, a 17-year-old rising senior at Walton High School, entered her first pageant, Little Miss Cobb County, in February 2012, and won the pageant in 2013.
“Kim Vaughn, who actually lives just down the street from me, said, ‘You are really great on stage and you should really consider doing pageants,” Wyckoff recalled. “She actually became my coach and helped me to prepare for the National American Miss Georgia Pageant and other pageants I’ve participated in.”
Wyckoff went on to become Miss Marietta in 2013, as well as Miss Georgia for the National American Miss Pageant, which she won in June.
Wyckoff said training for and participating in pageants has helped her perfect many valuable skills, such as public speaking, that she plans to use in the future.
“We do mock interviews, which is definitely very helpful because it helps you to practice talking to interviewers or going on a job interview, which are really great life skills to learn,” Wyckoff said.
Despite being ranked by judges during the pageants, Wyckoff said participating in the pageants has helped her gain self confidence.
“I know pageants have helped me come out of my box and being on stage, having to stand in front of an audience and perform a personal introduction or perform live, I think it’s good practice, and I know that I’ve always had it inside of me, and it has helped me blossom over this year. I would definitely recommend it for any girl,” Wyckoff said.
In addition to her pageant involvement, Wyckoff volunteers in the east Cobb community with a passion for working with children. She works with the children’s ministry at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, serves as president of Walton Community Outreach, and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. She also participated in a book drive for elementary school students through NAM, which only requested participants donate one book. Wyckoff donated 212.
“I guess I just love children’s innocence, and because they’re so little they still need someone to depend on and it’s nice for me to be a role model and mentor to them,” Wyckoff said.
Wyckoff and her mother are preparing to travel to Hollywood, Calif., this November for the National American Miss Pageant.
“I don’t ever get nervous, but I feel like right before I go on stage, I get really pumped up and I constantly tell myself it’s going to be so much fun,” Wyckoff said of competing. “It’s all about the fun. I don’t go to win; I go to have fun and make new friends and that’s kind of my self goal that I have that I always achieve.”
As Wyckoff prepares to graduate high school in 2014 and attend a college in Georgia to study acting and performing, she said she does not plan to continue participating in pageants after graduation.