Chances are you have seen the face of Jacey Johnson.
She was born right here in Barrington. She can often be found walking to her momâ€™s dance studio in town or stopping at Barrington hotspots like Cook Street Coffee for a smoothie. Sheâ€™s a lover of movies, often taking a seat at The Catlow for a show or two. She also participates in local organizations such as the Barrington High School Student Council and the Barrington Area United Way Youth Board.
But now, the world is about to know not only her face, but also her beautiful heart.
Recently named Miss Teen Illinois International 2018, Jacey is currently basking in her newfound title and looking back on her years in pageantry that have made her the person she is today.
â€śMy first pageant was in eighth grade, four years ago, and I was so excited to wear my ball gown,â€ť the Barrington High School junior tells us. â€śI
had never worn such a beautiful gown, and that was my favorite part.â€ť
When her name was called on that fateful day at the 2018 Illinois International Pageant at the Renaissance North Shore Hotel in Northbrook on November 12, Jacey admits that she was left breathless.
â€śBeing announced as Miss Teen Illinois International caused me to drop to the floor in happiness,â€ť she says. â€śI saw my year flash before my eyes with all the amazing things Iâ€™d be presented with. The reason I signed up for Illinois International Pageants is because I loved what the system stands for, and the prize package is phenomenal. When I won, I imagined all the amazing opportunities Iâ€™d be given throughout my year of reign; Iâ€™ve been able to do a lot of incredible things already!â€ť
Surprisingly for her age, finding a way to juggle everything comes easy to Jacey. â€śI take care of all my appointments, appearance availability, and extracurricular activities, so I have become very good at time management,â€ť she says. â€śAs a teenager, I still make time for going out with friends, spending time with my family, and taking the occasional break for a Netflix movie or a nap!â€ť
And while Jacey knows that the pageantry world often gets a bad wrap, she remains strong to her convictions that being involved in the organization has allowed her to fly higher than she ever would have envisioned.
â€śPageants havenâ€™t changed me, but enhanced me,â€ť she says. â€śSince my beginnings in pageantry, I have been able to expand my platform for inclusion, learn grace by walking in heels, and become an improved speaker through interviews and speeches. I love being on stage, and being in pageants allowed me another opportunity to put myself out in front of judges beyond dance. I went into pageantry seeking new friendships, connections, and skills, not a crown and sash.â€ť
This young woman has just begun. And yes, she has some big dreams.
After high school graduation, she hopes to continue her education at the University of Mississippi and study special education.
â€śI hope to make a difference in many peopleâ€™s lives,â€ť she says. â€śMy goal is to always impact at least one person each day. I try to make people feel loved, valued, and appreciated, and I hope I reach that goal every time I put my crown on and every day beyond the crown.â€ť
And for all those little girls now left to look up to her and see her face and experience her heart, Jacey hopes she leaves the ultimate impression.
â€ťSelf-love is a quality really important to me,â€ť she says. â€śWomen are changing the world, and I want every little girl to know how capable she is. I hope every girl looking up to me knows she is enough, she can do it, and she is able to make an impact on the world.â€ť
We have a feeling Jacey is about to do just that.