POCATELLO — Katelyn Strobel said the scholarship money is nice, but the best part of competing and earning the title of Miss Pocatello was the friendships she made during the pageant, she said.

 “I was really scared,” Strobel said. “And I know it sounds cheesy and everybody probably says it, but I feel like I left there Saturday with 12 new best friends.”

Strobel of Idaho Falls, said young women can compete in any open pageant as long as they are residents of the Gem state.

A freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Strobel is the daughter of John and Jan Strobel of Idaho Falls — she has eight siblings and said the scholarship money will help her and her family immensely.

Katelyn’s entire family turned out to support her Saturday at the pageant which was held at the former Mystique Theater in Chubbuck.

    “When they called my name, I looked out and I could see my mom crying,” Katelyn said. “That was great.”

    Katelyn, 19, also competed in the Distinguished Young Women pageants and said scholarship money earned from those event has paid for her education so far. She was not sure how much money she’ll earn as Miss Pocatello.

    Her platform focused on matching disadvantage students with mentors that help them to prepare for educational opportunities.

Katelyn developed a networking site that links individuals to mentors in their communities. The user has access to resumes of several mentors that can give them ideas for service projects and scholarships.

    “The first step to achieving success is giving someone the ability to quantify it. That is what my platform attempts to do,” Katelyn wrote in a statement outlining her ambitious goal.

    Katelyn’s title was passed down from Sierra Sanderson, the current Miss Pocatello — Katelyn will compete for the title of Miss Idaho during the state pageant in July.

    For the talent portion of the competition, she performed White Water Chopsticks on piano.

    “It starts out like the traditional Chopsticks, then it explodes into this outrageous piece of music,” Katelyn said.

    She has been playing piano since she was seven.

    Katelyn said the hardest part of the competition was giving up chocolate so she could get into the perfect swimsuit.

    “That’s the first thing I ate when the pageant was over,” Katelyn joked.

    Kalie Wright of Kimberly was named Miss Gate City during Saturday’s pageant as well.

    Wright, 20, is the daughter of Brett and Shelly Wright — she has two younger siblings.

    A singer — song writer, Kalie also won the talent portion of the competition with her rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    “I’ve been playing piano by ear since I was about eight, I also play guitar,” Kalie said. “I’m a musician, I write music too.”

    Kalie earned a liberal arts degree at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and she plans to study marketing at her parent’s alma mater, Boise State.

    Also a DYW participants, Kalie’s platform is reinforced by a website she created salute those who dedicate their lives to protect citizens and using that inspiration to serve others.

    W.O.R.T.H. encourages young women to have willpower, open their mind, realize their value and have goals.  

    “As a spokesperson for this program, I have been able to reach all ages with the message of service,” Kalie said. “A big accomplishment was meeting the youngest living medal of honor recipient, Dakota Meyer. It has been an honor to share his story of service, leadership, and selflessness.”

    Kalie earned about $400 in scholarship money and the chance to compete for the state title in July and she said it’s an opportunity to take her platform statewide.

    “That’s the best part, everything I get to do because of the title,” Kalie said. “I will be speaking at schools statewide and it’s a chance to meet community leaders across the state”

    For more information about W.O.R.T.H., go to kaliewright.org.