“I know my interview skills have definitely increased,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot more confidence on stage. I am not as nervous in front of people — that has really changed in the past year.”
At the state pageant, 10 percent of each contestant’s final score is bringing school supplies, and whoever is crowned queen gets to decide how to distribute them. In her official capacity, Lange visited Central Elementary in May to donate materials to the school she had attended as a child.
Lange does not need to have a platform for this particular pageant, she said, but when she gets the opportunity she mentions her interest in nutrition to the judges. Growing up with a mother who was a doctor and a grandmother who was a nurse, Lange said, she learned a lot about eating healthy.
“We always think about healthy stuff in our house and I try to eat as healthy as possible,” Lange said.
In April, Lange attended the Iowa Youth Institute of the World Food Prize in Ames with Susan McDanel, who teaches U.S. history and government at CHS. For her project, she studied nutrition issues in Chile and learned that the rates of obesity and diabetes have risen quickly as Chileans adopt a diet similar to Americans’ diet.
In October, Lange will take her research to the World Food Prize’s Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium in Des Moines. She said she is excited because this conference attracts leaders in food security from around the globe.
“We have so many organizations that are focusing on [nutrition] here in the United States, but not a lot are promoting it in Chile, and that’s why I wanted to focus on that,” she said.
Lange also participates in the LEAP Academy, which stands for Leadership, Empowerment, Achievement, Progress, through Indian Hills Community College. The program, which involved three high school juniors from each of the school districts in IHCC’s region, started this past year and is geared toward preparing high school students to be future leaders in their home communities.