News Flash

Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Posted on: September 19, 2023

Park Forest board members recognize 10-year-old pageant winner

board and kiara nf size

Village board members Monday night recognized a ten-year-old Park Forest girl who let no obstacle stop her from becoming a beauty pageant winner. 

Kiera Armstrong, who's in the fifth grade, has been a pageant participant each year since 2021. But it was not until this year that she finally walked away as the American Elegance Princess Pageant's big winner. 

Her mom, Jocelyn Armstrong, explained that Kiera, who is autistic and partially non-verbal, had to overcome challenges to participate in a pageant and finally learn the ropes. 

"The first year, we didn't know what to expect," Jocelyn said. "It was hard for her to understand what she was supposed to do fully. She ran on stage. I think she jumped off at one point. Needless to say, she didn't place that year, but she received many consolation gifts for participating."

Jocelyn said she was very nervous for her daughter due to her disability. She was concerned about how the other girls in the pageant would treat her. But she was grateful they were understanding and inclusive and assisted Kiera. 

Jocelyn said those experiences helped her prepare Kiera for the pageant; last year, she placed fourth runner-up. 

"This year, we tried again, and Kiera was crowned first place in her division, which was her age group," Jocelyn said. "She's the 2023-24 American Elegance Junior Miss Princess." 

Jocelyn said Kiera was up against nine other girls at this year's American Elegance Pagent at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Burr Ridge, Illinois. She was crowned Junior Miss Princess last month on Aug 12.

Jocelyn said with Kiera being partially nonverbal, she couldn't express completely how this experience impacted her.

"As her mom, I witnessed the challenges she encountered trying to understand her cues as to where she would be on stage, making sure she acknowledged the judges. It was hard at times, but Kiera never gave up," Jocelyn said. "Once she figured it out, that was it. I didn't need to practice repetition with her. I believed she understood what to do, and I didn't want to overwhelm her."

Jocelyn said when Kiera got on stage this year, she knew what to do and wowed the crowd. She ultimately won first place, and everyone cheered. 

As part of her reign, Kiera and her mother hope to spread awareness about people with disabilities. Additionally, they want to learn more about how different organizations and programs within the Village inclusivity and safety for individuals with disabilities.

At Monday night's Board meeting, Kiera walked to the podium and recited the Lord's Prayer. Additionally, she took pictures with the Board. Mayor Joseph Woods and several trustees congratulated Kiera and said her story is one all Park Foresters can appreciate.

"I just wanted to say congratulations Kiera," Trustee Tiffani Graham said. "You are so beautiful. And don't you ever let somebody tilt your tiara." 

Trustee Maya Hardy added, "We are so very proud of you."

Jocelyn said having Village board members honor Kiera by acknowledging her at the board meeting and taking pictures with her meant everything to their family. 

"We're so grateful that our hometown, Park Forest, celebrated Kiera and made her feel special," Jocelyn said. "Trust me, Kiera was very appreciative."

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Safe halloween 2023 nf size

Safe Halloween 2023 recapped

Posted on: October 30, 2023
Youth Day  2016 news flash size

Village hosts several events in October

Posted on: September 26, 2023
GSU Job Fair Pic nf size

Village hosts Job Fair on May 27

Posted on: May 23, 2023
Village Hall

April 4, 2023 election results

Posted on: April 4, 2023
Electric Aggregation

Illinois Solar for All program rolls out

Posted on: February 8, 2023

Candidate forums begin Jan. 29

Posted on: January 20, 2023
Sustainability NF Size

Join the Environment Commission

Posted on: December 19, 2022
lights NF size

Holiday Light & Tree Recyling

Posted on: November 12, 2022
Yard waste NF size

Last day for yard waste pick-up, Nov. 30

Posted on: November 10, 2022
Street Sweeping image NF size

Final street sweeping Monday, Nov. 14

Posted on: November 8, 2022
nicor gas news flash image

Nicor natural gas meter relocation program

Posted on: September 27, 2022
Village Hall

Early voting hours and locations

Posted on: October 12, 2022
BC Awarness image news flash size

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on: October 4, 2022
Halloween in Park Forest 2020

Safe Halloween, Oct. 29

Posted on: October 12, 2022
blood drive Oct 2022 flyer news flash size

Blood drive, Oct. 20

Posted on: September 30, 2022
Engine 56 and A shift members news flash size

Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15

Posted on: October 6, 2022
Child Composting News flash size

Compost food waste with Urban Canopy

Posted on: September 15, 2022
Farmers Market

Main Street Market continues

Posted on: August 12, 2022
Police logo New flash size

Kia and Hyundai thefts

Posted on: September 9, 2022
Hydrant Flushing

Hydrant flushing, Sept. 6 - 23

Posted on: September 3, 2022

Village-wide Garage Sale, Sept. 24 - 25

Posted on: August 24, 2022
Solar at the Water plant News flash size

Solar project unveiling, Sept. 19

Posted on: September 7, 2022
September 2022 Business Breakfast Flyer PNG

Quarterly Business Breakfast, Sept. 15

Posted on: August 16, 2022

Senior resource book launching, Sept. 1

Posted on: August 30, 2022
Paint n Sip sm news flash size

Main Street Fest, Paint n' Sip, Aug. 20

Posted on: August 10, 2022
Electric Aggregation

Grow Solar Power Hour event, Aug. 17

Posted on: August 8, 2022
Youth Day  2016 news flash size

Unity Day canceled

Posted on: August 2, 2022
2022 RecycleFest Flyer

Volunteers Needed for RecycleFest!

Posted on: June 6, 2022
Halloween in Park Forest 2020

Park Forest celebrates Halloween

Posted on: October 21, 2021

Park Forest remembers Edwin J. Fizer

Posted on: October 28, 2020
Village Hall

Will County early voting locations

Posted on: October 7, 2020
Village Hall

Curfew ends in Park Forest

Posted on: June 2, 2020
street sweeping

Street sweeping begins Nov. 18

Posted on: November 15, 2019

Park Forest remembers Steve Campbell

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Park Forest remembers Harold Brown

Posted on: November 5, 2019
Resident Appreciation Month

November is Resident Appreciation Month

Posted on: November 1, 2019
Village Hall

April 2, 2019 election results

Posted on: April 2, 2019