FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2018
Miss Nebraska Organization and titleholders honor Miss Chadron Kaelia Nelson
As the 15 Miss Nebraska contestants arrived at North Platte High School Tuesday for rehearsals, each wore a somber reminder that someone was missing from this year’s event.
Miss Chadron 2018 Kaelia Nelson took her own life in October, just a few months after being crowned. Kaelia, a 2017 contestant and state award winner, was well known and loved by many of this year’s contestants, as well as people throughout the country connected to the Miss Nebraska Organization. Click here to read more.
As both a Miss Nebraska and Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen titleholder, Kaelia dedicated her years of service to mental health awareness, dubbing her platform #StompingTheStigma.
“I live with anxiety, depression, bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),” Kaelia said in an interview in 2017. “People are afraid to step forward and admit to having a mental illness because society has made it such a taboo thing to the point where people are afraid to even talk about it.”
In the days and weeks following her death, thousands of people united and pledged to continue Kaelia’s mission for mental health awareness, as well as suicide prevention. The 2018 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Competition is dedicated to Kaelia, and the organization will present an inaugural Kaelia Nelson Memorial Spirit Award. Click here to read more. Kaelia, a gifted dancer, will also be honored with a special performance by the Dance Factory Friday night.
The Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program offers our thoughts and prayers to Kaelia Nelson’s family and all of those who loved her. She will always be part of our Miss Nebraska family and forever in our hearts.
The National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Always listening, never judging, confidential. Text CONNECT to 741741.