Pittsburgh Gets Real

Scholarship pageant coming to Pittsburgh, giving girls opportunities for their futures

PITTSBURGH — The R.E.A.-D Scholarship Pageant isn’t just about winning a crown, it’s about gaining self-confidence and preparing young girls with the necessary skills for the future.

“I’m not really outgoing, so I learned a lot,” said Ronnilyn Brickhouse.

Thirteen-year-old Ronnilyn Brickhouse is a former participant in Virginia’s Miss R.E.A.-D Pageant. She was crowned queen earlier this year.

“I learned how to be confident on the stage, and after the pageant, I was like you know if I can do that, then I can go on stage and sing and do a bunch of stuff,” Brickhouse, said.

Since participating in the pageant Brickhouse joined the drama team and secured the lead role.

The R.E.A.-D Scholarship pageant gives young women a platform to show their talents and leadership skills. But it’s also about mentorship, empowerment, and self-confidence.

A confidence that Brickhouse said every girl her age deserves.

And now girls in Pittsburgh will have an opportunity to participate.

“I live in Hampton, Virginia, so I started the pageant there. But I always wanted to bring the pageant back,” said R.E.A.-D founder Diamond Gorman.

Gorman is a Pittsburgh native. She’s now bringing the program for young girls ages 6 to 15 back to her hometown.

“I participated in “Miss Black Teenage” between the years of 2006 through 2009, and my experience was great.”

Gorman said she still uses many of the skills she learned during her pageant days and that’s what motivated her to offer the REA-D Academy and Pageant.

Classes for Pittsburgh’s program will begin this summer

“[It] starts June 26, classes are Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it will be for six weeks,” explained Gorman.

The crowning ceremony is on August 18 following the pageant. And though there are only two titles, “Little Miss. R.E.A.-D” and “Miss. R.E.A.-D”, Brickhouse said everyone walks away a winner.

“You’ll leave with so much confidence,” she said.

Registration for contestants is open until June 17, 2024. Classes are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8-4, with 9 classes and a trip on August 7-9. The program fee is $200.00. For more information and to register, click here or contact 412-287-6816.

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