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Oklahoma 17-Year-Old Picked 35th Miss Teenage America

March 29, 1996 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A 17-year-old Oklahoma girl who volunteers as a clown and seems to have a humble streak was picked Thursday as the 1996 Miss Teenage America.

``All of the other girls have such great achievements. One has her own television show, one has written a book, and I am just a clown,″ said Katie Beam, who entertains children and the elderly.

More than 10,000 entries were received by ’Teen magazine, which conducts the national Miss Teenage America program. Contestants had to pass through three levels of competition, including essay writing and telephone interviews.

Miss Beam, of Broken Arrow, received a $15,000 college scholarship and various prizes from such program sponsors. The contest is in its 35th year.