Miss Teen Van Zandt County set to compete in Miss Texas Teen Pageant

Olivia Boswell, 14, Miss Teen Van Zandt

After attending a three-day-long church seminar on human trafficking, 14-year-old Olivia Boswell, a native of Van Zandt County, developed a passion to build awareness about the hidden truths behind human trafficking.

"I was at Gateway Church's Pink Impact, a church seminar in Garland, listening to Christine Caine (talk) about her life story and her nonprofit campaign," Boswell said. "It touched my heart."

Boswell, a student at East Texas Christian Academy, is this year's Miss Teen Van Zandt County. She decided to pursue the title after her mother read about the pageant in the Van Zandt newspaper.

As Miss Teen Van Zandt County, Boswell will compete in the Miss Texas Teen Pageant on March 15 in Dallas. In the contest, she will have five minutes to speak on a topic of her choice. Boswell chose human trafficking as her platform.

"I have always had a passion to tell people about human trafficking. It is the second worst crime in the United States to the drug industry," Boswell said. "I want to help somebody become a victor instead of a victim," Boswell said. 

She feels the pageant will help her get the word out about her platform and cause. Her future goals include publically speaking on human trafficking and traveling across the state of Texas to educate and bring awareness to her cause. 

Boswell also is very interested in self defense. She and her mother, Catrina Boswell, share an interest in self-defense in the form of Krav Maga. They are members of the East Texas Krav Maga school in Tyler.

"Krav Maga means close combat in (the) Hebrew (language)," Boswell said. "I've done it for about one year and it helps to learn the basics of self defense."

"I wanted Olivia to be able to protect herself from anyone at anytime. I felt the need to get her involved in Krav Maga and she loves it," Catrina Boswell said.

Along with Krav Maga, Boswell also is active in the art program at East Texas Christian Academy and participates in sports such as volleyball, cheer, softball, and tennis.

"My friends are supportive and I enjoy staying busy," Boswell said.