Yelm student named 2024 Washington Cinderella Teen Queen

Aurora Decker is raising money for Alzheimer’s awareness


Aurora Decker has competed in pageants since she was 6 weeks old. She recalls her mother, Anna Farley, standing behind her at the competitions and making her wave and blow kisses to the audience at a young age.

Decker enjoys the opportunity to meet new people and express herself with every pageant. But in the 2024 Washington State Cinderella Pageant, in which she was named Washington’s Cinderella Teen Queen in March, she has a bigger mission with this new platform.

The 10th grader at The Insight School of Washington, an online public school, is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association of Washington. For a couple of years, Decker has sold lemonade and homemade treats such as cookies and scones for an association to which she has a strong personal connection.

“My grandfather died from Alzheimer’s, and it was really hard seeing him suffer with it. I loved him very much, and when he passed, it was something that I knew I wanted to raise awareness to,” she said. “I knew other people also had that connection of either losing someone or taking care of someone with it, so I know it means a lot to other people like it means a lot to me.”

Decker added that she participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which raised about $50,000. She also performed her talents for residents at senior homes, putting smiles on their faces with her sparkly uniform and tumbling skills.

“I love seeing the joy on their faces and they look at my uniform, and they’re like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ They love it so much,” she said.

Decker competed in the Teen Queen pageant last year and was runner-up to Kaiah Tull, who handed the crown to her when she won this year. The pageant was made up of five categories: interview, photogenic, formal wear, casual wear, and talent. For her talent, Decker, an All-Star cheerleader at Natural Venom in Tacoma, performed a choreographed dance with tumbling. She beat out two other competitors, including one of her best friends on her cheer team, to earn the title of Teen Queen.

“It means a lot. It means I’m representing my state and everybody my age, and I think it’s an honor to be the Washington Cinderella Teen Queen. It’s a lot of responsibility,” Decker said.

With her new crown, Decker earned the opportunity to travel to Dallas, Texas, in July to compete in the International Cinderella Scholarship Pageant. Prizes include an international trophy, banner, round crown, robe, scepter, flowers and wardrobe gifts, a $4,000 scholarship and more. Decker hopes to add to her collection of awards, one she said spans three shelves full of crowns, trophies and medals.

“I’m excited for the talent portion because I love doing my flips and stuff. I love seeing the joy on people’s faces and the ‘wow’ moment when I do a backflip,” she said.

Farley, who also competed in pageants as a youth, said she is proud of her daughter for how she carries herself on stage and how the competitions have helped her grow as a young woman adjusting to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and overcoming stage fright.

“She does it so much better [than I did]. She has so much more stage presence, and it’s something she loves to do,” she said. “She’s more confident and she has a better ability to talk to people. She used to be kind of shy, and now she can go up to anybody and start a conversation with them.”

Decker said competing for pageants helps her focus, something that is often difficult to accomplish for someone with ADHD.

“If I know my talent portion is coming up, I just have to zero in on it and only think about that. I know that if I’m focusing on myself that I can hit this routine,” she said. “Whenever we do opening statements, I can sometimes forget my lines and forget what I’m supposed to say, but I realize that it’s just a pageant, and it’s all for fun.”

While Decker moved to Yelm from Louisiana almost six years ago, she claims the “Pride of the Prairie” as her hometown and is appreciative for its support of her competitions.

“This town is so small. Everybody knows each other. To show my hometown that I can represent Washington and represent them is a really big deal,” she said. “I think they’d be very proud if a teenager in Washington won nationals. It’d be really cool.”

Decker is looking for donations to help with her upcoming travel expenses as well as toward her platform with the Alzheimer’s Association of Washington. She will be holding an online drawing for a raffle on June 22, where she will give away gift cards, baskets or any services that businesses donate. Contact Farley on Facebook to donate.