Kaelia Nelson of Alliance, the reigning Miss Chadron, died over the weekend…apparently taking her own life at age 21. Nelson competed at the Miss Nebraska Pageant this past June as Miss Alliance with mental health her platform issue…opening up about her own battle with mental illnesses and revealing that she had attempted suicide in June of last year.
As Miss Alliance and in her brief time as Miss Chadron, Nelson shared with audiences and individually what works in combating mental illness, depression, and suicidal thoughts – treatment, medication, and focusing on passions. She also wrote and published a book dealing with mental illness, but in the end tragically fell victim to her illness.
Nelson graduated from Hemingford High School in 2015 and attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln for 3 semesters before transferring to Peru State last spring, where she was a cheerleader and active in a variety of activities.
Peru State President Dr Dan Hanson said Sunday night that the campus was deeply saddened to learn of Nelson’s death and that it mourned her loss with her family and friends.
Services for Kaelia Nelson will be this Saturday at 2:00 at St John’s Lutheran Church in Alliance. Memorial donations may be given to the family to be divided between a mental illness organization, the Miss Nebraska organization, and the Peru State College Cheer Team.