Waldorf teen crowned Miss Teen of Maryland
Pa. Each candidate was judged and scored in six categories: Scholastic record, achievement and service to school and community, a general awareness written test, personal development of talents and skills, personality projection in formal wear and an interview.
“Being a hardworking student who takes honors classes, has extracurricular activities, is involved in church, and able to maintain a high GPA, I am proud of myself,” Amaiya said. “Now I want to make sure my name is known and that I am remembered in a positive way.”
According to the Miss Teen of America organization, the pageant was founded in 1983 as an event focused on achievement and designed to help young women reach their full potential. The scholastically-based pageant recognizes young women ages 1318 for their outstanding personal achievements, leadership abilities, and artistic, creative or athletic talents.
In a press release, pageant President Sunny Hill stated, “This pageant is not a typical beauty pageant, with 60 percent of our judging completed prior to the judges even seeing the young ladies. The Miss Teen of America organization highlights achievement and promotes confidence in the leaders of tomorrow.”
As the new Miss Teen of Maryland, Amaiya received a $1,000 cash scholarship, a $250 donation toward a Special Olympics inclusion event to be held in her school, and a chance to vie for the Miss Teen of America title worth more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes. She will also attend civic, charity or speaking events throughout the state and nationally.
In addition to Amaiya keeping up her 3.9 GPA during the school year and participating in dance programs after school, she is part of the National Honor Society and National Society for High School Scholars. She also created a program at her local church that strives to build the self esteem of young girls so that they will be leaders in their own community as well.
“You have to be able to go to events and represent the Miss Teen of Maryland brand,” she said. “Now that I have the title, I have an obligation to do more community outreach, connect with the community members, and feeding the homeless. I want to connect more to the entire state and not just Charles County.”
Amaiya, an HGTV channel fanatic, plans to attend college in the future and major in interior design. She hopes to one day become an entrepreneur and own an interior design business.
She said her mother Katrina McNeil is her biggest inspiration because she is always there for her and supports their family in everything that she does.
“I wrote my daughter a spirit letter, which we were asked to do by the president of the organization,” Katrina said. “In the heartfelt letter it said she is my first born and exemplifies excellence. We have been through a lot of hardships over the last couple of years with our family separating so for me to see her excel, overcome those obstacles and be recognized by different organizations, I know it’s the manifestation of God’s glory.”
Katrina said she is so proud of her daughter and all of her accomplishments. However, she was not shocked when her daughter won. As a parent, Katrina said she instilled values in her daughter that reflects her becoming a strong woman who can have anything she wants in life.
Amaiya said it was indeed her mother’s motivation that helped propel her to victory and now she wears her crown as a young leader of the state.
Amaiya McNeil, 16, a student at St. Charles High School and winner of Miss Teen of Maryland 2016, hails from Waldorf.