Wal­dorf teen crowned Miss Teen of Mary­land

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Amaiya McNeil, 16, a stu­dent at St. Charles High School and win­ner of Miss Teen of Mary­land 2016, hails from Wal­dorf.

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