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A Student's Self-Discovery in Miss Teen Hawaiʻi USA Competition
Anela Akana
Last week, Priory junior Olivia Reed competed in the Miss Teen USA® 2021 pageant held at Luxury Row Waikiki and telecast live on KHON and KHII to a virtual audience.
The Miss Universe Organization creates and opportunities for women around the world through their pageants, Miss Universe®, Miss USA® and Miss Teen USA®. Approximately 10,000 women participate in these competitions every year. According to their website, part of their mission is to “cultivate a global community of accomplished women through our programs, which offer the next generation of female leaders opportunities to realize their full potential.”
During the pageant, Reed’s title was Miss Ewa Beach Teen USA and she competed with other teens from across the state. Although Reed did not win the pageant, she ultimately accomplished the personal goals she set for herself before joining the competition, which were to gain more self-confidence, meet new people, and experience something new.
At the start, Reed felt out of her comfort zone as the idea of a pageant wasn’t something that she would normally do; she was nervous. “As the year went on, we started having Zoom meetings about confidence and I was getting a basic understanding of how the pageant was going to be this year and I began to feel more comfortable,” said Reed.
Contestants prepared by attending weekly Zoom meetings,  learning to how to do interviews, and hearing from former Miss Hawaii USA winners about their experiences. Said Reed,“I had walking practices and mock interviews with family and family friends. A lot of people helped with the preparation and I am very thankful for all of them taking the time to help me.”
COVID impacted the typical pageant experience.  To keep contestants safe, there were no public appearances, meetings were limited to small groups or held via Zoom, and there wasn’t a full audience on the big day.
From this experience, Reed learned a lot about herself. “I’ve learned what my strengths are and where I need improvement. I still have more to learn but I’m looking forward to it. Once you know who you are, you can stop thinking about what other people say or think about you and just do you,” she said.
Looking to the future, Reed is determined to continue her personal growth and has decided to compete in Miss Teen USA® again next year. “I get really nervous speaking or just being in front of big crowds, so I would like to do it again so I can get over that fear. I just want to thank everyone that supported me throughout the pageant. A special thank you to the Class of 2022, my family, and my friends for being so supportive!”