A Brave New World: New Title, New State, New Age Division

By: Maggie Leach

The past year has been a whirlwind for me. I moved from Minnesota to Iowa.  I started a new school, I made all new friends, I joined a new pageant system, and I aged up to the Teen Division. At first, I was terrified, but looking back on it now I can say that it changed my life for the better. I have had so many great experiences in just the first nine months living in Iowa.

I started competing in pageants at age seven, and have loved them ever since. I had always heard about the Miss Teen America system through friends of ours, and through social media. I knew that when I was old enough I wanted to compete in this system. When I found out that Miss Teen America was moving into the “One Queen, One Dream” idea,  I was overjoyed to be old enough to compete. My dream is now a reality, and I am representing Iowa at nationals! I can’t wait to meet all of the other amazing teens!

When I received my Teen America crown and sash, I was so excited! I walked around the house in them for at least an hour, and was dreaming about the adventures I would come across while enjoying my title. So far, I have been able to do some fun and exciting things. I was able to drive up to my Great-Great-Great Grandparent’s Century and Heritage Farm in Fredricksburg, Iowa and snap some unique crown and banner photos.   I visited the final destination of 1950’s Teen Rock-and-Roll Stars, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa, and I was also able to speak, and volunteer at Megan’s Miracle Makers trivia night and fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

Being the child of a teacher, my parents have a rule that my titleholder experiences must be educational.  When school gets out on May 31st you can count on many new Iowa adventures on my social media page.  My family and I are very excited to explore the Hawkeye State and share the great places we visit with you all.      Proudly exploring new horizons, I am your 2018 Miss Iowa Teen America, Maggie Leach.

My Thanksgiving Holiday

“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

     Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  To me, it’s about all my family members coming together and being thankful for one another.  Our family tradition, is gathering and enjoying each other company.  We catch up on everyone’s busy lives and we enjoy delicious turkey, stuffing and so much more.  Each of us has to say what we are thankful for.  

    My favorite food on Thanksgiving……. I would have to definitely say, the delicious turkey and stuffing! 

    Lastly, I am thankful for so many things. To say a few, I am thankful for my supportive family, they have been by my side through thick and thin and I appreciate everything they do for me. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to experience many wonderful and new things that has come my way. I am also thankful for my amazing directors Ms. Nikki, Ms. Jess and all the MTA staff! Thank you for the unforgettable opportunities I have been given.  Also, to all my pageant sponsors below. Thank you so much for providing an awesome prize package and supporting Miss Teen America.  You’ve all have been the best, and I can’t thank you enough! Thanks to everyone else that I may have missed. I am so blessed and thankful for the love and generosity you all had given me!  

Mahalo everyone and I hope you enjoyed your amazing turkey day!! Eat as much as you can over the holidays!


RSVP To The Sherri Hill Party

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If you are a registered 2018 Miss Teen America Contestant or if you are interested in competing at Nationals 2018, we would love to see you at Sherri Hill's Headquarters in Austin, Texas, January 26-28, 2018.



One-on-One Appointments with designer, Sherri Hill, to create your Gown or Fun Fashion.
Information from MTA Executive Director, Nikki Clark.
Unveiling of the 2018 MTA, Sherri Hill, Opening Number Dress.
Appointments with Bill Alverson (Interview Coaching) and Lu Sierra (Runway Coaching).
Words from Keith Pittman, owner of Lasting Impressions Formal Wear , and Jessica Toussaint , MTA Director of Brand Management.
Photos with Kathy Whittaker Photography.
A VIP Reception.


Friday - January 26, 2018:

6:00 pm Celebration Party
Enjoy a celebration party hosted by none other than SHERRI HILL herself. Photo ops await you as you join Sherri Hill, the MTA staff and sponsors for the perfect photo opportunity. No evening would be complete without a few laughs as you meet fellow Miss Teen America contestants and snack on the sweetest finger foods.

Saturday - January 27, 2018:

Unveiling of the 2018 Sherri Hill Opening Number Dress
Saturday awaits you as Nikki Clark, Miss Teen America Executive Director, showcases the 2018 opening number dress and provides talking points on how to compete at this year’s national pageant. You never know what other pointers she might provide during this retreat. The morning continues with comments from Keith Pittman, owner of Lasting Impressions Formal Wear; Bill Alverson, interview coach; and Lu Sierra, walking coach. Make sure you book your personal sessions with Bill and Lu. They book quickly! Much like Friday, Saturday (and Sunday) continues with personal appointments with designer SHERRI HILL and Keith Pittman. The SHERRI HILL headquarters will be the host of your appointments where you can try on the most beautiful gowns in the world and work to customize your perfect dream dress, fun fashion, or both! Leave the SHERRI HILL showroom feeling prepared and ready to take on the National stage in July.

Sunday - January 28, 2018

MTA Drawing (Winner must be present)
On Sunday we will conclude with personal appointments with Bill, Lu and Sherri Hill. If you have last minute questions for Nikki Clark, here is the perfect time to get the answers you need! We wrap up the evening as we all travel home and continue to prepare as the National Pageant quickly approaches!

To book your appointment call 706-596-2003 or 334-687-6871 today!!!

My Mediterranean Cruise

A couple weeks ago, I started my travels headed to a 7-day Italy/Greece Cruise.  It was truly an experience of a lifetime!  It was also many “first” for me, first time traveling to a different country and my first ever cruise.  Getting to Italy was quite the task, especially for me because I am coming all the way from Hawaii!  My first trip started with flying from Hawaii to Austin, then to New York and finally to the first stop of Milan, Italy.  Early the next morning we started our journey by train to Venice, Italy where we spent some time shopping before boarding our cruise ship.  

I absolutely had an amazing time learning about the different cultures, seeing different ancient places and eating the delicious crepes and gelato every country I visited! It was a travel experience I will never forget.


I spent half the day in the beautiful city of Milan where I ate delicious pasta and of course GELATO!  I visited the famous Milan cathedral, Duomo di Milano, which I fell in love with! 


In Venice, I got to experience a Gondola Ride! I was so impressed with all the different water taxis. I loved how people live right on the water and they use their boats to get around. This is so different since I’m used to using a car to get from place to place.  I learned that many people don’t live on the first floor of the apartment buildings because when it’s high tide the water gets into their apartment! Although it was a gloomy day, I enjoyed great food, shopping, and admiring the different buildings.


Finally, after boarding the cruise ship in Venice, our first port was Athens, Greece. We had a fabulous tour of the Acropolis of Athens.  The historic ruins and view was just beautiful!  I have never seen anything like it!  An interesting fact I learned about the city of Athens is that there are many stray dogs that just roam around everywhere. I wondered why I kept seeing random dogs all over the place.  They were all so cute and I wish I could have taken them home! 


The second destination was amazing. We went to Argostoli, it was so pretty that I wished I lived there! The houses were so colorful, and the lake was so beautiful. My mom and I went on a bicycle boat together in the lake. I saw three big turtles and I just couldn’t believe how close they were to us. Of course I did some shopping and bought these nice Greek sandals and a beautiful dress that I had fell in love with.  It reminded me of a Greek goddess.

Our third destination was Kotor, Montenegro. It was a really historic and unique port to see.  I walked in the Old Town of Kotor and hiked the City Walls of Kotor. Before ending my time ashore, I went to check out a nearby beach of the Adriatic sea.


My last destination was Split, Croatia. This was my favorite port I visited.  I did a lot of shopping and I also had a delicious crepe! We went on a bike tour and learned a lot of history about Croatia. I remember seeing many churches and old buildings, it really made me interested in learning about each one. They had so many vendors on the side of the street selling handmade things, unique and old antique items as well. I bought a sponge from the Adriatic Sea that is used for showering, but I’m definitely going to be saving that as a souvenir.

I was sad for the cruise to end!  I really enjoyed every bit of it and I wish I could stay a little bit longer, but of course I had to get back to school. I am just so thankful for amazing directors, Nikki and Jess.  They are just wonderful!  I am speechless and I can’t explain how thankful I am for this unforgettable experience. Not only did I get an all expense paid trip to Italy/Greece, but they really made this trip really enjoyable and fun! I will never forget this fabulous experience and all the fun adventures.  Mahalo Ms. Nikki and Ms. Jess!

What She Wore!

Take a look at what Ciana wore when she took home the crown of Miss Teen America 2017!

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For her Fitness Wear, Ciana picked bright colors that complimented her skin tone. She chose a one shoulder sports bra in a neon yellow with shoes to match and  paired them with vibrant, printed shorts.

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Fitness Wear Tip: Pick a color or colors that look great on you, and don't be afraid of prints. We all love a little bling here and there, but having bling on your fitness wear is completely optional.  Be sure that your fitness wear actually fits! When choosing your sports bra, pick a style that flatters your body type. 

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For Fashion Competition, Ciana looked stunning in royal blue. The detailing at the waistline and flowy chiffon skirt was a true show stopper!

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Fashion Tip: Be sure that your fashion selection is teen appropriate and reflects YOUR sense of style. Choose a style that is complementary to your body type and a color that looks amazing with your hair color and skin tone. High-lows are not the "end all, be all" of the Fashion Competition. Do not limit yourself to this. For example, if you find a cocktail dress that you love, go with it!  

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For Onstage Interview, Ciana wore an aqua bandage dress, with peplum detail and mimicking flair at the skirt hem. The neckline provided a classic and timeless look to a trendy, fashion-forward dress. 

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Interview Attire Tip: Pick an outfit in which you feel comfortable. You want all your energy to be able to go to wooing the judges. You don't want to be in a dress that you cannot breath in or one you have to tug at to prevent it from rising after walking. As always, picking the proper style for your body type, a color that complements you, and having a great fit is key here. 

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Ciana looked amazing in her canary yellow, mermaid gown complete with rhinestone embellishments and a thin, halter neckline. 

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Evening Gown Tip: Make sure that your dress is floor length. This means your dress sits just at the floor and sweeps across. It should not drag the floor or need to be lifted for you to walk forward. Your shoes should not be visible once you are at a stand still. When getting your dress fitted, don't forget to wear the shoes that you plan to wear when competing. Evening gown is your chance to showcase your poise and elegance. Fit and style is of great importance. And remember, your favorite color may not be the color that looks best on you. 

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We are now accepting applications for Nationals 2018! We would love to have you join us in San Antonio, Texas this summer. For more information, sign up to receive our Newsletters or send us an email at info@missteenamerica.com and we'll send you information on how you can get started.

Photo Credit: Photographic Vision

Enter Our Halloween Costume Contest!

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Here’s what to do:

1. Post a picture of you in your Halloween Costume. CONTEST OPEN TO YOUNG LADIES, AGES  13-18 YEARS OLD. 

2. Tag us @missteenamericaofficial and include the hashtag #mtacostumecontest.

3. Things your caption must include:
•Ask your friends to vote for you by liking your photo.
•Must have a tag or @________, of 10 friends in your post.
•Must ask your friends to follow us @missteenamericaofficial

4. Our team will choose two finalists based on staff votes and the number of likes that your costume received on your post.

5. The two Finalists will be uploaded to the @missteenamericaofficial Instagram Story to be voted on via poll on 11/1/17.

6. One winner will be announced on Instagram on 11/2/17.

7. The winner will receive a $25 gift card to @sephora.

8. Be sure to follow all of the rules to be eligible to win the prize.

GOOD LUCK & as always, HAVE FUN!!!!!

Join Us In Texas!

Photo: Photographic Vision, HMU:Makeup by Maskara

We are looking for 50 YOUNG LADIES to join us in San Antonio for Miss Teen America 2018!

Miss Teen America 2018 will take place July 17 - 21, 2018 with the San Antonio Riverwalk providing an amazing backdrop for the week! Conveniently located adjacent to the pageant venue is The San Antonio Grand Hyatt, the official host hotel for the 2018 Miss Teen America Contestants. All stage competitions will be held at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.

The San Antonio Grand Hyatt
The Lila Cockrell Theatre

Nationals 2017 was a huge success, and we have so many amazing things planned for 2018! To stay in the loop be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our Newsletters!

Take a look at the week of the 2017 nationals or search the hashtag:


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Contestants arriving on Day One - Registration
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Registration at the Downey Theatre
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Our 2017 Miss Teen America Contestants!
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Contestants get to know each other at the Orientation Luncheon
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Each contestant received Sherri Hill Welcome Bags full of goodies from our amazing sponsors.
  • Miss Teen America Appearance Top
  • Disney Youth Group Leadership Training
  • Disneyland Park Tickets
  • Sherri Hill Swag Bag
  • Sherri Hill Decal
  • Sherri Hill Phone Case
  • Krisna Goodwin Photography Tanks
  • Mickey Mouse Ears via Vacation With the Magic
  • Special 30% Off at Marc Defang New York
  • A 50% Off Discount at Sugar Reign
  • A 25% Discount at the Wight Elephant Boutique
  • A 20% Discount at The Tiny Closet Boutique
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The contestants take part in the Disney Leadership Program and enjoy a day at Disneyland.
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PJ Party Fun filled with dance offs, food, and celebrity guests: The cast & crew of the Netflix Series, Insatiable, Debby Ryan, Irene Choi, Erin Westbrook.
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The cast of Insatiable speak with the girl's about pageantry as research for their upcoming roles. 
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The Contestants perform their Opening Number in their Sherri Hill Cocktail Dresses.
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The 2017 Miss Teen America Top 15
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The 2017 Miss Teen America Top 5
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Top 5 On-Stage Interview
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Miss Hawaii Teen America is our Miss Teen America 2017!
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Congratulations Ciana!

Help us congratulate our Miss Hawaii Teen America as our new Miss Teen America 2017, Ciana Pelekai! 

A few words from Ciana after her crowning, "Omg!! I am the new Miss Teen America 2017 💗 I am so speechless, I can't believe my birthday wish came true! So many wonderful people has helped me throughout my journey to the Miss Teen America Pageant!............Now I'm ready for this pageant journey and can't wait to start traveling and meet new people around the world. 🤙🏽"

Be sure to follow Ciana's journey by following @missteenamericaofficial on Instagram! You can also find us on Snapchat and Facebook.