A Gem of a Title
LPA graduate to stress community service as Miss Teen USA
BY KERRY FIRTH
Breanna Myles put St. Lucie County on the map when she was crowned Miss Teen USA during the 39th Miss Teen USA pageant held in November in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She had won the Miss Florida Teen USA title earlier in the year that parlayed her into the final completion with state winners from around the nation.
Myles, an honors graduate of Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce who simultaneously received her Associate of Arts degree from Indian River State College, is pursuing dual degrees in computer science and musical theater at Florida State University with aspirations of a career as a software engineer.
While her duties as Miss Teen USA will sometimes conflict with her classes at FSU, her professors are coordinating with her to complete some of her work online.
The 18-year-old is the first Floridian to win the Miss Teen USA title and the first person of African and Latino descent to represent Florida in the competition. In addition to a luxurious prize package that includes a $25,000 scholarship, updated wardrobe, and access to premier events, the Miss Teen USA platform is synonymous with giving back.
Charity and community engagement are core components of the duties she’ll perform during her reign. Her duties as Miss Teen USA will take her around the country as a role model for all teens in the United States.
Myles, who’s from Port St. Lucie, will be volunteering and fundraising for some of the organization’s charitable alliances including Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides free cleft palate repair surgery for millions of children around the world.
No stranger to charitable work, Myles founded her own charity called GEMS – Girls Making Strides Everywhere, an organization that empowers young women to build confidence and engage in their communities through meaningful volunteer experiences.
“My goal is to have a GEMS club in every middle school in Florida and eventually throughout the United States to promote the importance of community service,” Myles said.
“I am honored to be awarded the title of Miss Teen USA and will use this platform to inspire other teens to be the best they can be. Growing up as a child from two different races, I never felt like I had representation or even knew anyone who looked like me. I want to represent all races, genders, and nationalities in this role as Miss Teen USA,” she explained.
“I also want to stress the importance of working hard to accomplish your goals. I started pageants at 12 years old, so this has been six years in the making, and I’ve lost more times than I have won. It’s really not about how you fall but how you get back up.”
Fort Pierce teen wins crown in first competition
Anya Annone, a sophomore at John Carroll High School, was crowned Junior Miss of America at the November national pageant’s competition in Atlanta.
A newbie to the pageant world, with this being her first steps onto the stage, the 15-year-old competed in multiple rounds including modeling sportswear and evening gowns, on-stage questioning and panel interviews. She won the Best State Achiever award when she dressed up as Minnie Mouse and spoke about her character and the influence Walt Disney has had on the state.
As the Junior Miss of America, Annone will travel nationwide representing American Pageants as well as promoting her own platform, Readers are Leaders. As a child with a vision impairment, she was bullied in elementary school and turned to reading as an outlet. She strives to empower children who struggle with literacy by tutoring them at schools and public libraries.
March 09, 2022
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