Miss Teen USA 2019 has crowned its new beauty queen and her name is Kaleigh Garris.
What We Know:
- 18-year-old Garris, born in New Haven, Connecticut, is a high school student dual-enrolled at the Educational Center for the Arts studying theatre.
- Garris is a competitive dancer trained in contemporary, jazz, pointe, hip hop and tap.
- She is the founder of #WeArePeople1st, “a movement based in educating the youth on how to respectfully discuss/speak to people with a health issue or disability. It encourages students to see people with disabilities as equals and takes away the negative connotation associated with those who have disabilities.”
- Garris decided to do a big chop when a classmate of hers noticed her curly hair roots and commented how beautiful her hair was. “My mom thought I was only going to get a little trim, but I actually chopped all the straight ends off, and ever since then, I’ve been natural.”
- The pageatry journey began for Garris with the National American Miss circuit followed by the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen competition. She then transitioned to Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2019 winning the title on her first try prior to winning the Miss Teen USA title.
- Garris ran into a few naysayers but stuck with her own confidence. “I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”
We hope this encourages others to have the same confidence and comfort!