My MAOTeen Experience by, Makaila Natividad

            My first reaction when I was crowned Miss Hawaii’s Outstanding Teen was that I, Makaila Natividad, was going to compete at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. Behold, two months later I was on a two-o’clock plane ride headed to sunny Orlando, Florida. That’s when it hit me. A girl who had never competed in pageants or, as we call it, competitions, was so fortunate to get a shot at representing her beautiful, diverse state. Before the crazy fun filled week began, my director sat me down and we chatted. We chatted about making sure to share who I am to everyone, breathe, and most importantly, stand strong in my beliefs. That really helped kick off the week!

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2019 in Orlando, Florida
Makaila Natividad with her official photo

On that Friday, I walked into the hallway where all the girls were gathered and let me tell you what I saw: A wonderfuldiverse, and unbelievably outstanding group of young women whom I would call my sisters. Let me tell you, it was a little hard to break the ice at first, but soon after our phones were taken away, we all just bonded. We complained about the very crazy  Florida weather; we cheered each other on when we had to do the killer lifestyle and fitness routine; and, we were a real group of women who just wanted to make a difference in the world. There was never a dull moment with them, our hostesses, or our security guards. 

Bonding with her MAOTeen Sisters

This competition pushed me and made me grow in ways I never thought I could. Every time I did the opening number, the lifestyle and fitness, or the evening gown production number, I made it a must to give it my 110%. I made sure to put my heart over matter. When I performed my talent on stage, I was tired but, even through this rough patch, I left everything out on the stage. When I went into the interview with the judges, my heart spoke for itself and it was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had. Throughout the competition I had constant determination, I made mistakes and embraced them, and, importantly, I was just myself.

Makaila’s love for self-expression and hard work was evident during the talent phase of competition

Overall, there is not a single thing I would change about the competition. Well, maybe the fact that some mornings we had to wake up at, let’s just say, 5:00 am. It was way too early…… Miss America’s Outstanding Teen isn’t just a competition that rewards young women for their accomplishments, but it also gives them a chance to use their voice and make a difference. I will never forget the 50 young women and the people who made this experience possible. It’s a very cheesy concept, but the MAOTeen competition was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never ever take for granted. It stays true to its motto. StyleScholarshipSuccess. Indeed, there is, and forever will be, Sisterhood.

Aloha, Makaila

Miss Hawaii’s Outstanding Teen 2019

Maikaila wiht her mom, sisters and tutu
Makaila is proud to represent Hawaii at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, Florida.

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