beauty pageants

Hawaii’s Kiʻilani Arruda is Miss Teen USA 2020, crowned in Memphis, Tennessee

Representing Hawaii, Kiʻilani Arruda, 18, was crowned Miss Teen USA 2020 on November 7, 2020. She inherited the crown from Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris, 20, of Connecticut.

Hosted by Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce, 31, of Ohio and Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, 29, of Connecticut, the Miss Teen USA 2020 coronation night took place at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, USA amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It was the 38th edition of the beauty pageant for American girls aged 14 to 19.

Runner-up to Arruda was Shayla Montgomery, 18, of Oregon while the respective second, third and fourth runners-up were Shayla Jackson, 18, of Georgia, Audrey Eckert, 18, of Nebraska and Sydney Taylor, 19, of Louisiana. The Miss Congeniality award was given to Marianne Bautista, 17, of Washington.

Miss Teen USA 2011 Danielle Doty Fitzgerald, 27, of Texas, Miss Teen USA 2014 K. Lee Graham, 23, of South Carolina and Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, 27, of New York served as judges. They were joined by social media personality and TikToker Sara Echeagaray, 19, and scientist, entrepreneur and medical missionary Iman Oubou, 23.

 

Hailing from Kapaa, Hawaii, Arruda is the second beauty queen from Hawaii to win Miss Teen USA. The first one was actress Kelly Hu, 52, who was Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993.

After winning Miss Kauai Teen USA 2019, Arruda competed in Miss Hawaii Teen USA 2019, she finished second runner-up and won Miss Congeniality. She returned one year later and finally won the title.

The Kapaa native attended Island School in Lihue, Hawaii. She served as the executive president of the student government, was on the National Honors Society and graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Currently, Arruda is a freshman at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, USA. She is studying molecular and cellular biology on a pre-med track and minoring in Spanish.

The newly crowned Miss Teen USA 2020 loves volleyball and swimming. She has a younger sister named Lea Arruda and a brother named Channing Arruda, who was diagnosed with autism.

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