A GEM OF A TITLE
BY KERRY FIRTH
LPA graduate to stress community
service as Miss Teen USA
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 on line.
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
“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.”
Breanna Myles, an honors graduate of Lincoln Park Academy, was crowned
Miss Teen USA during the November pageant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.