Local girl competes for Miss Teen All-American

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Tonya Young, a 2003 Nansemond River High School graduate, has been selected from among hundreds of candidates to run in the &uot;Miss Teen All-American National&uot; pageant. She was chosen for her poise, personality, communication skills, confidence and appearance.

On July 31, Young will take to the runway at the Hilton Airport & Towers in Miami, as she competes with young women from across the nation for the prestigious crown. The winner will be chosen Aug. 3.

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&uot;If I am fortunate enough to win this title and if I were to become famous as a model, I will serve as a role model to other young women,&uot; she said. &uot;I do my best to live for the Lord and I would want other girls to see Christ in me.&uot;

As for becoming famous as a model, Young has already strutted down the runways of several Avanti Model promotional shows, and she’s modeled for Upfront Clothing and Elegant Occasion fashions. She is affiliated with Avanti Model Talent Management of North Carolina, and she has attended John Casablanca’s Modeling and Actor School in Raleigh.

Young is a member of Mahogany Models of Norfolk, and she has participated in several other fashion shows across the state.

The daughter of Herbert and Jacquelyn Young of Kentucky Avenue, she was a member of NRHS’s varsity cheerleading squad. She received a trophy for &uot;Most Spirit&uot; in the cheering squad.

While in school, Young also belonged to the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) and the Future Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).

Lithe and active, Young loves dancing and enjoys reading.

If she wins the crown, she said she will share the $5,000 prize with local charities and members of her family.

&uot;This opportunity to compete in a major pageant is very exciting and if I win, it will be rewarding,&uot; said Young. &uot;It will help me make new friends, enhance my communication skills, and develop more confidence, poise and personality.

&uot;I will also be given the chance to work in an atmosphere of glamour and fashion and I would love that!&uot;

A few people who have competed in past Miss Teen All-American National pageants have gone on to achieve fame, Young said. Among past winners include actress Halle Berry, Revlon spokesperson Tonja Walker, and Gina Tognoni of &uot;One Life to Live.&uot;

As a contestant, Young will be interviewed by representatives from the TV/film industry and modeling agency.

Several family and friends are helping sponsor Young, including employees at Newport News Shipyard, Humana and Gwaltney of Smithfield; the Lee family; Jacquelyn and Marcus Young; Weaver’s Barber and Beauty Shop and customers; Rev. Ricky and Annette Hunter; Susan’s Hair Salon; Glen at Lafayetta Barber Shop; and Della’s.