Fil-Am to represent Coral Springs at Miss Teen USA Pageant
Filipino American Matea Smith, “Miss Coral Springs Teen USA,” will represent Coral Springs at the Miss Florida USA®/Miss Florida Teen USA® Competition in April 2021.
Matea is half Filipina from her mother who has roots in Alabang, Philippines. Her father is from New York and is Jamaican American.
Matea has been to the Philippines three times since she was two-years-old in addition to eight other countries including Jamaica.
Her selection was based on her academic and professional interests, involvement in her community, her pursuit of excellence and her interest in empowering other young women.
Matea recently graduated in the top 3% of her class at J.P. Taravella High School. She was the captain of the track and field and swim team at her school. She was the president of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club, which inspired her to take pre-medicine in college.
Due to an unforeseen injury and COVID-19, Matea decided to take a gap year. She volunteers online for the United Nations, where she helps to outline buildings and roads on maps of rural Tanzania, to prevent young girls from female genital mutilation. She also volunteers for Translators Without Borders.
Injury is inevitable to athletes. Matea knows that first-hand. Her goal is to bring awareness to the mental and emotional struggle young athletes face during an injury.
Girlbossing Inc., as the Florida USA Organization, will produce and conduct the competition to qualify two young ladies from Florida to advance to either Miss Teen USA or Miss USA and ultimately Miss Universe.
The Miss Universe Organization uses its global grassroots reach to empower women to be self-confident and strive to be their personal best.
Meanwhile, another Filipino American beauty queen, Kimberly Layne, “Miss Idaho,” came in first runner up at the Miss USA pageant at Graceland in Memphis.
Layne placed second behind Asya Branch of Mississippi. She is Filipino on her mother’s side and Irish on her dad’s side. According to the Conan Daily. She has dual citizenship in both the US and the Philippines.
Layne graduated from Cornell University with a degree in animal sciences and is currently pursuing advanced degrees in public health and veterinary medicine from both the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota and at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
Layne is also won Miss Teen Idaho in 2012.