When Nicholette Levinthol received the Miss Garden Isle crown at the end of January, the Kapaa High School graduate knew the honor came with some big responsibilities.
“The best part of being Ms. Garden Isle is probably being a role model to the youth,” Levinthol said. “It’s amazing to see how many people look up to you and the difference you can make in other people’s eyes.”
Since her win, Levinthol has been working throughout the state to promote her platform on fighting youth obesity and has led activities to promote the message on Kauai.
Levinthol said she chose the issues because she understands how obesity is a growing epidemic statewide and how a healthier lifestyle can make a difference. She also said she understands those who are obese face social discrimination and believes fighting the disease can lead to a healthier society.
“We can’t control the words and actions of others but we can control our own actions,” she said.
She’s participated in a pre-fashion show for Kauai Fashion Week, the Fit and Fabulous Fashion Show and Health Fair on Oahu and the Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10k race on Oahu as well as the Kauai Surfrider’s Foundation’s beach cleanup in Anahola.
“We actually got to cut nets and everything that was stuck in the reef that hurt the marine life,” she said. “I feel like that’s the biggest service I’ve done so far.”
Levinthol volunteered at the American Cancer Society’s Hoedown for Hope with the reigning Ms. Paradise Kauai, Sarah Manuel, and did a bake sale for the Children’s Miracle Network during the First Saturday of the month on April 4.
She’s co-hosting the Pride of the East Side event at Kapaa High School on Saturday. It will feature a color run, a food fair, craft vendors, games, live entertainment, a car wash, prize give-aways and a fitness competition.
“All in all, it’s been an exciting experience and it’s opened a lot of opportunities for me and I can’t wait to start making a difference in the community,” Levinthol said.
The pageant winner will travel to Oahu with Manuel to represent Kauai in the Miss Hawaii 2015 Scholarship Pageant on May 30Although Levinthol reigns as the new Miss Garden Island, she said she’s no different from other girls her age and has many dreams she hopes to fulfill.
“I’m just an island girl trying to better myself and I go through the struggles that every teenager goes through; trying to be independent; trying to find myself,” Levinthol said. “I always see little girls who are so amazed to see me in a crown and banner and it’s awesome to be a role model and I just tell them ‘keep going to school and keep doing your best in school and you can be like me one day’ so that motivates them to do good.”
In the future, Levinthol said she will travel to Argosy University in Honolulu to earn her bachelor’s degree in business and attend an esthetician school to learn more about health and wellness.
She also said she would like to start her own business one day.
Miss Garden Isle offered advice to those who are looking to take part in pageants in the future.
“I definitely say go for it,” she said. “Not only do you better yourself, and it opens up your mind, but it also boosts your confidence and you get to learn more about yourself.”