WAIKIKI — Kaua‘i was well represented at the 2021 Miss Hawai‘i Teen USA and Miss Hawai‘i USA state pageants earlier this month at Luxury Row in Waikiki.
Talia Suzuki, Miss Kaua‘i Teen USA, competed for the title of Miss Hawai‘i Teen USA with 21 others from across the state. After competing in the interview, active wear and evening gown phases, she landed a spot in the top 10. Suzuki then advanced to the top five and was named second runner-up.
Born and raised in Kapa‘a, Suzuki is a senior at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama. She plans to major in biological sciences and hopes to become a neurosurgeon.
“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to represent Kaua‘i,” Suzuki said. “I enjoyed every moment of it, and had so much fun. My pageant journey definitely doesn’t end here.”
Nicholette Levinthol, Miss Kaua‘i USA, took the Miss Hawai‘i USA stage with 19 other young women.
After competing in interview, swimsuit and evening gown phases, she was called as a top 10 finalist and also advanced to the top five. Levinthol ws named second runner-up.
Also born and raised in Kapa‘a, Levinthol leads an organization of over 350 individuals online as an independent contractor for Modern Nature, a vegan hair-care company.
“This experience and preparation has pushed me to my limits mentally and physically, and I am beyond proud of what I have accomplished internally and externally,” Levinthol said.
“I know this is all part of God’s plan, leading me to make the impact I dream of, and can’t wait to see what He has up his sleeve next. Thank you, Kaua‘i, for the love and support. It was a privilege and honor to represent my home island on the Miss Hawai‘i USA stage.”
Executive Director Avery Kano of the Miss Kaua‘i USA Organization expressed his admiration and gratitude for both Suzuki, Levinthol and their supporters.
“Through everything we all faced in preparation for this pageant, adversity truly builds character, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from Talia and Nicholette,” Kano said.
“There were so many obstacles that we had to overcome, but nothing could stop these young women in their journey to the crown. Mahalo to all the businesses and individuals who have supported us along this journey. Talia and Nicholette, thank you for representing not only our organization but your family and friends and our island of Kaua‘i with such grace and aloha. I’d say two second runners-up ain’t too shabby.”
Amidst the current state of the pandemic, the Miss Teen Hawai‘i USA and Miss Hawai‘i USA competition was filmed with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols and guidance from the Honolulu Film Commission and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All those in attendance were tested by the National Kidney Foundation, a state trusted partner.
In addition, all pre-taped segments were done in small groups with physical distance. Every possible precaution was taken to protect the health and safety of staff and participants.
Miss Kaua‘i Teen USA and Miss Kaua‘i USA were crowned in August after completing several phases, including a Zoom interview. An actual pageant could not be held due to the pandemic.
Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business, and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.