Miss Teen USA to Promote Anti-Bullying Message
The newly crowned queen was bullied for "not acting her skin color."
“This is a huge issue to me,’’ she said. “Students have been very receptive to the message because it’s a difference between being talked at by a teacher than hearing it from me. I’m a teenager, and I’ve been through it. I was bullied starting at 12 years old and look what I am now.’’
Now, as Miss Teen USA, West has found confidence to become a role model for others and hopes "to share with teens the importance of being true to yourself." She'll also receive a year-long salary and attend events for the organization. After she graduates from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts this year, she hopes to attend the New York Film Academy with her pageant scholarship and continue spreading her message.
"I think my work is making a difference, and now I want to target this message to every state because it’s not like there’s only bullying in Connecticut,’’ she said. "“I’m just so excited to take full advantage of all the opportunities I have for being Miss Teen USA.”