Scottsdale native Karly Riggs recently competed for the job of a lifetime – to become the next Miss Teen USA.
The 17-year-old senior at Chaparral High School and reigning Miss Arizona Teen USA represented Arizona at the 35th Miss Teen USA Pageant held at Phoenix Symphony Hall on July 29.
Riggs proudly represented Arizona, placing in the top 15 of a total of 51 contestants vying for the crown and title of Miss Teen USA 2017.
“One of the coolest things about this experience was that the competition was held in my home state,” said Riggs. “I felt so proud to represent the beautiful state of Arizona and show people that we are more than about the heat.”
Besides competing in pageants, Riggs, who is currently an AP and honors student, is dedicated to her schoolwork and extracurricular activities, including playing an active role in the Best Buddies program, National Honor Society and serving as an ambassador to the TYRO mentoring program.
In addition to competing in the Miss Teen USA 2017 pageant this summer, Riggs was chosen to attend a pre-college program this summer at Harvard University this summer, where she studied the evolution of medicine.
“I have made lasting friendships with many of the other title holders across the country, who are like-minded, also committed to making a difference in their communities and are passionate about their various charities,” said Riggs. “The level of camaraderie and support among the girls made the whole experience fun and memorable. I didn’t look at it as if I was competing against other girls. I was just striving to do my personal best and enjoy this amazing opportunity.”
While Riggs enjoyed the experience, she also admitted that waiting for the judges to call her name wasn’t an easy moment.
“I was beyond relieved and excited to have made the top 15, especially since I was called second to last,” she said. “It warmed my heart to hear my family and friends cheer and celebrate when my name was called and to represent the state of Arizona.”
Karly’s parents, Kim and Jim Riggs, could not be more proud of their daughter’s achievements.
“We are so proud of Karly for using her position to positively impact the lives of young people,” Kim said. “We are so impressed with her work promoting civics education in our country and inspiring her generation to be good citizens and leaders of tomorrow.”
Riggs plans on using the remaining time left of her current title reaching out to others.
“For the remaining four months as Miss Arizona Teen USA, I will continue to inspire young girls to strive for self-love and acceptance,” said Riggs.
For more information about the Miss Teen USA competition, visit missuniverse.com/missteenusa/competition.