GV student to compete in Miss Teen USA

GVL / Brianna Olson
Miss Michigan Teen USA

GVL / Brianna Olson Miss Michigan Teen USA

Constance Turnbull

This summer, the Miss Teen USA Beauty Pageant will feature teens from every state in the country. Miss Teen Michigan is a Grand Valley State University student.

Freshman Maria Rendina prevailed over 56 candidates in September 2014 to become the pageant’s representative for Michigan. At the start of this year, she assumed her title and is currently getting ready to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant, which will take place on Aug. 22 in the Bahamas.

In preparation for this competition, Rendina has hired a personal pageant coach who will walk her through the intricacies of competing nationally. On Jan. 29, Rendina will leave Allendale and fly to Atlanta, Georgia to get her dress fitted for the upcoming event.

Though there are many different state beauty pageants, Rendina felt that Miss Teen USA was the most applicable to her.

“Miss Teen USA is more personalized,” Rendina said. “It is more about the candidate than other pageants.”

Miss Teen Michigan was Rendina’s first beauty competition. She explained that it took three years to convince her father to allow her to take part in a pageant.

“I want to win Miss Teen USA because of my Dad,” Rendina said.

Rendina said that best part of becoming Miss Teen Michigan was the look on her parents’ faces as her title was announced. The Rendina family is no stranger to success – Maria has two older brothers who have competed in and won state championships for wrestling.

In addition to her pageant preparations, Rendina is very excited about her broadcasting major at GVSU. She first gained an interest in broadcasting when working in the business; she got to look behind the scenes to see how different shows work and this sparked her curiosity. Rendina hopes to one day work as news anchor.

In addition to being a member of the broadcasting community and holding the title of Miss Teen Michigan, Rendina is an active member of Delta Zeta Sorority. She has managed to balance her different duties while maintaining a high GPA.

Rendina said keeping up with school requires a lot of dedication because a lot of broadcasting classes are focused around group work and recordings which can clash with a busy schedule. While many students have their weekends free to plan projects and activities, Rendina has most of her weekends booked for appearances. At the time of her interview, the Monroe County beauty queen had just returned from a trip to Mott Children’s Hospital in Detroit, doing bedside visits and taking part in cupcake therapy.

In spite of her many duties, Rendina still has time to devote to those she loves. Her sorority sisters speak very highly of her and her “infectious energy.”

Bridget Van Den Branden, an active member of the Xi Psi chapter of Delta Zeta, said Rendina has a smile that can make anyone’s day better.

“She’s a 2 a.m. sister,” Van Den Branden said. “I know that if I need her, she will be there. Rendina is a natural born leader and organizer, and she gives 100 percent of herself in everything that she does.”

This dedication is shown in Rendina’s determination to win Miss Teen USA. Not only does she want to win the competition to make her parents proud, but she is excited for what that she can accomplish with this opportunity.

“I have overcome so much already with finally getting my Dad to agree to my participating and winning my first pageant,” Rendina said. “I know that I am made for something bigger.”

By winning this pageant, Rendina said she hopes it will give her the ability to promote some amazing things.

“I am a very positive person,” Rendina said. “I know that with positivity, confidence, a strong mind and faith in God, anyone can get to amazing places.” 

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