Since the age of nine, A’Maiya has enjoyed competing in pageants. After placing 3rd runner up in her first pageant, she realized that being on stage is a place she enjoys the most!
Naturally, an introvert, A’Maiya used the world of pageantry to overcome her shyness by launching her platform, “High Heels High Hopes” as a means to reach young girls who lack confidence. As a guest speaker, A’Maiya shares her story with young girls to promote confidence and self-love through the three pillars: Education, Elegance and Service. Because of her personal encounter of being bullied in elementary and middle school, she is passionate about empowering young girls and has spoken publically against school and social media bullying to several thousands of students at girls’ conferences, schools, churches and community events.
A’Maiya always seeks opportunities to lead. As such, she has been a member of Jack & Jill of America for five years and during that time served as the chapter Secretary, Vice-President, and a delegate at the National Legislative “On the Hill” Summit in Washington, DC. As the Midwest Region’s Teen Programming Committee Chair, she led over 500 teens in a legislative panel discussion at the 2018 Regional Teen Leadership Conference where she served as moderator.
With a passion for teen initiatives, she coordinated a Jeans for Teens drive where she partnered with a local middle school and clothing retailer to collect over 2,000 pairs of jeans for donation to homeless teens. In conjunction with this initiative, she hosted a Saturday Night “Sleep Out” with area teens to highlight teen homelessness. A’Maiya has facilitated workshops and served as a speaker at the “Just Us Girls” Conference (Be Your Best Selfie), Village of Bolingbrook Annual Black History Month Program (Just Say No to Bullying), and the En.Lighten.Ment Girls Conference (I See the Crown: Setting Goals for Success).
A pageant girl with a heart for service, A’Maiya is a two-time Presidential Volunteer Service Award Recipient. She has volunteered by preparing and serving meals for families of patients at the Ronald McDonald House, led teams for the Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, and participated in walks for the Making Strides against Breast Cancer, American Heart Association and March of Dimes. A’Maiya has been blessed to be a blessing to others and enjoys giving back. Whether it is making holiday greeting cards for residents at an assistant living facility, filling backpacks for students through “Blessings in a Backpack”, or sorting and packing food at the Northern IL Food Bank.
A’Maiya is a member of Apostolic Church of God in Chicago where she has served for seven (7) years as a Junior Usher and member of G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Women Reaching After Charm and Elegance) Teen Mentoring Program. Amazing women throughout her life who have taught her the importance of self-respect and character have influenced her, and she has chosen to incorporate some of the principles into her own mentoring program to empower other young women to strive for excellence.
In her spare time, A’Maiya enjoys listening to music, playing the clarinet and alto saxophone. She also loves rocking the runway in charity fashion shows for suicide prevention and student led scholarship initiative at Benedictine University.
A’Maiya is a resident of Bolingbrook, IL, and the daughter of Sharon and David Allen. She is a freshman broadcast journalism major at Howard University, where she is in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications Honor’s College as an Annenberg Scholar, and a member of the Freshman Leadership Academy (FLA).
A’Maiya looks forward to representing the state of Illinois as Miss IL Teen USA and making her state proud as she graces the Miss Teen USA stage, with hopes of capturing the national title.
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