Vanessa Adwoa Rose Smith, a Ghanaian living in the United States, has won Teen Universe USA after previously winning the same pageant for the state of Arizona, according to Ghanaian media myjoyonline.com. Smith, 19, will represent the United States in Spain in February of next year.
Smith, a systems engineering student at Arizona State University, is the daughter of a Ghanaian father and a Sierra Leonean mother. Smith entered pageantry to be “versatile and adaptable,” she explained.
“I love school and everything in between but I also love the arts. I am so grateful to have parents who have supported and encouraged me through every venture I took on,” the new Miss Teen Universe USA said after her win.
Smith, a science student in pageantry, believes that some people may not see a link between the arts and STEM. But the desire to not be limited to one identity is what drove her to pursue pageantry. “Pageantry can show all different sides of you,” she explained. You can be academic and ambitious while also being poised, beautiful, and charismatic.”
The Ghanaian student is preparing for the international competition, which will take place in Spain. “I continuously do work throughout my community, mainly focusing on the youth. I am adamant about advocating for youth because I know how much we have to offer, but as young people, we are more difficult to take seriously. We are the future, and my mission is to provide as many resources as possible to the youth in order for them to have a successful future.”
Smith, Arizona’s Top Model 2023, attended Hamilton High School as well.