Coronado high school senior, Zoe Hunt, was crowned Miss California Teen USA 2020 at the Acadia Performing Arts Center in Arcadia on January 26. This marks the first time a Coronado resident has won the title, and now Zoe will go on to represent California at the Miss Teen USA pageant later this year. Not what many would consider to be a typical candidate for a beauty pageant, Zoe is a nationally competitive kayaker, an exceptional student with a 4.6 GPA, and considers herself to be a bit shy and reserved. Through training and dedication she achieved her dream of winning the title of Miss California Teen USA and, along with that, a platform from which she can raise awareness for two causes she believes deeply in, pancreatic cancer and working with kids to get outside and active.
Zoe credits her mother, Susan Hunt, with much of her success in the pageant world and said “My Mom helped me the most, I grew up terribly shy but my Mom encouraged me to go to dancing, acting and public speaking classes and camps to help me overcome my shyness. She has always been my number one supporter. My entire family has always been behind me and believed in me.” The encouragement paid off, Zoe said she gained a love for public speaking and that is one of the things that drew her to the pageant competitions.
Zoe has held many titles, including Miss Coronado Pre Teen, Miss North County Regional Pre Teen, Miss Malibu Teen 2019 and 1st Runner up to Miss California Teen USA in 2019. She has enjoyed the competitions, meeting young women from all over the state and building lasting friendships. “We are so proud of Zoe and her willingness to step outside of her comfort zone in pursuit of her dreams.” said Susan Hunt, Zoe’s mother, about her many successes.
Zoe shared her excitement for the travel and volunteer opportunities that she will take part in over the coming year, but also understands the commitment, time management requirements and pressure that will come with it. “I am most excited about the opportunity to raise awareness; having the title and the crown gives me a voice and platform to reach more people and to be a role model for youth.” said Zoe. She is determined to keep her grades up and wants to finish her senior year strong before heading off to college. She also intends to keep up with her passion for kayaking and will continue to train with the Olympic Development Program and compete in Nationals this summer. But, most importantly, Zoe wants to enjoy this year and the experiences it will bring.
Zoe shared how much she loves Coronado, the tight knit and supportive community, its walkability/bike ability and the beach. Zoe said, “I am so happy, this small town was perfect to grow up in but I am ready and look forward to step outside and experience something new and different in college.” Zoe plans to stay in California but is looking to head up to Los Angeles or the San Francisco area.
Miss Teen USA is run by the Miss Universe Organization whose mission is to “empower women to realize their personal, professional and philanthropic goals through experiences that build self-confidence and act as catalysts for future success. We celebrate beauty, all forms of it, and provide the tools that help women to feel their most beautiful: ‘Confidently Beautiful.’”