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Miss Teen International® 2013
Haley Pontius

When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of becoming a princess. To me, the idea of this seemed about as real as a fairytale. Although I dreamed, I never imagined it could actually happen. The day I was crowned Miss Teen International 2013 was the day my wildest childhood hopes and dreams came true! To be Miss Teen International is one of the greatest blessings I have ever received, and I plan to use it to the best of my abilities to promote my platform of the American Heart Association, the International pageant system, and glorify my savior Jesus Christ.

In 2007, my father was diagnosed with a heart disease called Atrial Fibrillation, in which the heart beats rapidly and erratically. At the time I was so young that I didn’t quite understand what was going on or why my father was in the hospital so much. But, many trips to the hospital and one heart surgery later, I know first-hand how heart disease affects the entire family! We had no idea of what it meant to live heart healthy, but we learned it’s about knowing your family, accessing your environment, and deciding to live a better life. After putting these steps into action the health of my family as a whole has
increased tremendously.

Since then, I have been working closely with the American Heart Association, and even had the opportunity to complete a summer internship to learn more about the organization and get involved. I have worked to educate others about heart disease and the easy steps they can take in their everyday life to prevent it, raise awareness of the organization and the many programs that it provides, and raise funds for the American Heart Association to continue their work and research. I also work to promote the Alliance For A Healthier Generation which is a partnership founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. It’s goal is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits. It is leading the charge against childhood obesity. I hope that by sharing my family's story, it will inspire others of all ages to take control of their health and make living a healthy lifestyle a habit.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I love art so you can always find me creating something, whether it’s drawing, painting, carving, crafting or even making short films. I also love to exercise, write poetry, play badminton and spend time outside in nature. I enjoy volunteering with Go Red For Women, the Special Olympics, the Make A Wish Foundation, as well as many local organizations.

I want to encourage everyone to never give up on your dreams, because if the big dreams of this small town little girl can come true, then anything is possible! All of our dreams can come true, if we only have the courage to pursue them. I am so honored to be Miss Teen International 2013 and I know God has great plans for my life, especially this year. It is my sincere hope that you will join with me on this journey of a lifetime!

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