Miss Teen USA to be crowned this weekend in Phoenix

Posted at 6:31 AM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 14:30:10-04

They've got the walk, the smile and the precise moves. This week 51 young girls from across the United States are in the Valley for the Miss Teen USA Pageant. It’s the first time the national competition has been held in Phoenix.

"I'm proud to show that we're more than just the heat," says Karlina Riggs, Miss Arizona Teen USA. The 17 year-old lives in Scottsdale and is entering her senior year at Chaparral High School.

Sure she wears high-heels now but that wasn't always the case. "I traded in my cleats for heels so now I'm a girly girl," says Riggs. "I just dove right in."

Every girl has their own message about empowering other young girls and teens. For Riggs, she's planning to speak to Congress about civics education.

She'd like to see every school in the nation require students to pass a civics test before they graduate. "I think if youth today is going to be strong leaders of tomorrow we need to know who and what shaped our nation."

Of course every girl is competing for the crown and the title but they're also up for a $10,000 scholarship and $5,000 cash reward.

The final competition is Saturday night at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix. Tickets are still available. The event is open to the public. For more information on the event, CLICK HERE