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Miss Lehi Teen named, age requirement rule change creates controversy



The Miss Lehi’s Teen competition was held Saturday, June 3, at Skyridge High School. 17-year-old Amanda Giraldi’s focus on service and public speaking skills won over the judges as she was awarded the title of Miss Lehi’s Teen 2023 at the end of the competition.

Three days later, on Tuesday, June 5, The Miss America Organization (MAO) held a nationwide volunteer meeting where age eligibility requirements were clarified. The MAO communicated that regardless of what information was previously transmitted to local competition officials, all teen contestants participating in local competitions must have been born between 2006 and 2010. This decision deemed Giraldi ineligible under the new MAO guidelines because her birthday was in 2005.

A solution was presented to Giraldi and her family: She would still receive the scholarship earned at the competition, receive a new crown and sash, and have the opportunity to serve the city of Lehi for an entire year, just not under the MAO brand. Giraldi was asked to turn in her MAO crown and sash with the offer standing to represent Lehi City in an official capacity. 

Miss Lehi Teen pageant director Jennifer Thomas said, “As volunteers for the Miss Lehi’s Teen organization and the Miss America organization, we support Amanda, and we are heartbroken over this incident.” 

In February of this year, the MAO fell under new ownership, and changes to the program have been constant. 

“It is unfortunate that the structuring of the new ownership of the Miss America Organization has negatively impacted Amanda, her family, and the Miss Lehi Teen Organization. As volunteers, we are doing our best to navigate this challenge with the best possible outcome for Amanda and her family,” added Thomas.

“This is an unfortunate event that should be faulted to the national leadership level,” said Thomas. 


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