Rachel DeAngelis continues her reign and wins Miss Teen USA

The last time The Malibu Times spoke to Rachel DeAngelis, she was crowned Miss Teen West Coast. Fast forward four months later, she gained another title: Miss Teen United States. 

DeAngelis won five awards — best interview, swimwear award, evening gown award, photogenic, and miss teen personality — at the 2022 United States Pageant.

While studying full-time at Washington State, working, modeling, and acting, DeAngelis managed to continue to strive for the national title in October. 

“A couple months ago when we did the Miss Teen West Coast interview, to be able to take home that crown, I received so many positive comments after that pageant, even today, my phone is still going off and it probably won’t stop for a long time,” DeAngelis said. “Even just the fact that people are not only able to realize how much I do, but the impact I have on other people is exactly what my mission is.”

DeAngelis said she has seen a growth of community in the pageants, especially with young contestants. 

“It’s crazy to know how much the world is kind of involved in a sense that teens are so ambitious and they’re so career driven that other girls are like me in that sense,” DeAngelis said. “It’s a full circle and it’s the cutest thing to see.”

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DeAngelis said she has never seen a pageant with so much support from each contestant competing.

“I’ve never fallen in love with such a community that has such a big heart then at this year’s pageant; that’s what I loved the most, that’s what gives me motivation,” DeAngelis said. “That’s what gets me up every single day to compete and this year kind of exemplified that.”

DeAngelis said everyone has their own unique style and how they showcase themselves and their accomplishments.

“Competing is very tough because you’re all competing against each other but you’re also competing against yourself too,” DeAngelis said. “How well you can perform, how well you can possibly be, and to show yourself.”

As for future goals, apart from finishing school, DeAngelis hopes to continue inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle. In honor of her late uncle, Kevin DeAngelis, she promotes “Healthy Heart Healthy Life” through the American Heart Association. DeAngelis was involved with passing Bill AB 1719, which made learning CPR a California high school environment requirement, in 2016 and donated over $5,000 to the American Heart Association. 

“I don’t think there’s more time for me to compete again to win a separate crown, but I wouldn’t replace any other title for this moment than to be Miss Teen United States, but looking into this next year, I hope to inspire those to have a heart healthy lifestyle each and every single day,” DeAngelis said. “I’ve been an advocate for the American Heart Association for the past seven years and I hope to make my own nonprofit.”

DeAngelis currently broadcasts on Cable 8 Productions at Washington State University and after graduation, DeAngelis hopes to pursue her love for journalism.

“In addition to this, I am a broadcast news student at Washington State University and after graduation I would love to be on a local news station delivering the news and the weather each and every single day. I think that would be very cool,” DeAngelis said. “Especially being with Teen United States because not only will girls be able to see me on social media but they’ll be able to be on television every single day.”

DeAngelis just turned 20 years old in September and said she still wants to learn, grow and inspire others to follow their dreams.

“Not only am I still in school but I also have a job and I am doing everything that I wouldn’t say that the normal teenager does but I’m kind of in that stage where I am still in school sort of reaching for other dreams too,” DeAngelis said. “People tell me, ‘Oh my gosh, you have such a big heart,’ — it’s because I care. Not that I care about myself and what I do and what I accomplish, that I care about everybody else. I don’t want to see a girl give up on their dream of being Miss Teen United States or Miss Preteen United States, I want to make sure that every girl has their opportunity.”

Knowing how much impact she has made and the people she met throughout her pageant career, DeAngelis does look toward competing for Miss USA in the future. 

“If you would’ve asked me three weeks ago, I would’ve said no, but I’m never giving up, I definitely want to compete for Miss USA,” DeAngelis said. “Knowing the impact that I’ve made as Miss Teen United States, I care so much about the teen demographic, I care so much about inspiring other women and inspiring other teens so much that I want to be there every step of the way.”

“I don’t know where I’m going to go. I don’t know what kind of job I’m going to have or what state I’m going to live in, but this year’s Miss USA Pageant was interesting to say the least,” DeAngelis said. “There were so many comments and backlash on the Miss USA organization that it just gave me motivation to do the things that I want to do and pageants will follow along with that. So moving on to the next couple of years after my reign as Teen United States, I definitely want to go for Miss USA.”

DeAngelis started competing in beauty pageants at the age of 12. Now at 20, she still sees herself being a part of this community.

“I thought I was going to retire after a couple years of doing pageants but now moving on to year eight of me doing them, do I want to compete when I’m married? Absolutely,” DeAngelis said. “So I don’t think pageants are nowhere near over for me. I love competing and I love the community and I love the things that I do when I have that crown and sash on and so I think I’ll be competing for a long time.”

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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