Garris said she prepped her hair herself before the competition.
“The night before, I finger curled every single piece of my hair in the shower, which led to a very long shower, but it was for the greater good,” she shared in an interview with Refinery29. “I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Two People Contract HIV Following ‘Vampire Facials’ at Albuquerque Spa
Kaliegh Garris Crowned Miss Teen USA 2019 While Wearing Her Natural Curls https://t.co/qwe1BGsVFF
— People (@people) May 1, 2019
According to the Miss Universe Organization, Garris attends two high schools: the Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford and the Educational Center for the Arts, per MSN.com.
She’s also a competitive dancer and volunteers at Yale New Haven Hospital. Earlier this year, Garris launched an organization called We Are People 1st to assist individuals with disabilities. The initiative also honors her older sister who has “multiple disabilities,” Garris shared in an Instagram post in February.
The movement aims to educate youth “on how to respectfully discuss/speak to people with a health issue or disability,” the report states.
“I’m like, Miss Teen USA,” she proclaimed as she walked off stage on Sunday. “I’m Miss Teen USA. I am Miss Teen USA 2019,” Garris repeated.
When asked about her new crown after the win, she replies, “I love it!”
Backstage after her win, Garris said: “During the contest you know you have self-doubt because there are so many great people. I am just happy, proud, and grateful for the support system I have.”
She plans to attend Southern Connecticut State University’s nursing program after graduating high school, as she hopes to one day work as a trauma nurse.
— Miss USA & Miss Teen USA (@MissUSA) April 29, 2019