Miss New Jersey Teen USA Christina Thompson: “Volunteer Service Is A Big Part Of Who I Am”

Miss New Jersey Teen USA Christina Thompson is gearing up for the Miss Teen USA pageant happening this Saturday, August 10th. Taking place at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Christina and 50 other contestants representing all of the states plus the District of Columbia will compete for the coveted Miss Teen USA crown.

Celebrity Teen Scoop chatted with Christina about how she’s preparing for the Miss Teen USA Pageant, how she got her start in beauty competitions, and her greatest inspirations in lifeThe beauty queen also discussed her extensive background in volunteering to help children in need!

CTS: How are you preparing for the Miss Teen USA Pageant?

Christina: “I have great sponsors; one of which is DePasquale Salon and Spa. I’ve been going to them for haircuts, glosses, facials, massages, etc., and they’re really awesome! Also, I love to run long distances. I typically go for one or two runs a day, each lasting about an hour. I’ve already run a 5K for the Restore the Shore charity, and I’m planning on competing in a half marathon after the pageant! I know how important it is to eat well, and I’ve learned even more about nutrition and healthy ways to eat.”

CTS: How did you get your start in beauty competitions?

Christina: “When I was about seven years old, I went to my mom and asked her if I could compete in a pageant. She told me that I had to be older, and eventually she put me in a ‘Natural Pageant,’ where you can’t wear makeup until you’re 13. Because of my experience in pageants, I think they really help young girls learn valuable life skills like interviewing, public speaking and poise.”

CTS: What is your favorite part about competing in beauty pageants? 

Christina: “I love interviewing! I think it’s great that in an interview, we get to communicate on a more personal level. Although, I do have to say that wearing a beautiful dress comes in very close second!”

CTS: You are currently on the weekly nation TV show, Teen Kids News. What is the show all about? How did you get involved with the show?

Christina: “Teen Kids News is the number 1 educational news show for kids, and it also just won its first Emmy award! The show is aimed at reporting news in a way that is fun and interesting for kids and teens. I think it’s important for the youth of America to have an understanding about what’s going on in the world, and Teen Kids News gives me the opportunity to report on stories that hold a child’s interest.”

I got involved in the show by going on a casting call in NYC. It was my first casting ever, and I had to sit behind a desk and read from a teleprompter for the first time. About a month after I auditioned, I got an email asking me to be on the 2012/2013 season. I also just finished filming for the 2013/2014 season this week!”

CTS: Do you hope to have a career in broadcast journalism? 

Christina: “I do hope to have a career in broadcast journalism! I have aspirations to one day, with my own camera crew, return to the countries where I’ve volunteered and go around the United States reporting on the reality of severe poverty and what everyday people can do to make a difference.”

CTS: You also have an extensive background in volunteering to help children in need. Could you tell us about some of your volunteer projects?  

Christina: “Volunteer service is a big part of who I am. It began in 2008 when I went on my first mission trip. I went to Faith Ranch in Ohio to renovate a ranch where autistic children go to ride horses. Faith Ranch inspired me to not only return there the next summer, but to also become a student teacher for the autistic kids at my church. My third summer volunteering was geared at renovating a children’s park in inner city Detroit.

After Faith Ranch and Detroit, I knew I had to go out of the country. The summer after my freshman year, I packed up my bags and traveled with a group of people I had never met to a country I had never been to before: Belize. I volunteered at an orphanage in Belize City. The summer after that, I went with the same group of people to Guatemala to work with the families and children that live in extreme poverty at a trash dump. Sadly when parents can no longer take care of their children, they drop them off at this destitute place. Education is the only way out of the life of poverty for these people, so this summer I returned to Guatemala to bring food and supplies to those living at the dump. I also started the process of sponsoring a child living at the dump to help him or her attend school and get out of the extreme poverty. I was also fortunate enough to teach English at that school just this past summer.”

CTS: Who are your greatest inspirations in life?

Christina: “My greatest inspirations in life are my mom and my great-great grandfather. My mom is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. She inspires me to be a better person because of her love for me. When she tells me I have to ability to do something, I know I truly can because she will always be there to back me up. My great-great grandfather also inspires me, because I know he helped feed hundreds of people during the Great Depression. I think I inherited my love for helping others from him.”

CTS: What is the first thing you plan to do if you win the Miss Teen USA title? 

Christina: “I know how volunteering and giving back has shaped who I am today, so I would like to encourage kids here in the America to make a difference. We may be young, but there are so many opportunities out there to change lives. Also, I’d speak about and bring awareness to child poverty in the U.S. Many people don’t know that there are about 16 million kids living below the poverty line in our country. This needs to change, and I think the first step is encouraging the America’s kids to get involved and help others.”

The 2013 Miss Teen USA Competition will be streamed live from the Atlantis, Paradise Island Saturday, August 10th at 8 p.m. EST on www.missteenusa.com. Fans can vote for their favorite contestant and help her earn a spot in the semifinals through the Miss Teen USA Fan Votepresented by Lisa B. Collection. Fans can vote online at www.missteenusa.com or through the Miss Teen USA “vote” icon on Facebook.

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