Catching up with Mikaela Harris, Miss California's Outstanding Teen 2013

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What have you been up to since your year as Miss California’s Outstanding Teen?

I graduated from high school and moved to Malibu. I’m studying public relations at Pepperdine and am looking to get into promotional events upon graduating. I’ve been taking some classes at the University of Hawaii over the past couple of summers, and in fall of 2016 I studied abroad in Buenos Aires. Oh and I’ve still been making music! Recently I’ve started producing which has been a super fun project.

Tell us a little about college life!

It’s the best. Pepperdine is a dream. It’s so cool to be surrounded by people who share a lot of the same goals and passions that I do. It seems like everyone here wants to get involved, so I’m definitely in the right place.

What made you compete at the local level?

My mom took me to several Miss Hawaii Pageants when I was a kid. I saw the girls onstage and I thought, “I can do that.”  The contestants seemed so regular and comfortable with themselves, so I just knew from a young age that I wanted to be a part of an organization that promoted that.

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What would you say to girls who are thinking about competing?

Just go for it! I was definitely a rookie in the game when I won the state pageant, but I just learned as I went. Also, you don’t have to drop crazy amounts of money just to compete - just get creative. My local, state and national interview dresses were all from Kohl’s, and I reused old prom dresses for talent and eveningwear.

What’s next for Mikaela?

I’m gonna keep searching for new things to love and keep learning about the things that I already do. Lately I’ve been on a mission to meet as many people and go as many places as I can. I’m stoked that my future career in public relations lines up with that passion of mine so well. The mission has been such an unreal experience so far. I don’t think I’ll be slowing down anytime soon.