HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In front of a packed house Saturday at the historic Hawaii Theater, Kathryn Teruya walked away with the crown after winning the title of Miss Hawaii 2017.
Currently studying biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Teruya beat out 14 other contestants from Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Teruya, a 2014 Iolani graduate, said the moment she was announced as the winner was surreal.
"I was in shock. I was so full of different emotions. My mind went blank, but I thought about my mom because she encouraged me to keep going," she said.
The Miss Hawaii Scholarship pageant scores contestants based on a judge's interview, talent, evening wear, lifestyle and fitness and the final on-stage question.
A jazz routine to the song, "I Wanna Be a Rockette" scored Teruya the best in talent award, along with two additional scholarship awards for community service and the Miss Hawaii golf tournament.
Teryua is passionate about dentistry, and hopes her platform, "BFF: Brush, Floss, Flouride" will teach young children the importance of oral care.
"I love to be going out into schools and being an advocate, teaching kids how to brush and floss their teeth properly," Teruya said. "It's really fun, really easy and a great way to keep us all healthy and safe."
Teruya is no stranger to the pageant scene. In 2012, she won the title of Miss Hawaii Teen USA, a title in which her younger sister, Lauren Teruya, now holds.
"It's been so much fun for our whole family. (It's) an opportunity for so much growth," she said.
Teruya will now represent the Aloha State when she competes for the Miss America title in Atlantic City in September.