Miss Maryland Teen USA 2019
On Sunday, October 28, 2018 seventeen year old Amalia Sanches was crowned Miss Maryland Teen USA 2019 on her first attempt for the title. The senior at BCC high school currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland but was born in Arlington, Virginia.
At the age of four Amalia’s parents divorced which led she, her brother, and her French-Guinean mother to move to an island on the coast of Sao Paulo called Ilhabela. She was raised in Ilhabela until she moved to Lisbon, Portugal. While in Lisbon, Amalia studied in a french school and spent a summer in Spain. Due to her upbringing, Amalia is now fluent in five languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Fulani.
Amalia’s ambition is to study international business to promote tolerance and understanding. The combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the prospect of studying a business degree appealing to Amalia. Business has a very broad labor field, not only locally but internationally, and it is a career that more so combines academic issues in relation to many others. Amalia truly believes international business is the perfect fit for her because of her diverse background, being multilingual, biracial, and having multiple nationalities.
While Amalia is very thankful for her diverse upbringing, even to this day she sometimes struggles with her differences and diversities. She has learned to use her differences to her advantage and plans to share this with young girls. Amalia has learned that her skin color, curly hair, and accent is just part of who she is. She has learned the biggest challenge disguised as an advantage is cultural fluidity. Being biracial, in essence, Amalia has felt that she doesn’t completely fit in with any one ethnicity. She frequently finds herself being judged by others because she doesn’t fit perfectly in one group. While this may always be a challenge for Amalia, she constantly reminds herself to to not feel like she has to have a label or feel “boxed in”. She hopes to share this reminder, not only with those who are biracial, but with anyone who has ever doubted themselves.
Besides being culturally diverse, Amalia also describes herself as a bit of a tomboy. She has always been very athletic. She practiced ballet for nine years, swam competitively for three years, ran track for two years, and has been boxing for the past two years.
Amalia also enjoys giving back. She and her mother created a charity called “SIMRET”, named after her mother’s fiance who unfortunately died of alcohol poisoning. Wanting to turn such a tragic event into something positive, they now send clothes, shoes, toys, and other supplies to children in West Africa. Amalia plans to visit Guinee next summer to visit her family and all of the children she has been sending the supplies to.
Amalia will spend her year as Miss Maryland Teen USA 2019 spreading her message to always be confident in yourself and to be thankful for everything that makes you unique. She will also continue to give to local charities and try to make any positive difference she can.
*View photos of Amalia @ https://missmarylandusa.com/miss-maryland-teen-usa-instagram-feed/