A Heavenly Image: Miss Teen USA Ki’ilani Arruda speaks with Pageantry magazine about her journey to capturing the title of Miss Teen USA 2020. Ki’ilani discusses her beginnings in pageantry, growing up on the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain of islands, her transition to attending college as a freshman at the University of Puget Sound, her advocacy of Autism Awareness, and her plans as Miss Teen USA 2020.
Miss Teen USA Ki’ilani Arruda was born and raised in Kaua’i, Hawaii. She is a freshman at the University of Puget Sound, studying molecular and cellular biology, and minoring in Spanish. As an honor roll senior in high school, she maintained a 4.00 GPA. She also served as her school’s student body president and was a varsity member of the volleyball, swim, and track and field teams.
Miss Teen USA Ki’ilani credits her passion for STEM to a special biology teacher from high school. After obtaining her degree, Ki’ilani plans to continue her education at Stanford Medical School to become a dermatologist.
In her free time, Ki’ilani enjoys spending time at the beach, hiking, and gardening. She’s the oldest of three siblings. Inspired by her brother, Ki’ilani is an advocate for autism awareness, and her hope is that we can build a world that is accepting and inclusive for all people.