Miss St. Clair Shores Teen crowned as ‘Outstanding’ in state

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 12, 2023

 Kylie D’Andrea is crowned as Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen.

Kylie D’Andrea is crowned as Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen.

Photo Provided by Suzette D’Andrea


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Kylie D’Andrea’s hard work paid off as she was crowned Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen over Father’s Day weekend.

D’Andrea started taking part in competitions when she was 12 years old, and she won five titles as Miss St. Clair Shores Teen. She was the first runner up for two years at the Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen competition before winning this year and also winning the interview award.

“It was very rewarding after all those years, you know, working for it, but very thankful that I have it now,” D’Andrea said.

The Miss America Organization, the main organization the state competitions fall under, gives out scholarships, D’Andrea said. As Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen, she won a full ride academic scholarship to the University of Alabama and $5,000 in other scholarships.

Girls who take part in the competition come from all over the state, D’Andrea said.

“Girls are from the bottom of the state. One girl is actually from the Alpena area, so very far away. Then, there’s a lot of girls from metro Detroit, Saginaw, so we’re all kind of scattered,” D’Andrea said.

The categories for Miss Michigan’s Outstanding Teen are a 10-minute interview, talent, athletic wear, evening gown and an onstage question, D’Andrea said. Her talent performance was a jazz dance to “Baby I’m a Star” by Prince.

Miss St. Clair Shores, Izzy Wallace, was the first runner-up in the Miss Michigan competition that occurred the same weekend.

Miss Michigan Maya Schuhknecht will compete in the Miss America competition in January.

Wallace said it takes quite a while to get ready for the competitions.

“Only because it’s just a lot of preparing to bring your best, you know, the best version of yourself to the table,” she said.

The categories for the Miss Michigan competition were evening wear, fitness, talent, onstage conversation and a private interview. For the talent category, Wallace chose singing and she performed “I (Who Have Nothing),” by Jordin Sparks.

Both D’Andrea and Wallace said they have community service initiatives and that each contestant gets to choose the platform they stand on. Wallace’s platform is called “Success by Professional Development, Bridging the Employment Gap,” and D’Andrea’s is called “Hope for the Homeless.”

D’Andrea said she goes around the state volunteering at homeless shelters and food pantries. She also makes “Faith in a Bag” gifts with everyday necessities and a Bible verse.

“It’s really cool because, depending on what’s near and dear to your heart or what you personally are connected to, you’re able to then go out in the community and act on it,” Wallace said.

They also both said they knew some of the other girls before they came to the competition. D’Andrea said they call it the “sisterhood.”

“The girls are just so sweet, and each and every one of them just empowers you to be better and truly is a great joy to be around,” D’Andrea said.

She recalled a moment when they were calling out the top five and both she and her best friend in the organization were called.

“We ran into each other and gave each other a huge hug, and it’s just those connections and friendships you make are not like normal ones because you have a lot of the same interests and you want to help people and you want to do good,” D’Andrea said.

The next step for D’Andrea is competing in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition in January. She said it is a very neat experience.

“Not only are you competing to be Miss America’s Teen and competing in those categories again, but also you’re meeting girls from the whole entire United States, so then you make connections in each and every state,” D’Andrea said.