Raleigh native claims Miss America’s Teen crown

Hanley House was named Miss America's Teen on Jan. 13, 2024. Houston M Photography

ORLANDO — For the first time, Miss North Carolina’s Teen has captured the crown of Miss America’s Teen. On Saturday, Jan. 13, North Carolina’s Hanley House was named Miss America’s Teen at the national competition at the Walt Disney Theater in Orlando.

Born in Raleigh, House is a student at Cleveland High School in Johnston County. She is a competitive dancer and has garnered national dance awards and studied ballet at the Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, according to a release from the Miss North Carolina organization.

Prior to her victory on Saturday, House had already taken home two preliminary awards — for evening gown and physical fitness — and earned $6,000 in scholarships.

She started her own vinyl design business at age twelve, inspiring her to create her community service initiative “Passion to Profit” to empower young entrepreneurs and building real-world skills. Through her business, she donated more than $1,000 to the American Heart Association. Her plans to further her education include studying architecture and design while performing on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “Carolina Girls” dance team.

Miss America’s Teen is a division of the Miss America program for young women ages 13-18. Since its founding in 2005, Miss America’s Teen has paid over $1.3 million in cash scholarships to 200 colleges and universities. The teen organization also has in-kind relationships with the University of Alabama, Dakota State University, Hollins University, Rowan University, Troy University and the University of West Virginia. This year’s competition included a total of 51 contestants. The overall prize package includes a $60,000 scholarship or a 4-year scholarship to the University of Alabama.

Miss Ohio’s Teen, Paisley French, was first runner-up.

House will now serve for the next year as Miss America’s Teen. Colleen McDermott, from Johnston County, was first runner-up at the Miss North Carolina’s Teen competition and will be in line to assume the state title following House’s win.

A day later, Miss North Carolina, Taylor Loyd, competed for the crown of Miss America. Her weekend began with a coveted preliminary talent award with an operatic performance and was one of three to capture a $3,000 scholarship from Kawai Pianos. She was joined by Miss Maine, Veronica Druchniak, and Miss Michigan, Maya Schuhknecht, as preliminary talent winners.

Loyd would finish in the top 11 on Sunday night.

The 2024 Miss America crown went to Miss Colorado, Madison Marsh, a 22 year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and student at Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program. She is the first active-duty Air Force officer ever to receive the national title.