Niles Wests Own Miss Teen Universe Illinois: Natalie Magdaleno


By Luca Hatzopoulos, Managing and Social Media Editor

From modeling to beauty pageants to volunteering at her local church, senior Natalie Magdaleno does it all. Since freshman year, Magdaleno has been involved in modeling and recently branched out to competing in pageants about two years ago. While participating in her first pageant, she won Miss Teen Mundial Illinois 2019, an impressive feat for the rookie.

During her freshman year, Magdaleno was looking to expand her horizons. A year after modeling, the director of her modeling agency reached out to her about competing in pageants, and she loved the idea of it.

“What made me love pageants was all of the amazing aspects to them. In my experience, pageants have led me to make great friendships, empower other girls, become more confident, and be a role model for those who need it,” Magdaleno said. “I love participating in pageants because you get to show all of the effort you’ve put into them and the rush of the final night is the most exciting! You get to wear all these different outfits, rock the runway, and really just enjoy everything you’ve worked for.”

After competing in the Teen Mundial competition, Magdaleno was so inspired she decided she would compete in the Miss Teen Universe competition.

“I saw it as my next goal in the pageant world. I wanted to do Miss Teen Universe because it is much more of a fierce competition and requires a lot of determination and discipline. It really mirrors the Miss Universe organization. My main motivation for competing in Teen Universe is that I wanted to push myself not only as a model, but as a competitor, and in the process be a role model for other girls,” Magdaleno said.

Miss Teen universe to Magdaleno is more than just beauty and looks, which is something that Magdaleno admires about this organization.

“Teen Universe is a great organization focused on finding the best role model for the world. Their focus is far beyond someone beautiful, but someone full of integrity, discipline, hard work, and who’s also kind, humble, and does work with their community. Teen Universe is a lot more than just a crown and a sash, it’s a responsibility,” Magdaleno said.

While competing in Miss Teen Universe, although she didn’t get first place, Magdaleno did place in the top 15, which is an unforgettable moment for her. In such a prestigious and competitive competition, she was beyond proud of herself for placing in the top 15.

“Even though Natalie has faced many obstacles this year, she continued to strive to work harder and push herself towards her goals, She’s not only very determined, but she’s also super kind and tries to make everyone happy,” her younger brother, Thomas Magdaleno, said.

Not only does Magdaleno have endless support from her family, her friends are very supportive of her too. She’s maintained friendships, school, and pageants with people all around her, supporting her.

“Natalie and I have been bestfriends since eighth grade. She’s been modeling dresses and representing Illinois for years now and I’m so proud of her. She does pageants almost every weekend and photographed during the weekdays, so sometimes it’s hard to see each other with our clashing schedules. She works very hard and I’m very proud of her,” senior Alae Amjahdi said.

“In the future, I want to continue modeling and doing photo shoots! As for pageants, I want to finish my Teen Universe Illinois 2020 reign and crown my successor. I would love to do pageants later on, but for now I really want to focus on finishing off my senior year of high school, and I’m looking forward to college and what it holds for me,” Magdaleno said.