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International Pageant

July 29th and 31st


The Accomplishments
Of Today's
Teens ®

Miss Teen New Jersey International®

Teya Cartagena-Walsh

What Superhero would you like to be and why?
My family life. I am the oldest sibling of 4 kids, and currently live with them, my mom and grandma. My dad lives with his girlfriend now. When we all lived together, when I was 2-6 we really had it great. I was a happy little girl. I was a daddy's girl, and did everything with him. I was always very well rounded. In school, arts programs, sports (tennis, golf, softball, baseball, soccer, fishing).

What according to you is a true friend?
I have always been an over-achiever with strong beliefs. 1st grade up I had been on top of my grades and by 8th grade, I was in National Junior Honor Society with not a grade lower than an A, for all my years of school. I was making the music for my chorus for school, and involved in theater and church programs. I was captain of my softball team and worked hard.

How do you handle criticism?
My family and I were homeless when I was in 6th grade. My dad was an alcoholic who didn't pay our mortgage. Before we knew it my mom, a stay at home mom, had to leave my dad, get a job and find a place to live on short notice. We ended up living with my pastors family for a year while my mom worked to get our family back on their feet.

When was the last time you tried something new?
I was bullied all throughout school. My home life is what I depended on. I have a family history of depression, and I have suffered from depression and self-harm from grades 7-9th, because thats when the bullying and family circumstances became too much. My sophomore year of school I went to counseling and I started working on myself, surrounding myself with better people, and doing better things, like helping girls with similar situations.

Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
I have a wonderful support system. My church is my backbone. They are a second family. I have been going there since I was 2, and I am so thankful to them for always being there for my family and I. They have helped me develop strong morals to live by and to help others with. I've been a leader at my church in the youth ministry programs through my music and strong speaking skills.