JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 16-year-old from Jacksonville holds a new title and a very impressive background. Leah Sykes was crowned Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen 2014 on August 17.
Sykes sang for Channel 4's cameras Tuesday night, which we quickly learned is just one of her many talents.
What impressed us the most about the 16-year-old is her enormous heart. Sykes has already started her own foundation to create a handicapped accessible beach park, making it easier for disabled people to enjoy the beach.
"Especially here in Florida it's often something we take for granted, the beautiful sunrises, or the water or sand and I wanted to get that opportunity to everyone," said Sykes.
Sykes will now be able to take her platform across the country and serve as the teenage ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Sykes first pageant was in January, and she explained it was something she never thought she'd do, let alone to win the crown for Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen.
"The way society views pageants is always toddlers and tiaras and Honey Booboo, and although I love those shows, I don't condone anybody who does that. I wasn't necessarily interested in being part of anything like that," said Sykes.
Sykes changed her mind when she went to watch a pageant and became inspired.
"It was about rewarding, talented, intelligent, young women who are actually doing things in the community," said Sykes.