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Freshman dreams of spreading goodwill

Meeghan Henry, crowned Miss Teen Asia USA in 2011, is a 16-year-old freshman majoring in radio broadcasting. Henry is a member of the spirit squad on campus. Henry is also a singer and recently performed at the 21st Los Angeles Music Awards Voting Party at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. / photo by Candice Salazar

Amanda Nieto
LV Life Editor

To the quick observer, Meeghan Henry may seem like an ordinary University of La Verne freshman; just another student trying to work her way through her first year.

But look for a minute more and one can see Henry has potential and she is not afraid of where it can take her.

At 16 years old Henry, a radio broadcasting major, has already accomplished plenty by winning Miss Teen Asia USA and releasing her first album at 13.

She is now being nominated for Pop Artist of the Year by Los Angeles Music Awards.

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Henry moved to San Dimas at age 4.

While being homeschooled, Henry made the grueling decision to complete two grades of school in one year.

She later attended a performing arts middle school and high school which would later serve as a starting point for her future ambitions.

When she was 9 years old, Henry entered into the Little Miss San Dimas pageant, which she thought was going to be a one-time experience.

However, in January, Henry entered into Miss Teen Asia USA with the goal of gaining more exposure for her singing career.

She went through months of rigorous dance training and etiquette classes to prepare for the competition.

On Aug. 20, Henry faced 30 to 35 other hopefuls in pursuit of the crown.

After several meetings Henry was awarded the coveted honor.

“It’s a powerful title,” Henry said. “Why should I just look like a queen and wear the crown without using it?”

The desire to make a difference with her influence has led Henry to form strong stances on anti-bullying and anti-substance abuse.

“At my high school many people were under the influence, and I thought if everybody was like that what would our society be like?” Henry said.

Henry said that title of Miss Teen Asia USA holds power and with this power she hopes to be an inspiration to young adults.

“Teens can still have a great life without succumbing to drugs and drinking,” Henry said.

Richie Orozco, freshman political science major, sees how his close friend impacts others.

“She comes off as a strong leader,” Orozco said. “She always keeps everyone a part of the crowd; if she sees someone sitting alone she will invite them to join the group.”

“We have potential and to throw that away for being under the influence is a waste,” Henry said.

Similar to using her Miss Teen title, Henry plans to use her singing as a way to direct attention toward these issues.

Henry has been singing since the age of six; likewise from an early age she has been songwriting.

Henry said that her first attempts at songwriting were in the form of poetry and gradually matured into song lyrics.

“Song writing is not only a way of venting but of sharing,” Henry said.

At 13 Henry released her first album titled, “When I’m 18.”

“It’s nice to see someone so young going after what they want,” sophomore communications major and cheer captain Ashley Rozatti said.

A-list performers, she also plans to continue working for the benefit of young adults around her.

Henry said that similar to Angelina Jolie, being United Nations Goodwill Ambassador would be a dream where she can use her fame as a singer to call attention where it is needed.

In November Henry will be attending the Los Angeles Music Awards at the Avalon Theatre to meet other notable artists and possibly pick up an award for Pop Artist of the Year while she is there.

Amanda Nieto can be reached at amanda.nieto@laverne.edu.

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