Westlake’s newest beauty queen is Tiara Hunt. Really.
And she is the reigning Miss Cuyahoga County in the Miss USA pageant.
The irony of her name isn’t lost on Hunt, who will be competing for the Miss Ohio crown in November.
“I’ve gotten a lot of ‘Like the crown?' questions when asked about my name,” Hunt said. “It’s kind of ironic now.”
This is the first pageant Hunt, 25, has entered.
“I was contacted about doing the preliminary for the state pageant back in April, and went on a whim and to my surprise and delight I advanced to this point,” she said.
She will compete in the Miss Ohio USA 2014 contest Nov. 8 and 9 the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts in Portsmouth, Ohio. Should she win, she will advance to the Miss USA 2014 contest.
Unlike the Miss America contest, a talent portion is not included. Contestants are judged on Interview, Swimsuit and Evening Gown. Judging criteria includes poise, confidence, character and personality.
Hunt said entering the contest on a whim and being named Miss Cuyahoga County was “more than exciting.”
“Having done this on a whim and then to be given that title was a beyond amazing feeling,” she said.
The Cleveland native attended Hudson High School and graduated from Orange High School in 2005 and Kent State University, where she obtained her Bachelor in Science degree in nursing.
She currently works full time for the Cleveland Clinic as an Appointment Center Representative and is preparing to take the NCLEX-RN nursing exam.
As with most title holders, Hunt has a cause.
"My 'cause,' if you will, is more based on self-empowerment, not allowing anything to prohibit one from going after and obtaining their life aspirations," she said. "Whether it is obtaining a college degree, starting a business, etc, with determination, will power, and support you can make it happen."
As an advocate for self-empowerment, independence and living with a purpose is evident by her organization Arai of Life Inc., which is fashion-based but supports opportunities for aspiring fashion designers/models within the community.
Current preparations include plenty of paperwork and a photo shoot in October.
“I’m contacting all of the cities, villages and townships in Cuyahoga County to elicit support as I represent the county,” she said. “Currently I’m trying to learn make-up application, because I don’t really wear it and we have to know how to do our own makeup for the pageant. That’s probably the toughest part, haha.”
Hunt, the daughter of William and Charese Hunt, is also a Music Ministry leader and Youth Mentor at her church, Prevailing Church of Solon. She founded and runs a business Arai of Life Inc., where she provides fashion related services and merchandise.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time
with her family and friends, trying new restaurants, writing, listening to
music and shopping.