Meet Miss City Beautiful’s Teen 2024

Windermere resident Amelia Grace Donaho, a junior at Foundation Academy, has been selected as Miss City Beautiful’s Teen 2024.

Amelia Grace Donaho is working to break the stereotype associated with pageants by inspiring others and leading with her heart.
Amelia Grace Donaho is working to break the stereotype associated with pageants by inspiring others and leading with her heart.
Photo by Annabelle Sikes
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The moments leading up to the announcement of Miss City Beautiful’s Teen 2024 were filled — not with nervousness for 17-year-old Amelia Grace Donaho — but, instead, with peace. 

“I don’t really know how to explain it, but I felt peace just came over me,” she said. “I had peace knowing that either this was going to go well, I was going to win and it would be great; or I’m not, and God has somewhere else he wants me to be. When I won, I knew it was a ‘Yes’ from God. It was a moment of pure joy and happiness.”

Amelia, a Windermere resident and junior at Foundation Academy, was crowned at the Miss Orlando 2024 competition held Feb. 11 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Amelia Grace Donaho was crowned at the Miss Orlando 2024 competition held Feb. 11 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Courtesy photo

She will join five other women to represent Team Orlando 2024 at the Miss Florida 2024 competition in June in Lakeland.

In addition to Amelia, the group includes Amber Boykin, Miss Orlando 2024; Tori Leto, Miss City Beautiful 2024; Lindsey Franxman, Miss Winter Park 2024; Milee Hasting, Miss Orlando’s Teen 2024; and Aubrey Rosenhaus, Miss Winter Park’s Teen 2024.

“Obviously, it would be great to win in June,” Amelia said. “But outside of that, I just hope to continue to have the opportunity to spread my Community Service Initiative and my faith in God. I want to help people. It’s not so much about what I gain, but how I can help others.”


Born in Alabama, Amelia and her family moved to Florida when she was 7 years old. She started in pageants when she was only 2.

“She just loved being on stage,” her mother Amanda Donaho said. “She would ask to do them. It was just fun because all of the pageants she did had an interview component where she had to meet with judges. She’s just always been able to talk to people. I think that was a big part of her interest.”

In Alabama, Amelia was part of Alabama’s Rising Stars, which is a program of the Miss Alabama Competition through which candidates act as mentors for young ladies.

Amelia started attending Foundation Academy in second grade.

In Florida, Amelia became part of the Little Sunshine Sisters program, which is the mentorship program for the Miss Florida Competition. There, she had the opportunity to be mentored by Taylor Tyson, Miss Florida 2018. She also competed in a few of the Florida Cinderella Pageants.

She then decided to take a break from pageants for about five years.

The recent Miss Orlando competition was the first Amelia had participated in since then. She decided only about a month before the competition was held to re-enter the pageant world. 

“I think it was because I finally started to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin,” she said. “I wanted to see what I could get out of the pageants and what I could learn when meeting all the people and having the experiences.”

Amelia knows pageants sometimes receive a bad rap, but one of her main goals is to shift that mindset. 

“I’ve kind of had to explain that this is not the case to people at my school lately when they found out I had been crowned,” she said. “It’s not about being the prettiest person. It’s all about who you are on the inside, and that’s what I love the most about the Miss America opportunity.”


Amelia has learned a multitude of valuable skills when competing in pageants, including public speaking, preparing for job interviews and getting along with different types of people.

Preparing for a pageant also takes a lot of hard work and finances.

As part of the pageant, the women competing must undergo an interview portion, complete a talent segment and come up with their own Community Service Initiative.

“I love talking to people, so I think the interview component was pretty easy for me, but it was still nerve wracking,” Amelia said. “The talent and my CSI took a lot of practice, time and thought.”

For her talent, she chose to tap dance to “Na Na Na” by Pentatonix.

Amelia started dancing when she was only 2 years old and said she has always loved tap.

She was part of the Orlando Tap Company when she was 12 but decided to take a break from dance to explore sports and other activities.

Amelia’s CSI is called “Spend, Save, Serve: Creating a Healthy Money Mindset.”

“Your CSI has to be something that you feel very sure about and that you have a strong passion for, not just something you think the judges would like,” she said. “My parents took the time to talk with me about their financial ups and downs. They also live life with a heart of service and have been faithful with their tithe and generosity to others. As a teen preparing to enter college and the workforce, my passion is to live financially free, and I want my generation to experience this as well. 

“Through my CSI, I partnered with my school to create a finance program for our elementary students,” she said. “I am now working with the local Boys and Girls Club on plans to start the finance program there. Additionally, a private school in Georgia decided to implement a portion of my CSI. I am excited to further this initiative by partnering with more schools in the Orlando area and beyond to bring a practical yet fun approach to a healthy money mindset.”

Amelia is astonished she was able to pull off everything in such a short period of time. 

“A lot of the girls had been preparing for a long time, but I was kind of just dipping my toes in the water again,” she said. “I really have to credit that to my faith in God. There were so many things and blessings that worked out in my favor. It was incredible. … Yes, it was a lot to balance everything, but I was pursuing my dream. It was so worth it, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Amelia Grace Donaho (right) said she is very close with Tori Leto, Miss City Beautiful 2024.
Courtesy photo

The sisterhood of the pageant world is yet another aspect that attracted Amelia to the competition.

“Some people also think that pageants are all about competition,” she said. “While it is a competition, I would describe it more as a sisterhood. I’ve only known Tori (Leto) for about a month, but we are so close already. Knowing she always has my back is an amazing thing to have close to your heart in the pageants.”

Scholarship opportunities are yet another strong draw for the Miss Florida organization. Since its founding in 1935, the organization has awarded more than $45 million to candidates in the state.


Amelia will have more time to prepare for the upcoming Miss Florida 2024 competition. 

During this time, she hopes to focus more on her CSI. In the future, she wishes to bring her initiative to the Florida legislature. Her dream would be to implement the CSI in high schools for seniors to have to take before they graduate.

As for her own future in school, Amelia hopes to attend the University of Alabama to pursue a career in the medical field and become an obstetrician, while also continuing to expand her interests in business and finance and even become the first person in her family to obtain her doctorate. 

But, for now, Amelia stays plenty busy with her passions at Foundation Academy.

From tap dance to weightlifting, community service, volleyball, National Honor Society and more, 17-year-old Amelia Grace Donaho is an excellent representative of the city beautiful.
Courtesy photo

She is a member of National Honor Society, a co-leader for Daughters Growing in Grace, yearbook editor and a member of the Student Leadership Institute. She plays varsity volleyball and beach volleyball and became the first girl at her school to go to states for weightlifting. 

She has earned a Distinguished Christian Student Award; has been named team captain for varsity weightlifting and volleyball; is a Volleyball All-Around Athlete and an Olympic and traditional district and regional champion in weightlifting; and was named the Speed, Strength and Agility Female Top Athlete of the Year in 2023.

“I cannot think of a better representative for Foundation Academy in our community,” said Sarah Reynolds, Upper School principal at Foundation Academy. “Amelia has a posture of grace, confidence and leadership within our school, and we are so grateful that she is sharing that outside of our walls in the city beautiful that is Orlando.”

Soon, Amelia will have the opportunity to have her own mentee through the Little Sunshine Sisters program. However, she said her own biggest mentor and supporter is her mother.

Amanda Donaho said her daughter is a natural-born leader in anything she does.

“I never wanted to be a parent that pushed,” Amanda Donaho said. “I think maybe being an educator you see all different aspects of that. I wanted her to experience different types of things but then make her own choices and decisions on them. I wanted her to forge her own path, because it’s not my future. It’s hers.”

Follow Amelia's journey on Instagram @misscitybeautifulteenfl.

Amelia Grace Donaho will join five other women to represent Team Orlando 2024 at the Miss Florida 2024 competition in June in Lakeland.
Courtesy photo



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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