Big Island girl finds success in national pageant

  • Courtesy of Raelyn Ioane Hawaii Island's Aspen Taylor Hanohano waves to the crowd as the new Miss Elementary America for the 6th grade during the National Elementary America Pageant in Arkansas last month.

  • Courtesy of Raelyn Ioane Hawaii Island's Aspen Taylor Hanohano is crowned the new Miss Elementary America for the 6th grade during the National Elementary America Pageant in Arkansas last month.

Hawaii Island’s Aspen Taylor Hanohano is the new Miss Elementary America for the sixth grade after competing in a national pageant in Arkansas last month.

Hanohano represented Hawaii in the Elementary America Pageant, a branch of the Miss High School America Pageant. The program hosts the competition for girls from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade.

ADVERTISING


Hanohano, 11, is a student at Ke Kula ‘O Nawahiokalani‘opu‘u Iki Lab Public Charter School in Keaau and has competed in pageants since she was 1.

Last year, Hanohano was crowned Miss Hawaii Elementary America 2020, which advanced her to the national pageant. In September 2020, she competed in Little Rock, Ark., and placed first runner up in the fifth grade division.

According to her mom, Raelyn Ioane, Hanohano was invited back to the 2021 National Pageant as Miss Aloha State sixth grade after doing so well at last year’s pageant.

Since September, Hanohano has trained every day to bring the crown home to Hawaii, but even more so the Big Island. Hanohano competed against 35 girls from across the country before ultimately winning her division.

ADVERTISING


“While in Arkansas, Aspen Taylor was interviewed by a panel of judges, where she shared her passion and love for her family, language and Hawaiian culture,” Ioane said. “I told her to keep aloha in her heart, wear aloha across her chest, let her aloha shine from within, and lead with aloha. That’s exactly what she did.”

Hanohano plans to enter more pageants in years to come, but this year she will be focusing on community service events.