When Alyssa Maitoza was crowned Miss New Bedford two years ago, she would have never dreamed that she wouldn't be handing over her crown until October of 2021 – but there she was on Saturday night at the Zeiterion Theater, her final night at Miss New Bedford, getting set to hand off the tiara to a new, deserving young lady.

That young lady turned out to be Megan Sylvia. Miss Sylvia is a health teacher for New Bedford Public Schools. She spends her time between both the Ashley School and the Hathaway School. She is very passionate about teaching children to read, and that will be Sylvia's platform while she is Miss New Bedford over the next year.

"My platform is called Learning Begins with Literacy and it encourages young people to read as much as they can," she said. The foundation of all learning begins with reading, the stronger a student's reading skills, the stronger the student.

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In addition to a new Miss New Bedford, a new Miss New Bedford Outstanding Teen was crowned. Kieyana Fleming is a senior at New Bedford High School. She has adopted Love the Skin You're In as her platform. The premise is to place less importance on exterior appearances. "It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside," she said, "As long as you're beautiful on the inside, as well, you will always be pretty."

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While Sylvia demonstrated her singing skills for her talent, Fleming played the alto saxophone.

Congratulations to both young ladies, we commend your leadership as role models for young girls all over the SouthCoast.

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