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Royalty in many ways

By any standard, Lena Merrill of Wailuku deserves to wear a crown. But what makes her selection last Friday as Miss Hawaii’s Outstanding Teen 2010 especially noteworthy is that the 14-year-old is the first hearing-impaired contestant in the history of the local pageant.

Merrill, who attends the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, aspires to become a civil rights attorney and plans to use her new title to advocate for improving education and resources for deaf students.

The Maui teen, daughter of Kaulana Merrill and Jaye Carmen, will compete later this summer in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, Fla.


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