WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Marielle Marlys, a 16-year-old Greek-American high school junior from Wall Township, N.J. has been chosen “America’s National Teenager.”
The event, sponsored by the America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization (ANTSO) is the organizations 44th annual national pageant, and took place in Nashville, TN, with Marielle declared the winner on July 27.
Her father, James, is a doctor, and her mother, Mirta, is Director of the Foreign Languages department at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. Dr. Marlys is American-born; his parents were born in Laconia, Greece; the family’s full Greek surname is Maroulakos.
Marielle and her two brothers, Peter and Michael, grew up in the community of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Toms River, and she remains a volunteer in the local GOYA there.
“It was a difficult and demanding race and I was very pleased to represent New Jersey and return to it with the crown,” Marielle told TNH. “I am 16 years old, and [the day she won] was the happiest day of my life.”
Marielle’s grandmother, Anna Maroulakou, was a teacher at the school of St. Thomas in Cherry Hill, and Anna’s brother, George Bourlotos, has his own TV channel, which broadcasts in the Greater Philadelphia area. Bourlotos proudly spoke to TNH about his “brilliant, beautiful and generous” grandniece.
Marielle shared additional information about the Pageant, via a press release, excerpts of which follow:
“Contestants who competed at ANTSO are among the brightest in the country, having won their state representation through academic, community service, interview and onstage competitions.
“’America’s National Teenager was founded in 1970 upon the principles of celebrating young woman’s smarts and big heart. Therefore, while the world around us has changed, our company has not. We still focus on the female’s academic potential, contribution to community, and the ideals and power that women have, at any age, to make a difference,’ states ANTSO CEO and owner, Jenny Telwar.
“The 2014 National event in Nashville, TN consisted of several days in competition, and fun city events like a celebration party at the famous showboat – The General Jackson, photo shoots, and family fun game night. Winners walked away with more than $40,000 in scholarships for college along with various other prizes.
“‘ANTSO truly promotes a positive and enriching experience for all young women involved and their families. While each young woman competes for several thousands in scholarship, she also gets to spend quality time in positive, self-esteem building activities with her family. It’s a win-win for all involved,’ states Telwar.”