Miss Teen USA 2013 Talks Cyberstalking, College, & More

Congrats, Cassidy Wolf! On August 10, the 19-year-old Californian took home the title of Miss Teen USA 2013. A rising sophomore, Cassidy took the time to talk to Her Campus about college life, her experience at the pageant, and her history as a victim of cyberstalking. Read on to hear what she had to say!

Her Campus: How does it feel to be crowned Miss Teen USA?

Cassidy: It actually just started to hit me like two hours ago when I… [did] interviews this morning, and it was so early that I wasn’t awake yet! And then today I just went to the Miss Universe organization’s office for the first time, and it’s starting to hit me, so I’m really excited.

HC: What was going through your head when they announced that you had won?

Cassidy: I don’t remember, honestly! [laughs] I just remember I was there and I was obviously shocked and excited, but I think when I saw my family and their faces, it was just so heartwarming and I was very excited.

HC: How has it been so far?

Cassidy: This morning I just [had an interview] with Fox & Friends, and then right after that I did one with the news station here in New York, Inside Edition. I got to tour the Teen Vogue office and meet their booking director, and I got to visit the MUO office for the time, so it’s been a busy day but it’s been really fun.

HC: What are you most excited about doing as Miss Teen USA?

Cassidy: I’m just excited to see where this year takes me and to do all the events, to work with the charities Project Sunshine [and] Best Buddies, and also help to promote my own platform as well. So, we’ll see where it goes.

HC: So could you tell me a little more about the charities you just mentioned?

Cassidy: [With] Best Buddies, we work with special education and development, and Project Sunshine, I’m not too sure exactly what I’ll be doing but I know that that’s one of the main charities that the Miss Teen USA girls work for, so I’m excited to be able to learn about that… and then I’m also excited to help promote my own personal story as well, with cyberstalking and cyberterrorism.

HC: Could you tell me more about your personal experience with cyberstalking?

Cassidy: Basically, my computer was hacked into as well as my webcam by an anonymous person who still remains anonymous just because it’s currently under investigation, so I don’t know all the details of what’s really going on. But… he just took pictures of me in my room without my knowledge. Throughout this year I just really want to spread awareness that it does happen, it is real, people can gain access to your accounts and hack your computers, and I just want to help prevent somebody from falling victim to this like I did.

HC: That’s so awful, I’m sorry you went through that.

Cassidy: It was hard, but I feel like it happened for a reason because… it’s getting the word out there, and that’s really, really what I wanted to do this next year. If I can at least save one girl from having to go through what I had to go through, I’d know that my job is done.

HC: Backtracking to the competition—what originally inspired you to compete?

Cassidy: Well, I was a volunteer to help choreograph the opening number for Miss California back in 2011. I’ve been a dancer my whole life, and one of the girls I used to dance with when I was younger actually competed for and won Miss California Teen that year that I was there helping choreograph the opening number. I had never watched a pageant before, so when I was standing backstage and watching both the new Miss and Teen get crowned, I was thinking to myself, “This looks really fun; I want to try a pageant!” So I did, and I competed for Miss California in 2012 and I got first runner up. Then I went back this last year, 2013, and ended up winning, and then I went to Miss Teen USA, and now I’m here.

HC: That’s awesome! So you were talking about how you love to dance—are you in any dance groups at school? You’re a college freshman, correct?

Cassidy: Correct. I was a college freshman at Orange Coast College, which is a local community college in California, and I was there paying for my own student loans, paying my way through school, and I was on my competitive dance team as well. But this next year, since I’ll be in New York, I’ll be going to the New York Film Academy, and I’ll be dorming here and living here as a full-time student and Miss Teen USA.

HC: Congratulations! How do you think that college will be different now that you have your Miss Teen USA duties to juggle with your college life?

Cassidy: I think it’ll just be like having a full-time job and going to school full time. I know a lot of college students do that nowadays to help pay for your expenses throughout because it’s so expensive, but it’s definitely gonna be a balancing act. But I think I’m worthy of the challenge. So I’m excited and I’m excited to meet new people and to be in a new environment as well.

HC: What are you looking forward to the most about going to the new school?

Cassidy: To meet new people! I’m just really excited for the dorm experience. I didn’t get to have that at my community college; I did move out and live on my own with a roommate, but I think that the dorming experience is going to be really fun. …It’s an international school, so it’s going to be a lot of people from all over the world, so I’m just excited to meet people my age with similar interests!