18 Under 18 Highlight: Karlina Riggs

Posted in: 18 Under 18, JA Impact

In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Karlina Riggs. We are honored to recognize her. Read on the hear why she was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!

Karlina Riggs, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale 18 years old

As the Miss Arizona Teen USA 2017, Karlina’s focus was young girls and their futures. “I was able to use my voice to empower young girls and facilitate positive change in our community,” she said. “I got to work with Governor Ducey which was very rewarding.”Part of Karlina’s platform was expanding students’ knowledge of civics. She’s very proud of what Arizona has done.

“Our state was the first to pass a civics education initiative, and I think that’s extremely important. We need to know who and what shape our nation.”Karlina also is developing a documentary to give girls role models. “Turn Back Time” features the stories of accomplished women from all walks of life. In addition to her work as Miss Arizona Teen USA, Karlina served on the Scottsdale Unified School District Student Advisory Board. She also volunteers for Miracle League of Arizona and pioneered the HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Out) club at her school.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years? That’s a hard question to ask any child. We’re all changing as we get older.  I think I’m definitely going to college and graduate. I’d love to go to PA school and become a physician’s assistant. I would like to specialize in pediatrics. That’s just one path. I also want to have a family. That’s really important to me. I’d just love to have a career of my own.

Who’s your biggest inspiration? For my family, it has to be my dad. I also have the same entrepreneurial spirit he does. He comes from a family of seven brothers and sisters and he wanted more than a small-town life. He moved to Arizona. He’s created a great life for my family. Outside of my family, Sandra Day O’Connor. Obviously, she was the first female justice on the Supreme Court. I appreciate all she’s done. I wish she was not retired. And she’s also a local, so I love that.

What’s the best advice you’ve received? My dad always says to be a giver not a taker in life. And that something I really value, giving to others more than receiving.