McKinley Farese, a born and raised Tennessean residing in Germantown, Tennessee, is currently a high school senior and honors student at St. George’s Independent School. Throughout her school career, McKinley held several leadership positions, including being a peer mentor for her fellow students, and was a member of the varsity lacrosse team and cheerleading squad. She is also an avid animal lover with two res-cue cats and a very spoiled King Charles Spaniel! Upon her high school graduation, eighteen year-old McKinley will be attending the University of Mississippi with an academic scholarship and majoring in Integrated Marketing and Communications.
McKinley is heavily involved with several organizations and is deeply passionate about empowering today’s youth. Through encouraging teen volunteerism, mentoring young girls, and working to promote peer to peer advocacy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she understands the value of an encouraging word and a genuine connection. In an effort to grow in those connections, McKinley founded “Teens Serve the City”, an organization that promotes teen volunteerism and service within her community. She is proud to say that this program has uplifted over 40 different non-profit organizations! She is a longtime advocate for the Best Buddies Organization and her passion to cultivate kindness, inclusion and opportunities for individuals with disabilities is a substantial part of her initiative. McKinley has spoken to over 4,500 school-aged children throughout the state of Tennessee about the importance of kindness and inclusion. She is excited about the opportunity to increase that number during her year as Miss Tennessee Teen USA.
McKinley is a goal chaser who sincerely believes that kindness and inclusion are essential values to harness on a daily basis. McKinley plans to embark on a year of intentionality, compassion, leadership and will be a source of positivity and kindness throughout her reign. She is beaming with excitement and cannot wait to serve and represent her state at Miss Teen USA!