Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has just announced its seven Rookies for the highly anticipated 2024 issue, and these beauties are even more stunning than we could have imagined! Among the list of rookies are a former associate dean, a confidence coach, and even a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. These incredible women prove that there is so much more to them than just their drop-dead gorgeous looks.
The selection process for these rookies involved digital searches using social media and The Swimfluence Network app to find a fresh pool of talent. Past winners of this prestigious title include models Haley Kalil, Brooks Nader, and Camille Kostek, as well as actress Kathy Jacobs. Now, the rookies have been unveiled, and FEMAIL is here to give you a sneak peek into the lives of these stunning models who will be featured in the May 2024 issue.
One of the rookies, Achieng Agutu, is not only a 26-year-old content creator but also a confidence coach based in New York. Born in Kenya and raised in Richmond, Indiana, Achieng studied PR and Spanish at Goshen College before completing a double masters in international marketing and business analytics at New York’s Hult International Business School. She has already made quite a name for herself, earning over $1 million from brand deals in her first year as a full-time influencer in 2022. With almost half a million followers on Instagram and TikTok, Achieng is empowering her audience through her lifestyle content and reshaping beauty standards.
Nina Cash, a retired university associate dean from Long Beach, California, is another inspiring rookie. Nina’s modeling dream has been a long time coming. She has worked in education and workforce development for over three decades and holds a doctorate in educational leadership. Nina was even a finalist on TV Land’s reality show She’s Got The Look back in 2010. Despite having to put her modeling pursuits on hold to raise her daughter as a single parent, Nina never gave up on her dreams. Now, at 56 years old, she is one of the final 12 for the SI Swim Search and is signed to NTA Model Management.
Sharina Gutierrez, a 32-year-old model from Los Angeles, has been in the industry since she was just 12 years old. Her impressive resume includes working with high-profile brands like Reebok, Rimmel London, Estee Lauder, and Ralph Lauren. But Sharina’s mission goes beyond modeling. She is a sound guide who helps people rise to their higher selves and pursue a life of unconditional self-love. She is also a founding member of Mama Mantra, a family brand launching in 2023 that focuses on spreading positivity and breaking barriers.
Jena Sims Koepka, a former teen beauty queen and CEO of a non-profit organization, is another incredible rookie. Jena founded Pageant of Hope, a non-profit organization that aims to give children and teenagers facing serious challenges the opportunity to shine and be celebrated for who they are. She is also an actress known for her role in the Sharknado movies and has gained a significant following on Instagram. Jena is married to PGA star Brooks Koepka, and the couple tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Turks and Caicos in 2022.
Penny Lane, a 27-year-old model from Cheshire, England, had a rough start in the industry. She was scouted at the age of 13 but struggled with self-confidence due to her height. Penny describes herself as a “complete giraffe” and felt like a lanky misfit. However, she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dreams. Penny moved to London and Istanbul to pursue modeling but faced pressure from the industry to lose weight and consider a breast reduction. This led her to develop an unhealthy relationship with her body and eventually become a certified holistic health coach. Penny is passionate about raising awareness about mental health and body image issues.
Berkleigh Wright, a tech industry businesswoman and Denver Broncos cheerleader, is another rookie to watch out for. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Berkleigh now lives in Denver, Colorado, where she works as a technical account manager and analyst. She holds degrees in psychology, strategic communications, and business from the University of Kansas. In addition to her impressive career, Berkleigh is also passionate about books and has started a book vlog called Bookin’ It With Berk. She actively volunteers with organizations like the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Habitat For Humanity, Dare To Cheer, and the Junior Denver Broncos Cheerleaders.
Last but certainly not least is Brittney Nicole, a Navy veteran turned model. After studying psychology at Augusta State, Brittney joined the Navy and traveled all over the world. She built schools and runways in various countries, gaining valuable experience along the way. Although relatively new to the modeling world, Brittney has already seen