Menounos, a Greek American, was born in Medford, Massachusetts, and is fluent in the Greek language. At age 17, she was an employee of Dunkin' Donuts with aspirations to be something more. Menounos attended the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. In 1995, Menounos began to compete in beauty pageants. The following year, she won the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen USA and competed at Miss Teen USA where she failed to place in the top 10.