Hmong candidate Pajdee Yang was named United States of America’s (USOA) Miss Minnesota 2020 this week.
Yang, a loan officer assistant and meditation practitioner, will represent Minnesota at the pageant’s national level, which will be held in Las Vegas from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2020.
Yang is the first Hmong contestant to win in USOA’s Miss event, one of its four pageants (alongside USOA’s Teen, USOA’s Ms. and USOA’s Mrs.).
“United States of America pageants are designed to encourage women to strive to achieve their hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations, while making them feel confident and beautiful inside and out!” USOA Pageants wrote on its official website. “We believe the true definition of beauty is ‘The unique set of combinations that make you, You!’”
“Our motto is to empower women, inspire others and uplift everyone! We focus on women empowerment, promoting positive self-image and advocating a platform of community service, which allows our contestants to rise by lifting others,” USOA Pageants added.
“But more importantly, we are an elite sisterhood that gives support and encouragement to inspire each delegate to be the best version of herself!”
According to Yang, her mission is to “spread love/self-love, empowerment, inner peace, compassion, kindness and unity into our community through the form of meditations, words of affirmation and public speaking — which can consist of gentle reminders with letting go of the ego in order to guide us to our higher selves.”
Her platform is aimed toward “those who may be struggling with mental-health that consist of body image, self-love, self-doubt, forgiveness, trauma and confidence through the power of Guided Meditations,” which she calls “Empower Meditations.”
Yang said she took a leap of faith when she applied and went through the interview process for USOA’s Miss Minnesota 2020.
“I strongly believe I’ve done enough inner work within the past few years that I am finally ready to shine as a leader and guide with the power of my voice,” she said. “We are always growing and I feel within my growth, I have so much to give back to our community in order for all of us to continue to thrive and become stronger, more empowering, more kind, more supportive, and more compassionate individuals. It’s our time to shine.”
Yang has scheduled a banquet fundraiser next month, which she hopes will help her cover expenses for her journey to Vegas.
The event will feature live performances, auctioned products, local artists and businesses, as well as “prize-winning rounds of blackjack with the entire crowd!”
“I am incredibly grateful to have gotten selected to represent Minnesota,” Yang said. “With your help, let’s bring home a National Title in February!”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.