Sometimes, we have so much in common with someone it’s scary! Kelly and I went to to same university, we’re both half Japanese, and we both model and compete in beauty pageants! I met Kelly in 2013 during my sorority recruitment, which was around the same time that I was starting my business, Vizcaya Swimwear. She ended up modeling my VERY first Vizcaya Swimwear collection in 2013! It’s so crazy how far we both have come since that time, but I am so happy that she just won the title of Miss Virginia United States 2016! Of course I had to interview this beauty queen so that you can learn more about your reigning Virginia queen.
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Current City: Richmond, VA
Career:Elementary School Teacher
Three words that sum you up: passionate, upbeat, creative
Song you have on repeat right now: This is what you came for – Calvin Harris
Dream job: Event Planner
Beauty product you can’t live without: Beauty Blender
Favorite quote: “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” -Dr. Seuss
What are you looking forward to the most during your reign? I am very excited to be competing this August in Las Vegas, as it will be my first time visiting. What I look forward to most is being able to use my title to bring awareness to issues and causes that are overlooked. By the end of my reign I hope to have made a considerable impact in my community and society as a whole.
How did you get involved in pageantry? I originally got involved with pageantry by trying to earn scholarship money for college. Growing up in a single parent household, it was important that I try to burden the financial load. Pageantry has given me the confidence I need to use my voice to help others. That and all the glamour have me hooked!
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? I am obsessed with coconut oil. I use it for hair treatments, make-up removal, moisturizing, and even teeth whitening! It has so many benefits and is 100% organic.
Growing up, who was your inspiration? Other than my mother, Audrey Hepburn has always inspired me. Not only was she a beautiful and talented actress, she used her fame to give back to the community. She has taught me to always hold myself with poise and grace.
What are some challenges that you faced on your journey to success, and how did you overcome them? I have definitely faced backlash from my peers about pursuing my dreams. When it comes to pageantry people are very quick to put me down and say I am not good enough. I have grown to focus on those who support me and keep reaching for my dreams. One of the first things I am told when I say I want to be a teacher is, “You better find a rich husband”. If I chose a profession for money I would not choose this. If I chose a profession with the biggest pay out, teaching is the one for me. The number of young minds I will impact that will shape the future is the biggest pay out a job can have.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? I am really fond of Dr. Seuss quotes and he once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” I think it is important for people to be true to themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. I know it can be difficult and there are people who struggle through their own self love and put others down to try and fix that void. Reaching out to friends and family can be a great way to persevere.
Tell us about your platform: My platform is the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I believe that in the unfortunate event any child needs medical care that they are given the best care possible in a welcoming and comforting environment. Going through such an adverse time I feel that the families should not worry about the financial hardships that can come with such care. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is able to provide top of the line care without the big price tag, thanks to the help of donations.
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? My advice for them is to just get out there! There are opportunities everywhere to give back to the community and get involved. It could be the local food bank, homeless shelter, boys and girls club, or nearby church. There is always something going on and extra helping hands are always welcome.
Can you tell us about your 5 year plan? In five years I will have completed my Master’s degree and hope to be teaching the young minds of our future. I also hope to go back to school for my Doctorate. I want to eventually get into school administration so that I can further impact the education system.
What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice came from my favorite Youtube Star, Zach Anner. He is an actor, a comedian, and has cerebral palsy. In one video he climbs a mountain and in the end he states, “What ever Mountain you have to climb, bring your friends, and bring your knee pads.” This really spoke to me because is important to keep a close group of positive influences in your life that help build you up and get over the rough patches.
You need your kneepads to help prepare yourself for the bumps in the road to your dreams.
Keep up with Kelly:
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/virginiaqueens/