The first Indian-American to be chosen as Miss America is Nina Davuluri, she is also the first contestant to perform a Bollywood dance on the Miss America stage. Davuluri was born on April 20, 1989 in Syracuse, New York. She has been living in Vijayawada, India with her grandmother for couple of years after she was born. Maybe these two years were extremely memorable, because she returned to India every summer to study various forms of Indian dance.
Nina Davuluri became involved in pageants in order to earn money for school. She was first runner up at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2007, receiving a $25, 000 scholarship that fulfilled her dream to graduate debt-free from the University of Michigan. After that she took several years off from pageant world in order to finish her education. She graduated in 2011 from The University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts with a B.S. in Bran, Behavior & Cognitive Science. She also speaks Telugu.
The Miss America 2014 pageant took place itself on September 15, 2013 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Nina described the moment of hearing her name as a winner, as a “very surreal and out-of-body experience”. This prize will give her a chance to promote her platform: “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency”, which she had been developing for three years prior to becoming Miss America. Davuluri encourages students to see social media as a tool to spread cultural awareness and combat ignorance.