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An Exclusive Coverage from Asia World Media

“Crowning Cultural Champions”

  • By Anthony Tran
  • Asia World Media Editor

INTELLECTUAL – INSPIRING – MOTIVATIONAL.  A groundbreaking competition for Asian American women, with the focus on internal beauty as well as outer beauty, was held at the Plano Event Center on August of 2019.

The first of Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition (MAW) on Saturday evening in North Texas’s diverse communities draws together business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Over the 20-year history, the Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition (formerly known as the Miss Teen and Miss Asian American Texas Pageant) designed to nurture, promote, and advance young Asian American women as they pursue their education and careers, preserve their culture, embrace their imagination, curiosity, and creativity, representing the next generation of strong female scientists, doctors, lawyers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, in their respective chosen field.

A Jarvis Jacobs Photo
A Jarvis Jacobs Photo

In 2018, the Organization began revisiting the core component of the pageant industry and throughout 2018 and into 2019, modifications were made to reflect upon the value of a contemporary 21st century Asian American women by combining “The Four Pillars” consisting of “Cultural Connectedness, Intellect, Self-Awareness, and Leadership Essential Traits” as an added components to Asia World Academy, as part of the Competition.

With the new changes, Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition has been dedicated to creating opportunities, cultural awareness, scholarships, and academic program trainings, through Asia World Academy with focus on the “Four Pillars” and STEM-based from successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, executives, and business owners, for Asian American women of Asian descent (having origins in any of the Asian ethnic categories of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, but not limited to, China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Laotian, Cambodia, Hmong, Indonesia, Sri Lankan, Bangladesh, Burma and other Asians). Past candidates and winners have led successful careers in major industries, are forward thinking leaders that advocate for humanitarian issues, affecting positive change throughout the world with their charitable and community services endeavors.

Beyond the Competition of many talented candidates throughout the evening, the Organization also recognized the Award of Excellence to four exceptional Asian American women – Anh Vo, Kim Chen, Jennifer Nguyen and Katy Nguyen – in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy to the communities.

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The competition was not your typical pageant. There were no ‘swimsuit’ category but in replacement, MAW had the diverse and vibrant Asian cultural gown category, whereby each candidate was able to represent and show off her country of origin cultural dress or gown. Also, the candidates have to showcase their special talents on stage. Some performed by singing, dancing, poetry, play instruments, Yoyo or “kongzhu” demonstration, painting, and of course your martial art (Taekwondo) demonstration.

All candidates went through a rigorous and series of interviews from qualified judges. Some interview session was on stage, as each candidate had an opportunity to answer question from the judges. Other part of the interview was sitting down with all the judges and questions were asked to the candidates. Candidates were score according to their perspective answers and also, how they handle themselves during the interview process.

Each of the seven (7) judges was provided with candidates scoring folder and a portfolio folder from each candidate. All candidates were scored on five categories: Interview, Talent, Cultural Gown, Formal Gown, and the Four Pillars. Once all scoring were finalized by the judges, the scoring folders would be handled over to the CPA and accountants to tally up the points.

The competition was fierce and the crowds were loud cheering-on for their favorites but yet, there can only be four main “Cultural Champions.” The event closed with the crowning of Savannah Pham – Miss Asia World 2019-2021, Saisha Karri – Miss Teen Asia World 2019-2021, Kathy Zhang – Miss Asia World Princess 2019-2021, and Lucy Le – Miss Teen Asia World Princess 2019-2021.

Each titleholder will serve a two years term with the Organization and received scholarships and many awards as part of their prestigious positions. Each titleholder will also be available to volunteer in nonprofit organizations, special events, and causes dear to our hearts. They will have an opportunity to pursue their favorite cause and field of interest during their reign.

The honorable judges from this year competition included Kevin Falconer – City of Carrollton Mayor, Susan Philips – Vice President of Corporate Relations and currently the President of the Asian Chamber of Texas, Chris Lopez – Justice of the Peace for Denton County, Rattana Mao – Director of Development at Child Care Associates, Ida Dominquez – Teacher at Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy, Katy Nguyen – Founder and Proprietor at Noble Jewelry, and Russell Wright – Solutions Architect at PepsiCo.

A Jarvis Jacobs Photo

The Competition was acknowledge with Proclamations from the City of Plano Mayor – Harry LaRosiliere, City of Richardson Mayor – Paul Voelker, City of Addison Mayor- Joe Chow, City of Carrollton mayor – Kevin Falconer, and the City of Irving Mayor – Richard H. Stopfer.

The event and competition was made possible by the generous support from sponsored like Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy, Cindi’s N.Y. Delicatessen Restaurant and Bakery, Joe Yeh, Noble Fine Jewelry, Lee’s Sandwiches of Garland, Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates, Luraco, Dale Carnegie, Makeup Artist Jami Svay, CLN Group, Danny Nguyen Couture, Makeup Artist Melissa V, Saigon Block restaurant, all MAW candidates and volunteers, and many supporters who attended the events. The Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition 2019 was a celebration of women – “Crowning Cultural Champions.”

Culturally diverse competition, such as Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition, is a “CULTURAL” institution that provides platform to recognized successful Asian American women and endow young women of Asian descent to represent an entire Asian nation by displaying her intellect, cultural beliefs, ideologies, passions and ethnic customs. Cultural education is vital to a candidate’s success in life, as is her formal education, which is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and habits. Miss Teen and Miss Asia World Competition is a platform for showcasing the vibrant Asian American culture, which encompasses the cultural differences that exist between people in America. Asian Americans are diverse in their customs, history, language, dress and traditions.


Few Words From Savannah Pham and Kathy Zhang

Savannah Pham – Miss Asia World 2019-2021

“My goals are to breakdown stereotypes and continue to empower women. There is a harmful stereotype that women who compete in pageants cannot also be intelligent, hardworking, and empowered,” said Savannah Pham, the newly crowned Miss Asia World 2019. “Through pageants, I have met so many incredible women who are also academics, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and so on. As a Stanford graduate and PhD student, I want to also be a role model for young women and girls and serve as a reminder that women can be beautiful, brilliant, passionate, inspired, and so much more—we are limitless.”

Savannah Pham is also a second-year PhD student at Southern Methodist University. Her concentration is in clinical psychology. She is a first-generation, college student who graduated from Stanford University with honors. Miss Pham double majored in Psychology and Asian American Studies as well.

Kathy Zhang – Miss Asia World Princess 2019-2021

“I was able to gain way more through the competition than I thought I would. Asia World Academy all day trainings were well thought out and I will be able to take a lot of lessons learned on with me through work and life,” Kathy Zhang, Technical Consultant at Microsoft with a focus on Azure Identity and Security, and also, the current Miss Asia World Princess 2019. “One of my favorite trainings we had were the two where Dr. Good spoke to us about women in leadership. We were reminded of implicit biases in the workforce and to be aware of them and not be afraid to speak out for ourselves. Through encouragement and training, I stepped out of my comfort zone to compete, which is something I never thought I would have the confidence to do.” Kathy Zhang mention, “I would like to further the Miss Asia World mission of community service and use this competition as a platform to further bridge cultural gaps that our community often faces.”


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