Miss India Worldwide Shree Saini is among five Indian-American contestants selected for the Miss World America pageant, to be held on Oct. 12 at the Hotel New Orleans in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining Saini, 23, of Seattle, Washington, are Manju Bangalore, 22, of Los Angeles, California; Lekha Ravi, 26, of Miami, Florida; Jasmeet Ghoman, 20, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Amulya Chava, 17, Topeka, Kansas.
Contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete for the crown. The winner, who will be crowned by Miss World America, Marisa Butler, of Maine, and will represent the U.S at Miss World 2019 in London.
A business manager, speaker, mentor, and a dancer, Saini has survived severe facial burns, constant bullying, and a heart surgery for a pacemaker at age 12. Her childhood dream to serve as Miss World, led her to change her adversities to advocacy, have a victor mindset, rather than victim mindset.
To help others gain tools on how to lead a purposeful and fulfilling life, despite life’s challenges, Saini has given several presentations in over 80 cities and 6 countries and written articles on emotional fitness, and has helped fundraise over $800,000 via her nonprofit shreesaini.org.
After winning the Miss India Worldwide crown last year, Saini, in an interview with India Abroad that she always wanted to compete in pageants since 1st grade. “Your life’s legacy is defined by how you make people feel, with each vibe/interaction/conversation and the positive difference you make in other’s lives in your lifetime,” she had India Abroad about her journey to the crown. “Let us all have a solution mindset, we should always try to defuse the negativity in any situation and focus on the light within all of us.”
Bangalore, a physicist and an actress, is the founder of Operation Period, a youth-led, menstrual health nonprofit that provides advocacy, education and services in the U.S. and India. She has worked at two NASA centers on spacecraft propulsion and display design, as well as in the White House on science policy under President Obama. She aspires to become an astronaut, hoping to bring the Miss World title to space.
Ravi works full-time in private banking and has a degree in Business and Economics from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently pursuing her Diploma in Financial Planning at NYU so she can become a Certified Financial Planner and help clients reach their financial goals. She recently launched a blog, “The Financial Boss,” that focuses on helping young professionals be savvy with their money.
Ghoman has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and will be pursuing her MBA in the spring of 2020. She currently works for her family business. She has also held several leadership positions in non-profit organizations from working with the American Cancer Society to holding her own fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
As an aspiring civil rights attorney, Chava works with the Constitutional Rights Foundation to gain a deeper understanding of our justice system. She plans on attending law school. She has always been passionate about giving back to American veterans and is the founding president of her local Wounded Warrior Project chapter. Through her efforts, she hopes to encourage others to make a difference in the lives of struggling veterans.