Have you noticed an unbelievably stunning girl in Kathmandu recently? Chances are that she wasn't Nepali; she is half Indian, half German, óJessica Minhas, Miss Florida,USA. I got the unbelievable chance to meet and interview her over breakfast right before she left for the airport. She is such a vibrant and enthusiastic person, that she never runs out of things to talk about. Here is what this beauty queen had to say:
WAVE: What brings you to Nepal?
Jessica: I am working here for a medical clinic that looks after children. This is actually my second time in Nepal.
WAVE: Is this a part of your responsibilities as Miss Florida?
Jessica: No. This isn't related to the contest. It's actually quite funny, because two weeks after returning from my first trip to Nepal I joined the Miss Florida, USA pageant, and two weeks after giving up my crown to the next Miss Florida, I'm back in Nepal.
WAVE: What are some of the things that you had to do as Miss Florida?
Jessica: I was involved in Special Olympics, a sport event for disabled children. I also worked with Give Kids the World Village, which is for terminally ill kids. Then of course there were things like a tour through the mid-west with American Idols.
WAVE: What was the Miss Florida contest like? What kind of training did you get?
Jessica: I had speed training, because I came late. I wasn't really planning to participate. Two weeks before the contest my friends convinced me to try. The training period was sort of intimidating because all the other girls had personal coaches and designers, and I had to go up to the trainers and say "I know you aren't training me, but could you give me some pointers?" and the trainers would be like "NO".
WAVE: That must have been bad, but you won! So, what kind of prizes did you win?
Jessica: Jewelry, gift hampers, hotel packages, the usual beauty contest stuff.
WAVE: Did you go on to participate in any other contest after that?
Jessica: I went to the Miss US contest, which is like the Miss USA contest expect for the fact that the winner doesn't go to the international pageants after that. I again didn't have any personal trainers, but was crowned the 3rd runner up.
WAVE: Any plans to participate in other contests?
Jessica: I have mixed feelings about this. I was glad to give up the crown, but I did have fun. So I might try for other contests in the future.
WAVE: Now that you have given up the crown, does the title still affect your life?
Jessica: Well, I don't have to make the public appearances anymore, but I think once you win the crown, you will always be carrying some responsibility. It's a responsibility that you willingly take upon yourself.
WAVE: What are your plans now?
Jessica: I recently graduated from the University of Central Florida. I majored in interpersonal communication. I want to start a TV show that has a positive influence on American teenagers. Most TV shows right now are all about sex and violence, and the youth in America really, really need something to guide them in the right direction.