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Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri talks about her year of service

 Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri at press conference in Atlantic City
Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri at press conference in Atlantic City
Donald B. Kravitz

Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri returned once again to Atlantic City, NJ to take part in a “Show Us Your Shoes Parade” press conference, Monday April 28, 2014.

 Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri during press conference before her interview speaking about her year of service.
Donald B. Kravitz

Shortly after the press conference ended, Davuluri and I had the opportunity to talk about her, “Year of Service” as Miss America 2014. Relaxed and smiling, Davuluri seemed ready for anything she might be asked.

Beginning with the obvious regarding her recent well publicized Prom request, Davuluri laughed, “I thought it was cute. I did not take any offense. I laughed about it and was surprised it became such an issue. By the way, it was not my first prom date request,” said Davuluri with a twinkle in her eye.

On a more personal level I asked Davuluri, “What has been the most surprising thing that you have found since becoming Miss America 2014?” Without a hesitation Davuluri responded emphatically, “Living out of two suitcases.” She quickly added, “I remember Mallory (Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013) saying that it was hard living out of suitcases. It is easy to hear that, but until you have to do it you have no idea how really difficult it is.”

With that off the list we continued, “What things have you enjoyed most since becoming Miss America 2014?” Davuluri thought for a second and replied, “Getting to meet the different people. As I travel all over the country I meet a diverse group of people of all ages and I can tell you, since becoming Miss America 2014 there has never been a dull moment!”

Life as Miss America is exciting, challenging and has many rewards. However along with all the wonderful trappings there is also the difficult. “This year was especially difficult. With all the travel that is an integral part of being Miss America, the weather this winter made it very rough.” Davuluri spent time in airports with delayed and cancelled flights, all weather related, but it never diminished her drive or her desire.

While we were on the topic of travel, the question of what Davuluri thought might make her job easier was raised? Without a second of hesitation, Davuluri with a big laugh said, “Pre checks. Just to be able to be pre checked in and not have to take off my shoes at every stop would be so much easier for me going through the airports.” Miss America travels about 20,000 miles a month so it is easy to see why making things easier and would bring pleasure to Davuluri.

According to The Miss America Organization, they are currently looking into ways of making Miss America's travel easier which includes exploring Pre checks. “It will be a little too late for me,” said Davuluri adding, “but it should make it much better for the next Miss America.”

Although Nina Davuluri's year of service still has more than four months to go, she is already thinking about the future. “When I was crowned Miss America I felt pressure to consider going into the medical field as my entire family is in that profession. Now I am looking forward to enrolling in a Business Administration MBA program in The fall of 2015,” said Davuluri.

Being a contestant in The Miss America Scholarship Program has advantages offered to everyone. Davuluri was very open in discussing her scholarship awards. “In all of my pageants, from the State Pageants to being crowned Miss America, I received 92,000 dollars in scholarship money. I have 62,000 dollars left to use in obtaining my MBA.” The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarships for women and so it comes as no surprise that once Miss America completes her year of service she is financially capable of pursuing her education in any direction open to her.

As we were ending our interview I asked Nina Davuluri what she thought she would miss the most when it comes time to give up her crown? “Wow, that is a great question. I have not given that any thought at all.” Thinking about it for a few seconds, Davuluri said, “The people . . . I will miss the people. I have been priviledged and honored to work with all the people in The Miss America Organization, I will miss everyone of them.”

With Nina Davuluri sitting in the room with me, the President of The Miss America Organization, Sharon Pearce remarked, “You know Nina has had a remarkable year so far. She has had a private meeting with President and Michelle Obama at The White House. She has gone abroad and has visited 23 Colleges and Universities.”

As Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri was sitting and listening to Pearce estoll accolades upon her accomplishments, she seemed to be shy and humbled hearing someone say those wonderful things realizing she has more time to add to those things she has already accomplished.

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