Alumnus hopes to become next Miss California

September 26, 2010 — by Allison Toh and Megan Benzing

To most, beauty pageants are just a fairy tale, something every little girl dreams about when she is a kid: all the glamor, the excitement and the dedication to a cause to help the in-need. For most, this dream dies when real life begins, but for Saratoga High alumnus, Shveta Agrawal, this dream has turned into reality.

Last summer, Agrawal was chosen to become a member of the 2011 Donald Trump’s Miss California USA competition, which takes place November 19-21 in Palm Springs. She will be taking the stage with the title “Miss South Bay.”

The pageant consists of an interview process and the actual television event. It is different from many other pageants in that contestants do not show off their special talents and hobbies during the contest.

“[The interview portion] with the judges [is] where we answer questions and give them a chance to know our goals and personality,” said Agrawal.

Agrawal also models for various fashion lines and boutiques down in Los Angeles. She was notified by one of her photographers about the Miss California try-outs.

“I was encouraged by many to pursue this,” said Agrawal. “So I was called in for an interview and the recruiters were so amazing and instantly loved my bubbly personality!”

California girls are viewed upon by the “five finger traits”: non-judgmental, caring, loving, giving and beauty. These characteristics play a huge role in determining which girls are most suited for the pageant role. Also, judges try to detect a unique trait or personality type present in each pageant entry to determine if she is well suited for the competition or not.

“The more I learned about how the girls go on to accomplish great things and make an impact on people’s lives, I immediately knew I was making the right decision on being a part of this pageant,” said Agrawal.

After graduating in 2009, Agrawal attended USC, where she applied her acquired knowledge from Saratoga High to her college life.

“Life outside of high school is more challenging, but I really got a chance to grow in college,” said Agrawal. “Saratoga High had so many amazing opportunities that really encouraged students to be involved in the community, and I was sure to take advantage of that.”

In addition to volunteering at numerous hospitals, Agrawal later went on to become the founder of her own non-profit organization to help children cope with cancer and leukemia.

However, juggling the pageant, college and a non-profit organization has resulted in some difficulties for Agrawal.

“With balancing school, a business internship and photoshoots, my life can get pretty hectic,” said Agrawal. “But now that the pageant preparations are in the picture, I had to make adjustments to my schedule to ensure I will not be worn out.”

Such adjustments include eating fresh and nutritious meals every day, and doing yoga to keep stress at bay.

Nevertheless, she looks forward to the new experiences that will come with the Miss California competition.

“My parents occasionally used to watch Miss Universe when I was younger and I do remember being awed by everyone on stage and thinking about how lucky they were,” said Agrawal. “I did wish one time that I could be doing that when I got older, but I never in a million years thought I’d actually pursue it and make it to the stage!”

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