Since 1984, a cultural pageant winner has been chosen to represent the annual Wichita Asian Festival. The purpose of the Miss Asian Festival Pageant is to give young women of Asian descent the opportunity to discover their heritage and celebrate their culture on the Asian Festival stage.
Last year, the judges chose a 16-year-old girl representing India to be the 30th Miss Asian Festival. I still remember meeting this young lady for the first time. I thought to myself that this quiet and shy girl had this positive aura that makes you want to be her friend.
Since then, I’ve had the honor to mentor this young lady.
For months I’ve seen Megha Gangadhar step out of her comfort zone and grow as a leader. As a pageant director, the most rewarding part is to see women grow as they prepare to compete. As a fellow Asian-American and president of the Wichita Asian Association, the most rewarding part is seeing Megha embrace her Indian culture and seeing her grow as a leader in the Asian community.
As she competes in her first “real pageant,” I know our Asian community is proud and supports her in the journey for the title of Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen 2014.
Good luck to my friend and mentee!