In celebrating her crown as Miss India America 2020, Shriya Boppana is lending her voice to a cause close to her heart. The Beauty queen shares that despite only taking an interest in pageantry during the pandemic, it has given her a platform for advocacy.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Boppana was on a mission to grow her expertise and experience through interning before the pandemic struck. She is a Wall Street Journal published author and Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee.
Going into pageantry with no training was a challenge that Boppana fully embraced. She shares that she went headfirst with faith in her abilities and talents. “I worked my way up, and when I finally won the crown, I knew that I was showing millions of young girls that you can absolutely be anything you want to be: beautiful inside and out.”
Pageantry has not only been a pastime for Boppana; it has become an excellent way to speak out against human trafficking in India and Nepal. She is passionate about her Indian roots and represented ‘Save Our Stars’, an organization that fights to end human trafficking.
For Boppana, the pageant became a stage for her to raise awareness about the organization and the cause. She hosted “Becoming a Voice with Shriya Boppana,” a FOX 5 Plus Channel segment where she discussed social justice issues.
Boppana has now embarked on a new mission to end the climate crisis as a contestant for Miss Earth Virginia. Her message focuses on the intersection of identity and climate degradation with a special emphasis on feminism, POCs, immigration, and youth. Through her platform, she speaks about her work with Carnegie Mellon University’s social psychology lab that analyzed foreign cases on factory workers and their minimum wage jobs in fast fashion which contribute to textile waste, indigenous communities in America and their relationship to forest conservation, and youth education on climate crisis reversal in formal school curriculums.
Boppana also points out that she will continue encouraging conversations about taboo topics like rape culture, consent, social class, poverty, economic status, climate education, and more.