NRI Abused teen Priya Gopal-Walker will represent Washington in US pageant
Indian-American to represent Washington in US pageant
Washington, July 26, 2015: Indian-American Priya Gopal-Walker, a survivor of child abuse, will represent Washington in the 2015 Miss Teen USA Pageant to be held in Bahamas.
Gopal-Walker, 17, will compete with contestants from all over from the US at the pageant on August 21-22. She made her entry to the pageant after winning the Miss Washington Teen USA crown, India West portal reported.
Gopal-Walker, who is of half Indian and half American heritage, is a student at the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Seattle.
She was to compete in 2012, but had to pull out of the competition as she was facing physical and emotional abuse, the report said.
The beauty queen said she would like to use her title to spread awareness on domestic violence.
“I knew I needed time to emotionally heal from what I had gone through,” Gopal-Walker was quoted as saying by the portal.
“Taking the time to get my life restored, I believe, is part of the reason I won this year. I have a strong message of hope for those children who may feel there is no hope or way to get out of their fearful situation,” she said.
“I now live with foster parents who love me as though I am their own,” Gopal-Walker added….IANS
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Priya Gopal Walker is a junior at the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) where she is enrolled in several honors classes. Priya has been dancing since the age of 4 and aspires to be a professional dancer after college.
Priya, a survivor of domestic violence, found her voice as a young teen. She was able to safely separate herself from an abusive situation and today Priya is an outspoken advocate for eliminating domestic violence and being the voice for children who are unable to speak out. As Miss Washington Teen USA, Priya will use her title as a megaphone for inspiring others to seek help.
Priya is a trained dancer in ballroom, lyrical, modern, hip-hop and jazz dance. With a love of her heritage – half Eastern Indian and half American Indian – Bollywood dancing is in her blood and remains her passion. She has participated in school dance teams and studies advanced dance for over half of her life. Following in her familyâ€™s footsteps she hopes to study Bollywood dance in India and dreams of one day sharing her love of dance on the big screen.
Outside of her love of dance, she enjoys hot yoga, and having precious time cooking with her grandmother. She is also an action movie enthusiast, including her self-proclaimed obsession with Pirates of the Caribbean. If asked, she can recite the lines in all of the Pirates movies. Priya also considers cupcakes to be among her best friends.