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Meet our new guest blog contributor: Shivali Kadam, Miss Oregon 2019

We would like to welcome Shivali Kadam – Miss Oregon, 2019 who will be sharing stories and a glimpse into her world each month as our new guest blog contributor. Below is Shivali’s first post! 

 On Saturday, June 29, a dream that I’ve held in my heart for four years came true when I was crowned Miss Oregon. Since that night, I have been traveling across the state of Oregon, promoting my social impact initiative, STEMpowered: Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers and Scientists, as well as the Miss America Organization’s national platform, Children’s Miracle Network. As a Portland area resident, I am grateful for the opportunity to support Doernbecher Children’s Hospital as my local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. I feel blessed to be a part of the Children’s Miracle Network family and look forward to sharing my experiences with you all throughout my year through this blog. You’ll be hearing a lot from me in the coming months, so I think I should start by introducing myself!

Who are you?

My name is Shivali Kadam and I am twenty-five years old. Though I’ve lived in the Portland area since I was thirteen and consider Oregon my home state, I was actually born in Mumbai, India. My parents and I immigrated to the United States when I was two years old and my extended family still lives in India. I graduated from Oregon State University in 2018 with my B.S. in Chemical Engineering and currently work as a process engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

What drew you to the Miss America Organization?

I was initially drawn to the Miss America Organization because of the talent phase of competition. In high school, I was very active in my school’s choral and musical theater programs and missed performing once I got to college. However, as I learned more about the Miss America Organization, I realized the program had a lot more to offer me than just some much-needed stage time. With its emphasis on service and community engagement, I realized that I could use my title as a platform from which to share my passions and influence the world around me.

How long have you been involved in the Miss America Organization?

My Miss America journey began four years ago when I entered and, much to my surprise, won the title of Miss Linn-Benton in 2016. As my year of service progressed, I fell in love with the job of a titleholder and have competed every year since. This year was actually my final year of eligibility—and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My greatest accomplishment was earning my B.S. in Chemical Engineering. As someone who struggled with math through middle and high school, I spent most of my life believing that I wasn’t “smart” enough to become an engineer or have a successful STEM career. Earning my college degree taught me patient, perseverance, and helped me develop a growth mindset that I now apply to every challenge I face.

Tell us about your involvement with Children’s Miracle Network.

My involvement with Children’s Miracle Network began when I entered my first Miss America local preliminary. Candidates at every level of competition in the Miss America Organization are challenged to raise funds for their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital and further educate their communities about the incredible impact Children’s Miracle Network has on families across America. Through Miss America for Kids, I have personally raised thousands of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network in the last four years. I have also had the wonderful honor of volunteering for numerous events for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, as well as PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. Through these events, I have met some absolutely amazing Miracle Kids. My latest fundraising effort is in partnership with Little Bird Boutique in Newberg. From Friday, November 15 to Sunday, November 17, Little Bird Boutique will be generously donating a portion of all profits to Children’s Miracle Network. This money will directly benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, so please stop by and shop if you can!

What would you like to accomplish as Miss Oregon?

As Miss Oregon, I want to use my position to create opportunities for personal growth and professional development for women in Oregon. Through my social impact initiative, STEMpowered, I am excited to be bringing STEM activities to schools across the state and actively connecting students who are passionate about science and engineering with the mentors, opportunities, and organizations that will help them be successful in the future. Additionally, I hope that I can serve as role model for young girls who are passionate about scholastic achievement and community service, and be an example of how the Miss America Organization can help them develop the skills and relationships they will need to reach their goals.

 

You can follow along with Shivali and all of her amazing adventures as Miss Oregon 2019 on Instagram at: @missamericaor

To learn more about the Miss America Organization and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partnership, click here