The mere mention of a pageant suggests many immediate thoughts – beauty, intelligence, accomplishments, platforms, heels, make-up – the list goes on. But with this year’s Miss Earth USA pageant, one would have to add: Skydiver, teacher, fine artist, Girl Scout, gymnast, welder, actress, chicken farmer, medical student, law student, NYFW model, homeless activist, TEDx speaker, and Paralympian to the list to even come close to describing this year’s slate of incredible Miss Earth USA state finalists.
Miss Earth USA is the American regional segment of the global Miss Earth Pageant, which crowns their global title holder in the Philippines each year in November. Every contestant in the Miss Earth pageant endorses a platform which promotes environmental awareness, sustainability or some other initiative that furthers the health of our planet.
Following are a few of the contestants that will be competing for the national title in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, January 8th, 2022, when the crown holders of each of the 50 states vie on stage to a live audience and judging panel for the first time in three years due to the pandemic.
Fine Art Educator, Girl Scout Leader, Licensed Skydiver
MISS RHODE ISLAND EARTH USA
*Beauties for a Cause Scholarship Finalist
During her reign as Miss Rhode Island Earth Mikala is thankful to have been able to encourage others to embrace and celebrate their individuality by helping them create art to promote social change, support, expression, information, and communication. Mikala has earned both her Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards for her volunteer service with multiple nursing homes around the state of Rhode Island. In her free time, she volunteers with her old Girl Scout troop and as a soccer coach for the state’s youth soccer association. She also takes recycling very seriously at her home as well as in her classroom teaching students about recycling to making my own artwork from recycled goods.
Mikala is a K-12 art teacher / Visual Artist who has a Bachelor’s in in Fine Art and graduated summa cum laude with her Masters in in Art Education from Rhode Island College. Mikala has lived a plant based vegan lifestyle for over 13 years and it may surprise you to learn that Mikala is a licensed skydiver!
Gymnast, Guitar & Keyboardist, Welder
MISS SOUTH CAROLINA EARTH USA
*Beauties for a Cause Scholarship Finalist
Savannah is a visual artist and works as a model and a nanny after graduating from Converse College majoring in Study Arts. She earned her undergrad from Converse College majoring in Studio Art with a concentration on oil painting and metal sculpture. With her love of environmental advocacies, her ambition is to have a career in marketing and event management for several eco focused nonprofits across the US.
Savannah is a two-time North Carolina All Around State gymnastics champion, Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient, and an Art Fields Festival competitor. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Studio Art where she has blossomed her passion of metal sculpture into an excelled skill of MIG welding. She decreases her carbon footprint by practicing responsible storage and disposal of art materials, buying secondhand clothes and decor and composting. Something you may not know about Savannah is that she can sing, as well as play the guitar and keyboard.
Philanthropist, Actress, Future Politician
MISS ALABAMA EARTH USA
Charnae’s future is bright with hopes of becoming a criminal defense attorney and running for public office become an agent of positive political change. She says her best attribute is self-awareness, and that failure is what truly inspires her. Charnae has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Savannah State University and is set to graduate this May with her Master of Public Administration Government.
Her immediate future goal is to attend law school to become a criminal defense attorney. Charnae has been awarded Best Actress in 2017 Atlanta Film Festival, chosen for a spotlight in Solid Waste Association of North America Young Professional and most proudly given the 2020 Governor’s Circle Award for her accomplishments as Director of Keep Columbus Beautiful. You may be surprised to know that Charnae has never ridden a bike and doesn’t know how!
Chicken Farmer, Author, 4th Year Medical Student
MISS LOUISIANA EARTH USA
Danielle has a Bachelors in Evolutionary Anthropology and is a fourth-year medical student set to graduate in May and begin her three-year residency as a family medicine doctor. After residency, she hopes to pursue a fellowship in geriatrics to fulfill her goal of providing compassionate primary care to elderly and rural populations.
Danielle loves decreasing her carbon footprint by raising chickens in her backyard, composting food scraps and growing her own vegetable and fruit garden. With two dogs of her own she created #PawsToPickUp, which inspires and motivates dog owners around the world to pick up litter while walking their dogs. Outside of being a medical student Danielle is an author of an eBook published by Kaplan Grad on the medical school application process and was a presenter at the inaugural Science Accessibility Conference in 2019 on how to navigate medical school with an invisible disability. Something that would surprise you about Danielle is that she can deadlift over 300 pounds.
Traveller, Pre-Med & Pre-Law Student, Future Surgeon General
MISS MICHIGAN EARTH USA
*Beauties for a Cause Scholarship Finalist
Taylor is an avid environmental policy activist with the Detroit chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby who enjoys participating in cleanups, weeding, invasive species removal, and beautification across Michigan. She has had the opportunity to visit ten beautiful countries spanning the Americas, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. One of Taylor’s dreams is to one day step foot in all 195 United Nations-recognized countries and observer states.
Taylor is a six-time Gold-Level President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient who started a non-profit that collected and donated over 10,000 food and toiletry items to low-income, food insecure populations. Taylor is a senior pre-med and pre-law student at Wayne State University in Detroit, where she is pursuing concurrent degrees in Public Health and Mathematical Economics with honors both in only two years’ time. She earned full ride scholarships for both her undergrad and medical school after graduating valedictorian of her high school academy. In law school she plans to concentrate in healthcare and environmental litigation before matriculating to medical school and one day being named Surgeon General of the United States. In her spare time, Taylor works as an EMT.
NYFW Model, Information Technologist, Cliff Diver
MISS NEW YORK EARTH USA
Marizza has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from University of California, Santa Cruz and has plans to found her own tech company and be a speaker in all women STEM panel. She works as a Google certified Data Analyst, Data Scientist on Etsy’s Product Analytics team and as a fashion model represented by two management companies. Marizza is a NYFW Model and has been featured in Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and L’oreal campaigns.
Though she’s a devoted fashionista, her one rule fashion rule she’d like to permanently break would be always allow the wearing socks with sandals because athleisure is her uniform. She says her best attribute is that she lives by the embracing the motto “be comfortable being uncomfortable” and she takes pride in her ability to embrace the unknown. Marizza calls herself an adrenaline junkie who loves skydiving and cliff diving for thrills!
Thrifter, Law Student, Future Supreme Court Justice
MISS OKLAHOMA EARTH USA
Emma is a national partner for the National Eating Disorder Association and the founder of “Thrift It”, a social platform to inform others on the importance of thrift shopping and donating used items. As a Law Student and a Plus Model Emma has been inspired inspired by all women challenging stereotypes. With a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Psychology already under her belt, Emma is in her second year of Law School at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Ultimately, her goal is to obtain her Juris Doctorate and become a District Attorney in her home state and then to be on the Supreme Court. Her biggest accomplishment was receiving an academic scholarship to attend law school and to be featured on the cover of India’s first ever pageantry magazine, P&I Magazine.
Emma is a twin, who looks to thrifting as a major means of decreasing her carbon footprint as well as raising her eleven chickens.
TEDx Speaker, Tri-Linguist, Paralympian
MISS SOUTH DAKOTA EARTH USA
Madeline is a TEDx Speaker who gave a powerful speech on how we can create a truly accessible world for all. She has a Bachelors Degree in Business and Foreign Language and is fluent in Spanish and German and is on her way learning Mandarin Chinese. Madeline has traveled to 15 countries and has driven across the entire US twice on speaking tours.
Madeline works as a Marketing Director and the CEO of her Nonprofit Live Boundless where she has traveled through Asia and South America delivering wheelchairs to those in remote areas. She is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and creating food systems that will feed our world for generations to come. You may recognize her from the lead actress in country music star Gabby Barrett’s “Good Ones” music video.
At 10 years old, Madeline was crushed in the back of a Honda Civic after a horrible car accident where after waking up from a coma weeks later, doctors told her she would never walk again. Through her long period of recovery, she realized she didn’t want her injury to also paralyze her life and made it her goal to turn tragedy into something beautiful. She continues to push herself, achieve the impossible and is even currently training for the Paralympics. You may be surprised to know that Madeline is fearless – she has been free diving with sharks, horseback riding up an active volcano and gone BASE jumping off one of the tallest bridges in the US.
For more information on the Miss Earth USA Pageant, visit: www.missearthusa.org