The first recorded group of Portuguese immigrants arrived in the United States in 1820. The majority of these immigrants were Azorean men who worked on American whaling vessels. An expanding whaling industry and poor living conditions in the Azores increased the level of Portuguese immigration during the 1860’s and 1870’s, which was the heyday of U.S. whaling trade.

There are almost 250,000 residents in Massachusetts who claim Portuguese as their primary ancestry, which is 4.3% of the state’s total reported ancestries.

Shana Silva's grandparents immigrated to the United States from a small island located in the Azores of Portugal, in hopes to create a better life for their children - "I am very grateful to have grown up a first generation Portuguese-American. I I have learned many values by my immigrant Parents such as how to work hard and fight for everything you want in life. I want to inspire others to never settle for anything less then deserved, my families determination to work hard for better opportunities is proof of that" - she explained.

Shana is employed at a local Credit Union while studying at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in which she will graduate this December. Since the age of 16 she has been working and attending school full-time - "I am very thankful of the upbringing my family provided me. I have been able to mature and work diligently towards my dreams."

I had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Shana about her preparation for the upcoming pageant. Lets know a little more about this beautiful and inspiring woman through this interview!

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Nearly everyone who’s enjoyed a good glass of Chardonnay (or better yet, visited the vineyard that produced it) has fantasized about going into the wine business. After all, not only is wine one of life’s great pleasures, it’s also a big business in the United States. Retailers, restaurants and wineries all saw sales increases in 2016, swelling the size of the market for U.S. wine to more than $38 billion. 

The gorgeous Nicole Eacuello, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Massachusetts USA later this year, is currently running her family’s wine importing business - "We import from across Italy, and work closely with a handful of family-run vineyards. It’s an amazing experience that has helped me continue to develop my leadership and entrepreneurial skills" - she explained.

She also loves the flexibility of making her own schedule, which allows her to dedicate time to her other passions, including writing for her fashion blog, volunteering, and training to hit the Miss Massachusetts USA stage! 

Here we bring you the untold facts about Nicole’s life and also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

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Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions in the United States. Nearly half of Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition, and the number is growing. Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, respiratory diseases, arthritis and obesity can lead to hospitalization, long-term disability, reduced quality of life and, often, death. 

The prevalence of chronic disease has increased steadily among people of all ages in recent years. These diseases affect more than one in two adults and more than one in four children in the United States. More than 25 percent live with multiple chronic conditions.

Asha Vadlamudi, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Texas USA 2018, is a business analyst for a cardiac device and service company that is developing new technologies to bring efficiencies and better patient care to the healthcare system. As a business analyst, her job is to ensure the product is brought from a vision to a reality - "It has been very rewarding to work in an environment which can directly benefit patients’ lives. I have taken this experience and incorporated it into my passion of prevention of chronic disease" - she explained. Once awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, she created a Wellness Program in partnership with the local senior wellness center in her community.

"The program empowers seniors to take charge of their own health. It is so important to focus on the prevention as we start to see the prevalence of chronic disease in our society rapidly increasing. I have seen many participants in our program who are motivated to improve their health but just do not know how. The wellness program partners with these motivated individuals to help them reach their goals and serve their health needs."

If she wins the Miss Texas USA Pageant the beautiful Asha will have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss USA 2018. Check my interview about her preparation for the upcoming pageant below!

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As a child, a role model can be one of the most important factors in shaping you into the person you will become. Often in today’s digital world, young girls choose their roles models not just from within their families or communities, but from the celebrities they see on glossy magazine covers, on television or on the pageant world.

Elia Gjanci, who'll be competing in the 2018 Miss Massachusetts USA Pageant, aspires to be a role model on a national scale - "I've always admired watching pageants. The women are beautiful and speak so eloquently. They do so much for the community. They have such high hopes and dreams. They are very passionate about their future. I realize that it's not just their outer beauty that they portray walking in pageants and it makes me want to be one of them" - she explained.

Elia currently works for the Department of Public Works in Framingham as a Program Manager. Although this is a job she never expected to get into, she quickly learned this is her passion - "I love to serve the public and help others. This field has been extremely eye opening and gratifying in the few years I have worked here. We all know how difficult the snow season can be in the New England area."

One major aspect in her work she is involved in is Snow and Ice operations - "I help organize and dispatch employees to quickly and efficiently clear the roads for the residents. Due to finding my passion, I am currently pursuing my Masters in Public Administration and will graduate in May 2018."

As many other girls, she has prepared the Miss Massachusetts USA Contest by maintaining a healthy diet, keeping up with her boxing workouts regularly and practicing her walk.

She also started a fundraiser campaign with Mass General Hospital in Boston, Ma for Scoliosis Awareness - "I am personally affected by this as a child and it is something close to my heart" - she explained.

If she wins the crown Elia will have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss USA 2018.  Check out my interview with her below!

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Pageant girls are fighting to keep the reputation of pageantry positive. Evelyn Clark, who will be competing for the crown of Miss Washington USA, made it her mission to talk to young girls about what it really means to be “beautiful.”

We will not deny that some pageants are nothing more than a group of outsiders judging someone on their physical beauty, but most pageants are much more than just that. With the question-answer segments, pageants are moving away from aesthetics and forcing contestants to be well-spoken, knowledgeable, and graceful young ladies who are passionate about a purpose.

Evelyn competed in her first pageant when she was 10 years old after she received a flyer in the mail for the National American Miss (N.A.M.) pageant - "My parents are really the main reason why I even signed up in the first place. They encouraged me to compete because I was having a hard time with my self-esteem and confidence so they thought it would be good for me. I’m believer in everything happens for a reason; I was having a hard time and then got a flyer for the pageant. It was perfect timing" - she explained.

After competing, she had a new confidence in herself and she was hooked on pageantry - "It wasn’t because I got to wear a pretty dress and win awards, it’s because I saw firsthand how a pageant can change a person and the benefits of it."

She grew up watching Miss USA and Miss Universe and remembers thinking "I want to do that but never thought it would happen! love that the Miss Universe Organization empowers women to go after what they want and to embrace their unique differences" As Miss Washington USA, she would love to share her story and this message to young girls. 

If she wins the crown of Miss Washington USA she will have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss USA 2018. Washington has been moderately successful in terms of number of semi-finalists and placements, and has had one Miss USA. Dorothy Anstett won the crown in 1968 and went on to place 4th runner-up at Miss Universe.

Here we bring you the untold facts about Evelyn’s life and also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

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When a girl, teen or woman decides to enter a beauty pageant, there will always be someone in her life who will make statements about the negative effects that competing in a pageant  will have on her self-image.The conversation gets even more heated when a mother puts her baby, toddler or young child into a beauty pageant. Usually, the negative statements will come from people whose only exposure to the world of beauty pageants is what they’ve seen on TV shows like Toddlers and Tiaras or read in the tabloids. 

Participating in a beauty pageant will build self-esteem and self-image if used as a tool to polish the complete healthy person that you already are. Pageants open career doors, provide an opportunity for community service, develop confidence and communication skills, and are fun. Tinley McWhorter's mother, entered her daughter in a pageant at a young age because she wanted her to gain self confidence - "The optical nerve in my left eye never fully developed leaving me completely blind in that eye. Pageants have made me feel confident, empowered and ambitious" - she explained.

Tinley will have the opportunity to compete in the 2018 Miss Nevada Teen USA Pageant later this year. If she wins she'll have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss Teen USA 2018. I had the opportunity to interview her about her preparation for the upcoming pageant. Check it below!

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She comes from Trinidad & Tobago a dual-island nation in the southern Caribbean, located a mere 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Yvonne Clarke's dream of being Miss Universe' first began at age 9, when Wendy Fitzwilliam was crowned in 1998 - "It was one of the few nights in my childhood where my parents allowed me to stay up late, so it was a very exciting experience. Watching Ms. Fitzwilliam's grace, dignity, and class on the international stage as she represented Trinidad and Tobago on that incredible night as she was crowned the winner of the Miss Universe pageant inspired me to realize that, even in the small twin-island Republic of 1.3 million people, we all have the potential to shine as an example for the rest of the world to follow, admire and celebrate" - she explained.

If she wins the national pageant Yvonne will have the opportunity to represent her beautiful island at the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas. The beauty contest has been held annually since 1963 a year after its independence from the United Kingdom. It debuted in 1963 when Jead Stodart, Miss Y de Lima 1963 was crowned the Carnival Queen of Trinidad by National Carnival Committee and went to the Miss Universe 1963 in the United States.

Yvonne is a medical student in the area of clinical sonography, specializing in obstetrics - "My line of study allows me to ensure that my female patients and their unborn offspring are healthy. Child-bearing is a wondrous, incredible gift granted by God to women, and being a part of this delicate process is indeed a remarkable experience that I will always appreciate, because it is a testament of the strength and resilience of a woman."

Additionally, she owns a small business where she sells women's shoes, clothing and accessories. As a Fashion CEO, styling other women on a daily basis gives her great joy – "it’s a great feeling of satisfaction to see the look of confidence that my loyal female customers have when they leave my store, ready to face the world with renewed self-assurance."

Here we bring you the untold facts about Yvonne’s life & also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

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