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Meet Melissa Martinez, the first native-american girl to compete at the Miss Grand United States Pageant

The gorgeous Melissa Martinez represented the state of Mississippi at the 2017 Miss Grand United States Pageant. She is half Native American and Paraguayan. The beauty queen believes that Native American Culture is not expressed enough, especially in pageantry. She wants to show the youth in her community and in Native American lands that someone who is like them, is striving for their goals and breaking barriers. "I am proud to be a Tribal Member and I can show the world that we do exist." she explained.

In the future she would like to become a state director for the Miss Grand United States organization and possibly opening up her own cosmetic line by the end of next year. She plans to own several businesses but mostly, to give back to help community and help others reach their goals.

Melissa Martinez has been working for the Boys & Girls Club organization for four years as the director of operations. "I absolutely love being outdoors whether it is hiking, fishing or just enjoying the beauty of nature. I am a makeup artist and love photography as my hobby. I have a bucket list of all the places I would like to visit in the world and must do experiences." she added.

It's time to break all the stereotypes! So, what can a "pageant girl" do to ensure they put on a successful event, get noticed, and grow from the experience? Read Melissa's inspiring story below!


You competed at the Miss Grand United States Pageant. What was your most memorable moment from the pageant ?

I absolutely had a blast at the Miss Grand United States Pageant. My most memorable moment from the pageant would be the pool party for the contestants after our official swimwear photo shoot. All the girls were so picture perfect for the photo shoot and it gave us time to really get to know each other. We also filmed our state costume introductions during that time and I was so excited to see the creativity for each state. 

melissa miss

You choose the Miss Grand International system, why this one ?

I chose the Miss Grand International system simply because of the organization's message. MGI campaigns to stop the war and end violence in the world and although at first it may seem very broad, it can simply mean finding inner peace so you can positively affect others. The organization gives you the opportunity to promote the platform you most care about and help end violence. I found that this system worked for me because I can tell my story and feel full support.

Did you plan to compete in another pageant ? Would you like to represent your state in a pageant like Miss USA or Miss America? 

I actually competed in Miss Mississippi USA several times and my highest placement was in the top 12. I have aged out of that system and have never participated in the Miss America system. I am not a fan of the talent portion. 

melissa martinez misss

Did you plan to compete in another pageant ? Would you like to represent your state in a pageant like Miss USA or Miss America? 

I am half Native American and Paraguayan. I am proud to be mixed with both and I believe it makes me very unique. This year, I expressed my Native American culture at the Miss Grand United States pageant because I believe that our culture is not expressed enough, especially in pageantry. I want to share the beauty of our Native American culture with the world. It was also important for me to be a voice for those facing challenges in and surrounding their communities, especially concerning the right for clean water due to oil pipelines. 

Who is your favorite beauty queen and why ?

My favorite beauty queen is the one and only Pia Wurtzbach, our former Miss Universe 2015. I feel that Pia broke many barriers and has a genuine heart. I loved how she handled the crowning mishap with such grace. She is absolutely fierce and I strive to be able to smize like her one day. :)

pia miss

My career goals seem to shift every now and then but at the moment I am still a part of the Boys & Girls Club organization. I love working with the youth and seeing the difference that we can make in a child's life. I am looking forward to becoming a state director for the Miss Grand United States organization and possibly opening up my own cosmetic line by the end of next year. I plan to own several businesses but mostly, to give back to my community and help others reach their goals.

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