Indian-Americans constitute less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. Yet you will find them at the helm of great companies such as PepsiCo and MasterCard; as presidents and deans of America’s most prestigious colleges; at the pinnacles of journalism; dominating fields such as technology, scientific research and medicine; and thriving in industries such as hospitality, transportation and real estate. They have also achieved extraordinary success in government.
Monika Patel's parents migrated to America in hopes of being able to create a better life for her family. Like most immigrants like to call it, Following the American dream. Growing up with a traditional family Monika faced many challenges appropriating to the American culture. "I was always treated differently, no one wanted to understand where my family came from, they would just point and laugh at me or tease me for having dark skin. The kids ended up telling me I looked “unusual” I always hoped that one day my differences would be put aside and I would fit in with the rest of the crowd." she explained.
This year, Monika Patel will have the opportunity to represent the indian-american community at the prestigious Miss Texas USA Pageant. And it is not common to see Indian-American beauties in major national pageants of the country. There was a lot of controversy when Nina Davuluri won Miss America title in 2013. The first placement of Indian-American beauty in Miss USA was achieved by Pratima Yarlagadda in 1999.
The next and the most recent Indian-American to achieve success in Miss USA is Chhavi Verg. She even spoke fluent Hindi on the Miss USA stage. Her presence in Top 10, Top 5 and then Top 3 was not a surprise. In fact many wanted her to win because her final answer was good. However, she had to settle with 1st runner-up placement. Nevertheless it is a huge achievement.
Let us hope to see soon an Indian-American winning Miss USA. It would be interesting to see how the country perceives the event!
So, who is Monika Patel ? She is studying Psychology and Fashion at Texas State University.
She also works at a gear manufacturing company. She assists in creating company culture making sure they do not follow the footsteps of the corporations that have failed before them. When she first started working at Rave Gears she was learning the ropes of Quality Procurement so she took a reverse engineering approach to the system so she can one day maintain a scale of multiple department instruction. During the summer she was able to work full time and she got the opportunity to manage work flow and follow production. Her logic for choosing this type of work is because of her focus in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Working in an industrial environment is not glitz and glam. But it just goes to show that it is very possible to have beauty and brains.
She was born in Chicago and moved to Texas when she was about the age of five. She was put into a very small Christian private school where she quickly learned to lean on God for answers. "I had bowed to my fate taking into consideration I had to coexist in a dual Hindu/Christian life. Trying to find harmony within the two cultures was difficult for me to evaluate on my own, especially as a child." she explained.