18-year-old Indian American Aarya Walvekar from Virginia has been crowned Miss India USA 2022 at the annual pageant held in New Jersey.
"It has been my childhood dream to see myself on the silver screen and work in films and TV," Ms Walvekar, who is an aspiring actress, said, as per PTI. "Honored to be your Miss India DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) 2022," she wrote on Instagram while sharing images from the competition.
Take a look below:
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the pageant, which is the longest-running Indian pageant outside of India.
Aarya Walvekar is a senior at Briar Woods High School in Virginia. According to TEDx Youth Briar Woods, the 18-year-old is a passionate advocate for Mental Health and Body Positivity Heath at Every Size Movement. She has created various awareness campaigns and also spoken at a TEDx event on "Rethinking 'Healthy'".
Apart from this, Ms Walvekar is the founder of Euphoria Dance Studio - a small business which provides affordable dance lessons to local children. Moreover, the 18-year-old also participated in school and community theatre and volunteered as a Director for local kids' plays. Her hobbies include exploring new places, cooking and debating.
"In her downtime, Aarya loves to do yoga, cook for her friends and family, and spend time with her younger sister," read the website.
Meanwhile, coming back to the pageant, as many as 74 contestants representing 30 US states participated in three different pageants - Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Akshi Jain from Washington was crowned Mrs India USA and Tanvi Grover from New York was crowned Miss Teen India USA.
"I am very much thankful to Indian community around the world for their support over the years," Dharmatma, Founder and Chairman of Worldwide Pageants, said according to PTI.
Winners of all three categories received tickets to Mumbai early next year to take part in Worldwide Pageants.