The Miss USA 2013 rehearsals are well under way. The road to becoming Miss America is an often bumpy one, and many challenges have to be faced and conquered along the journey. There are beauty pageants at the local, regional, and state levels to enter and win; there are dresses and costumes to try on, talents to hone, events to make appearances at, judges to impress, and expenses to meet.
The photo that goes with this article, above (taken by Valerie Macon), shows six Miss USA 2013 contestants who have each traveled this bumpy road and who now find themselves the representatives of their respective states in the biggest, glitziest, most important pageant of their lives, Miss USA 2013. They will compete for the title of Miss USA 2013 and the coveted Miss USA Diamond Nexus Crown LIVE on NBC starting at 9:00 PM ET on June 16th, 2013 from PH
The six young women are Miss Mississippi USA 2013, Paromita Mitra; Miss Louisiana USA 2013, Kristen Girault; Miss Idaho USA 2013, Marissa Wickland; Miss Connecticut USA 2013, Erin Brady; Miss Alabama USA 2013, Mary Margaret McCord; and Miss New York USA 2013, Joanne Nosuchinsky.
Miss Mississippi USA 2013, Paromita Mitra, 21, is the daughter of Dr. Amal and Ratna Mitra and has one older brother Amlan, 27. She grew up in Hattiesburg, MS and is currently a senior at Mississippi State University studying Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Paromita credits her interest in space and engineering to her brother and her determination and hard work to her very close-knit family. As a first generation immigrant from the country of Bangladesh, she grasps every opportunity thrown her way. She says it is a way to thank the USA for allowing her and her family to be citizens of this amazing country full of opportunities.
Throughout her years at Oak Grove High School, Paromita served as senior class president, homecoming queen, and participated on the robotics team, cheerleading squad, wind ensemble, gifted art program and speech/debate team. During this time she was selected debate team MVP for acting, All-American cheerleader nominee, and won multiple awards for her oil painting and fashion design pieces. Musically, Paromita is trained in piano, clarinet, and drums. She also received consecutive highest ratings for piano with the National Festival of Music Club and was a clarinetist in Mississippi’s District 5 Honor Band.
At Mississippi State University (MSU) Paromita is a member of American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), MSU Space Cowboys Rocket Design Team, and MSU Fashion Board- a selective on campus modeling group for print and runway work. She also worked as an undergraduate researcher for a NASA funded program where she received 1st and 3rd place recognition both regionally and nationally for her research.
Paromita enjoys different cultures and travelling. She can speak four different languages, has once flown a plane, and also traveled the country of Italy on a study abroad program. On her spare time she enjoys baking cakes, astronomy, and canoe trips. In the future, she plans to attain a pilot license. Upon graduation, she plans to work for an esteemed space company. Along with her educational goals she plans to pursue a career in TV or acting as well. Read more about her here.
Miss Louisiana USA 2013, Kristen Girault, is the 21-year-old daughter of Brad and Renee Girault from Metairie, Louisiana. She has two older brothers, Kody Girault and Brannon Crowe, 23 and 25 respectively. Kristen is a 2009 graduate of Mount Carmel Academy and currently attends Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in New Orleans, LA, where she is involved in the Student Government Association and Student Nurses Association.
Dancing has always been a large part in Kristen?s life. She began dancing at the age of 3 and was a member of her high school dance team, the Carmelettes. Kristen is currently a three-year member of the New Orleans Saintsations, the official Cheerleaders for the World Champion New Orleans Saints.
With this title Kristen wants to continue being an advocate for a healthy lifestyle and talk about the importance of eating healthy and getting out and being active. She also wants to actively work with some of her favorite charities and causes: American Heart Association, the Red Campaign fighting heart disease in women, Breast Cancer Awareness, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Children?s Miracle Network, and Habitat for Humanity. She is looking forward to teaching children and women the importance of following their dreams and enjoying the journey along the way, because it is through that journey that you develop and find your true self.
When she is not studying, Kristen enjoys traveling, running the levees, reading, cooking, and watching her two favorite sports teams, the LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints.
Miss Idaho USA 2013, Marissa Wickland, 20, was born and raised in Boise, ID. She is a bilingual honors graduate of Boise High School and was a senior Co-Chair of the school’s Character Education Program. She’s been involved with music and arts programs throughout her education and has always participated in a sport or two. Marissa was crowned Miss Idaho Teen USA 2009 during her junior year. She also received the Miss Congeniality award in 2009.
After Graduation, she was selected for a Rotary Youth Exchange scholarship. Sponsored by the Boise Metro Club, she spent a year in France integrating into the culture and learning the language. Upon returning, she moved to the LA area to pursue an education in music and dance. She was 1 of 120 young adults selected for the Young Americans College of the Performing Arts fall season 2011. At the end of the scholastic year, she came back to Boise and was accepted to Boise State University. Marissa is now embarking on a year of hard work and self-discovery with her new title as Miss Idaho USA 2013.
Miss Connecticut USA 2013, Erin Brady, is the daughter of Francis Brady and Judy Krauth. She is a Senior Accountant with Prudential Financial and an honors graduate of Central Connecticut State University.
Miss Alabama USA 2013, Mary Margaret, is the daughter of Carol and Roy McCord of Gadsden. Mary Margaret attended the University of Alabama where she majored in Public Relations with a double minor in Communication Studies and Entrepreneurship. She is currently in Graduate School at the University of Alabama where she is pursuing a Master of Science in Marketing. She plans to take a semester off from her studies to focus on her short year as Miss Alabama USA.
Mary Margaret is the youngest of three children. She has an older brother, Roy McCord, and an older sister, Catherine McCord Bailey. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, modeling, and volunteering.
Miss New York USA 2013, Joanne Nosuchinsky, was crowned as Miss New York USA 2013. Joanne loves being on stage and has defeated the stage fright she once had as a child. The first dance competition she entered she successfully won. That stepping stone encourage her to pursue more of her dreams and she won more and more competitions after that first one. Joanne is a woman of confidence and perseverance.
In her early childhood, Nosuchinsky was diagnosed with scoliosis and suffered almost four years wearing a back brace. After the successful treatment of it, she went back to performing arts and pursued her college degree.
On Sunday, their journey along with the journeys of all of the other contestants come to their ends with a winner being chosen from among their number who will assume the crown and duties of being Miss USA 2013.
Written by: Douglas Cobb