Before the competition in Minnesota, I had to submit bio on the website and provided photos, during the preliminary if they accepted then I automatically enter the competition. I was not nervous at all because I have been modeling in the past and I get used to it. I will be nervous at Miss USA competition, because there will be lots of people there. There were 23 contestants at Miss Minnesota, which reduced to 14 before the final. There will be 51 contestants at Miss. USA. I don’t know if they will allow Puerto Rico to enter the competition.
The reasons that the judges selected me are composed of everything, walking, personal interview, the evening gown and the swimming suit. You have to be on top of all four in order to win. I also had runway experiences that helped me with my walking and confidence with my swim suit on the stage, this can be embarrassing to others because you are in front of hundreds of people in your swim wear. I believed the others were not so nervous either, but how good is your walking; you have to make sure you are having fun in the swimming suit and the evening gown. Only my sister and my mother went to see me, the rest of the family members did not make it, the ticket was rather expensive, regular price $20.00 to $40.00. Since it was two months prior to the competition, I did not have opportunity to inform members of Lao community in Minnesota.
Yes, applying for assistance can be done but it is very difficult, they ask for health insurance and it cost money.
I think we will apply for the assistance in the near future; she is now 52 years old.
We are now living at Savage City, Minnesota, suburb of Minneapolis and we live far away from Lao community. As the parents, we feel very proud and very happy of her success. We are proud that our daughter has made name for Lao-American and Lao people, and many have heard and called us to congratulate. The relatives of her mother heard about it in Laos, they said that she’s from Kasi, they called the relatives in USA to confirm it, and many Lao people have been calling us. We are so excited that she is going to national competition, unfortunately, we cannot support her all the way through because we don’t have money. We are poor and have many children. When we landed in the US, my wife decided not to have birth control and let go. We have additional five children in the US and make it nine. After we had the last child, we felt that we both tired from working so hard to support the family, we had to ask one to stop working. I asked my wife to quit and she asked me to quit, she said she has insurance to cover the family and she made more money, we argued each other back and forth, she won and I had to quit before she did.
I really need to help my parents and they have done so much for us already. Now, I wanted my mom to talk.
I am happy that my daughter made it up to this point, if she doesn’t make it at the final level, it is still o.k. I am very happy that she has the opportunity to meet friends and people. She will represent everybody and people around the country and the world will know her.
I am very great full, honored and overwhelmed. I didn’t realize how big a deal is for me to be the first Asian-American and first Lao-American to win anything in the USA systems. I feel very honor and have great Lao fans, even Thai and all over the world and Australia. All are behind me and I feel very lucky to have them. They are watching me very closely, even after that I will always receive their support. I want to thank you everybody on the face book and twitter for watching and listening and being there during important journey.
I hope I have a good chance to win the competition because I am the only Asian-American among the 50 participants. I have to make sure that I eat healthy food and live in a healthy life style and be up to date with the current politics, show my personality and I believe I will be fine. My goal is to be on the top 15 in Miss USA competitions, if I can take the crown and make everyone proud, especially, the Lao people, by the end of the day I am Lao person and American, I want to represent Minnesota my home state, I want to represent America and Lao community because I am all three.
As Miss Minnesota I have to visit the schools with down-syndrome children where they like to take pictures, appear with others organizations for fund raising, hospice for children and it is very sad to see them, but we need to raise the awareness, helping the community and speak at Lao community events. I have to make sure all of these fit to my schedule, besides that I have to work full time.
I am now working for reinsurance broker firm; we are the middle person for the insurance. I do office work, deal with vendors, copier, printers and receptionist as well, and I work with the broker in the office doing administrative work and also a little bit of everything. I went to school last semester; I am taking this semester off and focus on Miss USA in June, and definitely I will go back to school as soon as possible. School is so important for me but my schedule right now just very difficult; I cannot do it only half way and make a bad grade. I will go back to finish general study and later transfer to the Lincoln University in Missouri where I received the scholarship from the pigeon.
My hobby is singing and writing music, playing volley ball and roller blade, and I don’t have time for any of these now. There’s a lot of preparation for me to be ready for Miss USA, and a lot of people don’t realize that. If I made it to Miss USA the whole world will watch it, Thailand and Viet Nam had entered in the past. I have to get myself prepare mentally and physically. In order to have my body in top shape, it takes months to do that for the international pageant.
I want to thank you Voice of America very much for taking time to interview me. That help me a lot and I am not hitting home yet for Miss USA. Thank you VOA for sitting down and interview my parents and me and broadcast my story worldwide and I feel so bless. I want to thank all my fans out there and friends and the sponsors that I have so far. I also would like to thank you Ketsana, without her I wouldn’t be able to have this interview. If anyone has the interest in sponsoring me please contact her, she has been my manager and books all my schedules. Please let me know if I can appear in the Lao-American community, I would like to reach out and help. I will be coming to the Lao Embassy in April to celebrate Lao New Year. It will be a great help for me to meet members of Lao-American community.