By Dyra Agus Prasetyo
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 2008 graduate of C.E. Byrd Magnet High School in Shreveport, Louisiana and was honored to be awarded a full four-year academic scholarship to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA to further my education. I immediately began my life in Baton Rouge at that time, and am currently a junior at LSU pursuing a double major in Mass Communications and Business. I would love to work at a major television network one day as a sportscaster. Philanthropy and volunteerism are important components in my life and I actively use my title of Miss Louisiana USA to work with those charities that are especially close to my heart. A strong family history of breast cancer, along with the fear and anxiety of the outcome of my own breast biopsy at a young age, have led to my involvement with some of my favorite causes and charities: Breast Cancer Awareness, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and “Suds for the Cure” which my family created in honor of my aunt, a survivor of breast cancer. I am a firm believer in the philosophy, “Knowledge=Power” and encourages women and men of all ages to be proactive when it comes to health awareness; knowing can save your life! I am also an advocate for the Special Olympics and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. As an active member of the LSU Campus, I am a member of the Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority which has connected me to other avenues of civic service and leadership spanning organizations such as Prevent Child Abuse America and Girl Scouts of America.
2. If you showed me around your state (county, city, community, etc.), where would you make me? Why?
If I were to show you around my state you would be amazed. There are vast differences in northern Louisiana and southern Louisiana, which is what I love about my state. Northern Louisiana, which is where I was born and raised, is home to sparkling lakes and rivers, beautiful pine forests, fabulous hunting grounds, great shopping, parks, museums, and historical landmarks. We northern Louisianan’s are true outdoor enthusiasts. One of the first places I would take you would be the Red River. It is my favorite place to go in Shreveport. I love to run the paths by the river, go out on the boat or just pack a picnic lunch and sit on the jetties. It is absolutely beautiful. Only in Louisiana can a muddy river called “The Red” be so beautiful! Southern Louisiana, which is where I go to college, is home to the New Orleans French Quarter, river tours, Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, plantations, and most importantly Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Saints!! Mardi Gras down south is one of my favorite times of the year, so I would definitely take you to one of the largest Mardi Gras parades around. Food, beads, parades, beads, concerts, beads, parties, beads…well, you get the picture!
3. Can you describe to us what Louisiana looks like?
When you look at Louisiana on a map, it is easily recognizable…it is in the shape of a boot. Our land is fairly flat with no mountains, but small hills are visible in all areas of the state. Louisiana is known for its wonderful springtime where the color of the foliage and plants are always so beautiful. Our climate makes for a beautiful springtime.
4. Why were you interested in participating in the Miss Louisiana USA pageant?
Originally, participating in a pageant was a favor to my family’s exchange student, Andressa. She is from Brazil and very much wanted to participate in a pageant in the United States but didn’t want to do it alone, so she asked me to join her. Reluctantly, I did and got bitten by the pageant bug. I previously stated how important philanthropy and volunteerism are to me and how they are important components in my life. I love participating in pageant as I actively use my title of Miss Louisiana USA to work with those charities that are especially close to my heart.
5. In your point of view, how should Miss USA be?
I can answer this in very few words…a great role model, sophisticated and classy. So many people look up to and admire Miss USA…men, women, and children. This is only one of many reasons that Miss USA should have sophistication about her, and carry herself in a classy manner.
6. In some countries, a woman isn’t allowed to wear a swimsuit in public. Do you think the swimsuit round is derogatory to women?
No! I believe being physically fit is extremely important in today’s society. In being Miss USA, you are always in the public eye and it is very important to be a good role model to other young ladies by showing how physically fit you are. I also believe the swimsuit competition shows the judges and audience how committed you are to yourself and to becoming Miss USA as having a swimsuit ready body takes dedication, time, effort, and hard work. To me, being physically fit shows that you have the drive to make a difference in the lives of others, and the confidence to do so.
7. If you were given a dollar, what would you do with it?
I have a huge piggy bank that is actually a really big white pig with black polka dots! Anytime I get extra an extra dollar, find change in the car, or can beg my family for their coins…it goes in Mr. Piggy!
8. What is the craziest thing that has ever happened in your life?
The craziest thing that has ever happened in my life is the very same thing that has changed my life, and that is entering my very first pageant. Hopefully, that crazy thing will lead to many awesome opportunities for me, and open many doors for my future endeavors. Participating in Miss USA and being given the opportunity to possibly become Miss USA is such an honor, and I am so proud to say that I have worked really hard and hope to make not only my state proud, but my country as well!!
9. If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which would you choose and why?
Victoria’s Secret!!! An aspiration of mine is to someday be a Victoria’s Secret Model. I absolutely love watching the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and can really see myself walking that runway with huge wings!!
10. The world seems to be smaller. Do you think of yourself first as a citizen of Louisiana, USA, or the world?
Absolutely Louisiana! I was born and raised with a Louisiana southern influence, and I am extremely proud of that! Louisiana is in my heart and soul, but I also am very proud to be a citizen of the United States of America as well as that of the world. After all, the USA is the land of opportunity, and I am very proud to live in this country, and be able to freely follow my dreams.