On Sunday night, Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez was crowned Miss USA 2014. She competed against 50 other contestants and beat first runner up, Miss Dakota Audra Mari. Last year’s winner, Erin Brady from South Glastonbury, Connecticut, relinquished her crown to Sanchez. Other runners up include Miss Iowa Carlyn Bradarich, Miss Florida Brittay Oldehoff, Miss Georgia Tiana Griggs, and Miss Louisiana Brittany Guidry.
As the winner, Sanchez will be representing the U.S. at this year’s Miss Universe competition, which is scheduled later this year.
Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, asked Miss Nevada her question for the interview portion of the competition. Willis said that 19 percent of undergraduate women are sexual assault victims. She asked Sanchez why she thinks the issue is being ignored and what she thinks can be done about the issue.
Sanchez said that bringing awareness to the sexual assault issue was important, and it is also important for women to know how to defend themselves when facing that situation. “More awareness is very important so that women can learn to protect themselves… I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself, and I think that’s something we should really start to implement for a lot of women,” she answered.
Sanchez, 24, charmed the audiences and judges through the swimsuit, evening gown, and interview portions of the competition. She has a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do, and became a certified instructor when she was 15.
It was also revealed that Sanchez had a tough childhood. She and her mother lived in a women’s shelter when she was just 6 years old. She used the tough life experience to improve herself, and she is now giving back to the community by working in a shelter. “I can really relate to the women on a personal level because I’ve been there and I’ve been through those experiences,” she said.
— Melissa Peterman (@Followtheblonde) June 9, 2014
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