Pageant Planet


Alayah Benavidez: The Bachelor, Miss Texas USA, Miss United States

Alayah Benavidez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up, Alayah’s ambitions did not know any limits. Dreams of becoming a professional model, pageant queen, author and professor were never just dreams to her, they were something she could make a reality.

We all know that most pageant queen success stories do not come without some sort of hardship along the way. In high school, Benavidez was diagnosed with dyslexia and was told she should switch her classes to get additional help, and that she should expect a change in her grades. While these professionals probably had good intentions with telling Alayah the reality of what her expectations should be, this simply did not fit into Alayah’s mindset.

Dyslexia could have been the disability that held Alayah back, but instead to propelled her forward, stronger and more determined than ever. Her life motto then became, “work smarter and strive harder.” This helped her excel in AP and dual credit classes.

Alayah knows how important reading and writing is to help children in their academic success. This is what inspired her to develop a literacy program for children called ‘Read The Way.’ A common saying that Alayah promotes is, “if you read today, you can lead tomorrow.”

In August 2016, Alayah Benavidez captured the title of Miss United States 2016. Miss United States is a national pageant that celebrates women of all walks of life. It empowers its contestants and titleholders to be good and give back to those less fortunate. The pageant has eight age categories where the contestants compete in typical pageant phases of competition including a private interview, swimwear or sportswear, evening gown and on-stage question. 

Her experience as Miss United States gathered a large fanbase for her next expedition, Miss Texas USA 2019.

To hear more about the life of Ava Hill and to discover coaching moments inside of her story listen to this week’s podcast.

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