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Elizabeth Tran: The Benefits of Pageantry

Elizabeth Tran parents immigrated from Hong Kong and Vietnam to pursue the American Dream in Florida. The two met at a Disney college program working at Chinese restaurant in Epcot. This would eventually come back around as Elizabeth participated in the Disney Friends for Change Program as an adolescent.


Elizabeth’s parents being immigrants of asian descent with a drive to succeed put a huge emphasis on success through academics. She went through school remaining a straight-A student at the top of her class. 


While Elizabeth was very intelligent, the word ‘pageant’ just wasn’t in her vocabulary. It all started with a letter in the mail from National American Miss. She learned that this was a competition where girls would wear dresses, but didn’t know anything else. Can you blame her though? She was only 8 years old!


For four years Elizabeth competed in National American Miss Florida and the Miss American Coed pageants, never placing once. She would usually be close to last place at the local or preliminary level. She developed a mindset where she never expected to win, so she focused on having fun each year. She truly got to enjoy the experience because she didn’t expect to win, plus at 12 years old she was just trying to figure out who she was! 


To learn more about Katherine McQuade listen to this week’s podcast and follow her on Instagram, @misselizabethtran!


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Olivia Culpo: Winning Pageants on the First Try

Olivia Culpo was born in Cranston, Rhode Island to her parents Gus and Sophie. Olivia was the middle child of five siblings. She remembers getting along with her siblings, and the occasional argument or two between them. But who doesn’t bicker with their siblings, right?Her parents are the co-owners of several Boston Businesses, cafes and restaurants, which sparked Olivia’s culinary interest ever since she was younger. Olivia came from a large Italian family which sparked a tradition of large parties and food.Olivia began the cello in the second grade from her parents' encouragement. This became something she continued to pursue throughout her education. She performed with the Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, the Bay View Orchestra, and the Rhode Island All-State Orchestra.She won the title of Miss Rhode Island USA 2012 on her first try when she was just 18 years old. She went on to compete at Miss USA was crowned the 61st Miss USA 2012 in her second pageant ever. In her third pageant ever, Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012, making her the eighth woman to win Miss Universe for USA.To learn more about Olivia Culpo listen to this week’s podcast.Additional Resources:Want to sell last pageant’s items to make some money? Upload your items regardless of which country you’re from and sell them on Shop Pageant Planet! Click here to get started.Want daily training for us for free? Click here to sign up for Pageant Daily.