Miss MD Teen USA
When Soniya Krishan was crowned Miss Maryland Teen USA 2022, she made history by becoming the first South Asian American to represent Maryland at Miss Teen USA. This was the second pageant in which she had ever competed, having been first runner up in 2021. Soniya’s mission throughout her reign is to advocate for underprivileged communities in Maryland and to amplify the voices of those who typically go unheard.
Soniya was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington DC. Her family is multi-ethnic with her father coming to the United States from India at the age of 19 and her mother from Germany at the age of 12. Soniya identifies as a South Asian Jewish American and embraces both cultures.
Growing up home-schooled allowed Soniya the opportunity to explore her passions without any limitation. She practiced Aerial Arts, creative writing, and was involved in competitive horseback riding. She also received technical voice training in an invitation only program.
At the age of 14 Soniya enrolled in a Sudbury school which is run democratically by staff and students. There she immersed herself fully in student government as well as various social causes. She was co-chair of the anti-racism committee and helped organize a student-led peaceful protest to improve cultural sensitivity at the school. As a result of this, Soniya has become passionate about human rights and plans to continue being involved in social change.
In addition to human rights, Soniya is dedicated to disability advocacy and destigmatizing the mental health needs of youth. Soniya herself has struggled with anxiety and depression. She wants to share her story as a way to show other people that they are not alone, and that recovery is possible.
Soniya has been accepted into her dream school NYU and will start her studies in 2023. She plans to major in Individualized Media Studies. Her goal is to work in the entertainment industry and to use her platform as a public figure to promote equality.
During her reign as Miss Maryland Teen USA, Soniya is looking forward to using her position to bring about change for her generation. She plans to spend the year being an advocate for inclusivity with an emphasis on being accepting of and embracing those different from yourself. She is honored and excited to highlight Maryland’s vibrant diversity and represent her home state at Miss Teen USA!
- Accepted into NYU and will start her studies in 2023 to major and individualized media studies
- Her goal is to work in the entertainment industry and use her platform as a public figure to promote equality
- She has five dogs
- She was homeschooled throughout elementary and middle school
- Soniya is the first South Asian titleholder to represent Maryland at Miss Teen USA
- Soniya identifies as a South Asian Jewish American and embraces both cultures
- Recently overcame her phobia of bees and wasps
- Her hobbies include reading, writing poetry, backpacking, rollerblading, and aerial dance!
- Her favorite book is Never Let Me Go by Kazu Ishiguro
- Over the summer she went on a two week backpacking trip to do trail maintenance work in protected wilderness areas