Panther Creek High School student Roshni Verma stays busy.
She is part of the school’s dance team and takes jazz, ballet and modern dance lessons. She also keeps up with her classes and hopes to attend New York University or Columbia University to study business or pre-med.
And as Miss Cary Teen USA, Verma is preparing for the Miss North Carolina Teen USA pageant in November. If she wins, she might be on her way to the Miss Teen USA pageant in the Bahamas.
Q: How did you get started in pageants?
I’ve always been interested in pageants; I think they will help me get into a good college. I want to gain leadership skills and strong public-speaking skills. And the prizes are a great thing to receive, too.
I participated in the Junior Miss North Carolina pageant when I was 13, and I won. I took a couple of years off, and I became Miss Cary Teen USA this year.
Q: How do you prepare for a pageant?
My main goal is to spread the word and let as many people know as possible. Support is a wonderful thing.
Gaining sponsors means that I will be able to pay for the things I’ll need in the pageant – outfits, hair and makeup.
I also practice speaking for the onstage interviews. My 11-year-old sister Googles onstage interview questions, and she grades me on the content of my answer.
My parents definitely help me, and there are some workshops you can attend to help you decide how to present yourself. The pageant is willing to help you, but I have to use what I’ve learned.
Q: One of the things the pageant wants to know about is your volunteering and community involvement. What have you done?
I have volunteered for several different organizations. One is the Lotus Survival Foundation for women fighting breast cancer. I enjoy helping women who have survived or are in the process of chemotherapy.
I hold UNICEF fundraisers; I am trying to open a club chapter at my high school. I help the youth attorneys at the Capital Area Teen Court.
I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity; the fact that you are building a house with your bare hands that someone will live in is very powerful.
In the future, I hope to start working with the Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role as Miss Cary Teen USA?
I love the social aspect. I love meeting and speaking with people, getting to know them.
And I enjoy the business aspect; I like to go to meetings and get sponsors. I hope to be able to promote local businesses (that) help me with in-kind or monetary donations; I think there are lots of marketing opportunities.