Shivali Kadam exchanged her Miss Portland banner for the Miss Oregon crown on Saturday night, June 29, at the Miss Oregon Pageant in Seaside.
As the winner, the 25-year-old Kadam will be given an $11,500 scholarship and will compete in the Miss America Pageant in September.
Kadam is a 2012 graduate of Tualatin High School and graduated from Oregon State University in 2018 with a degree in chemical engineering. She currently works full-time as a construction manager for Jacobs Engineering Group in semiconductor manufacturing.
During the talent portion of the pageant, Kadam sang "Reflection," by Christina Aguilera. She says the song captures her struggle to create an identity that honors both her Indian heritage and her American upbringing.
For the first time in the Miss Oregon Pageant's history, candidates did not take the stage wearing swimsuits.
Instead, they showed off their style and poise in the evening gown competition; at the same time, candidates made a statement about an issue they are passionate about.
Wearing a striking, one-shoulder yellow evening gown, Kadam told the audience her platform is "STEM to Bloom," and said her goal is to grow the next generation of female engineers and scientists.
"From building microprocessors to rebuilding Notre Dame (cathedral), engineers tackle a diverse array of problems. But the faces of engineers remain anything but diverse," she said.
"Only 13% of engineers in the U.S. are women. Through STEM outreach, we can show girls that there is a place for them in engineering — and it isn't only at the reception desk."
At the pageant's conclusion, Allison Burke, a 23-year-old Portland State University student, was named first runner up, and Kadam was named Miss Oregon.
As the state titleholder, Kadam says she "wants to create the opportunities for personal growth and professional development that have led me to the success I have today."
Kadam notes that she has a thorough understanding of the organization and a clear vision for where she wants to take it.
Kadam adds, "I have also developed the necessary skills to promote the program to new candidates and sponsors alike, and am excited by the potential I see for our future. Having benefited so greatly from competing in the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, I want to dedicate the next year towards growing the program that has grown me."
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