Syracuse University queen becomes role model

Emily Mahana is using her new role as Miss Upstate New York to inspire younger girls to participate in match, science, and engineering.

For one Syracuse University student, her dream to compete in a pageant came true last October.

Emily Mahana competed in the Miss Upstate New York pageant, after only being trained for three weeks. She left with more than a crown and sash, she left feeling more inspired than ever.

"I was gonna do it just for fun to see if it's something I like to do again in the future. The last thing on my mind was going down to this pageant and walking out with a crown and a sash," Mahana said.

Mahana's beauty goes deeper than meets the eye. This Syracuse University senior wants to use her new role as Miss Upstate New York, to show there is more that goes into competing than what you see.

"You have to be up on current events, you have to be going out into your community. It's not just about wearing a crown and getting to wave and attending special things," said Mahana.

She says she wants to inspire young girls to participate in engineering and science activities. That all started at the College of Engineering and Computer Science on the SU Campus.

"Growing up, I don't think I really had a female role model to look up to and inspire to be, so I think during my year as Miss Upstate, I'd love to reach out and be that person I didn't have," Mahana said.

Mahana's love for match, science, and engineering started at a young age. She was first attracted to S-T-E-M learning when she was just a third grader. Years later, shes now putting those skills to use as an engineering major and hopes one day to use them to improve infrastructure.

"The more females we can have in different components whether it's engineering or math or science, I think it adds a different aspect or flavor," Mahana said.

She hopes to give girls and other young women the confidence they need to pursue their own passions.

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