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Giving Back Through Pageantry

Mrs. Nevada-America 2021 shares the true role pageantry has in giving back to our community

While many of our lives were different a year ago than they are today, for Nevada Native Sarah Banda, her life took a surprisingly pleasant turn. Banda’s day-to-day consisted of working as an attorney for Naqvi Injury Law, being a mother, and bettering her community. But now, she serves as the reigning Mrs. Nevada-America. Here, Banda shares details of her new life and current ventures since her crowning.

Banda admittedly expressed that she knew very little about the pageantry world before competing — her knowledge revolved around the more “superficial” glitz and glam elements.

Last April, by serendipitous luck, a delegate approached and asked her if she would be interested in competing together. Where Banda lacked pageantry knowledge, she knew she had an infinite love for challenges and new experiences.

With only about three months to prepare, Banda dove headfirst into the pageant world, and what she found was a pleasant surprise. The Mrs. America system directly aligned with her passion – giving back to the community. Alongside other inspiring, hard-working, and intelligent women, Banda found a sisterhood she didn’t know she was missing.

In the seven months since Banda was crowned Mrs. Nevada-America, she has organized and appeared in more than 30 events and worked with more than 20 organizations. Immediately after her crowning, she attended a salon takeover at Dolce Salon – where local girls received the “full VIP treatment.” Most recently, she organized a photoshoot and picnic with local “warrior girls.” She spent a few hours getting to know them better, learning about their dreams, and creating memories she calls “unforgettable.”

“To be Mrs. Nevada-America also means that you are responsible for ensuring everyone knows they are welcome, accepted, and included in the sisterhood,” Banda shared.

Banda has a “Keys to Empowerment” platform geared towards helping young girls and women discover their “limitless potential.” She coaches developmental programs such as “Girls on the Run,” geared towards developing strong women by building them up physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

“As women, we wear so many hats. We are mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, friends, etc. We spread ourselves thin, and we forget the importance of self-care. We forget that we are best able to take care of others and of all of our other responsibilities if we are mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. Therefore, it’s important to start building our young women up physically, mentally, and emotionally from a young age.”

Banda enjoys helping young girls and women get out of their comfort zone and become “anything and everything” they want in life; this is why she loves pageantry. “Pageantry forces you to self-reflect, figure out what matters most to you, and become the best version of yourself.”

Now fully immersed in the pageant world, she believes in the work Mrs. Nevada state representatives put into our communities and believes many other women in our community would be “amazing and influential” representatives as well.

For those interested in giving back to the community and becoming involved with the sisterhood of pageantry, Banda shares the next 2022 Mrs. Nevada-America Pageant will take place June 10th-12th at the Santa Fe Station. Applications for Mrs. Nevada-America and Miss Nevada for America Strong divisions are still welcome to be submitted.