On Thursday night, Miss New Jersey Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava was crowned Miss Teen USA 2023 after prevailing over 50 other competitors at the live-streamed pageant in Reno, Nevada.
Among the other top finishers, Miss New York Teen USA Stephanie Skinner was named first runner-up, Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA Maggie Ross was second runner-up.
Srivastava, a high school student, nabbed the night’s biggest honor after a week full of activities including interviews, preliminary rounds and a costume contest.
"IS THIS REAL??? I am so grateful and honored that I’m the first Mexican-Indian, first New Jersey, your MISS TEEN USA 2023!!!" the teen wrote social media. "This night is truly the best night of my life because I was crowned with the people that have loved and supported me throughout everything cheering for me in the audience."
"The class of 2023 is truly so special. Getting to stand along side each of my intelligent, impactful, and beautiful sisters already made me the luckiest girl in the world," she added. "I have so much more to say, but for everyone who believed that a girl like me could win, who had a kind word to say or thought to think for me this week, I am so so grateful. I’m yours USA!!!!"
Srivastava became the first Mexican-Indian Miss New Jersey Teen USA when she was crowned last spring, according to the pageant.
Earlier Thursday, Srivastava shared in an Instagram post that she had won the costume portion, wearing an elaborate bee costume that paid homage to her childhood and her home state.
“THIS IS UN 🐝 LIEVABLE!!! I am so so grateful to be the winner of the @missteenusa Costume Competition!!” she wrote. “Thank you to my amazingly talented designer @simblas for not only this costume, but for all his love and support along the way.”
The pageant was hosted by Justin Sylvester of E! News, and featured judges including actress Emily Shah, founder of Kopu Water, Mindy Mahy, the first Miss Teen USA Ruth Zakarian, comedian Kae Cazorla as well as model Tabitha Swatosh.
Srivastava hopes to become a UN ambassador and has already moved towards that goal with her work with the Lotus Petal Foundation which helps underprivileged children in India, according to her pageant biography.
Among her other achievements, Srivastava has collected thousands of books for the Bridge of Books Foundation, written her own book, and runs a blog where she documents her experiences as a woman of color.
Just before she was crowned Miss Teen USA, Srivastava — who speaks English, Spanish, Hindi and French — shared her perspective on her pageant experience.
"I am so grateful for this journey so far as @missnjteenusa," she wrote in an Instagram post. "I am eternally thankful for every moment of growth, for every peak and valley, because it has truly been an honor to serve my home state of New Jersey!!"