Miss Oregon

Miss Oregon 2018 Taylor Ballard passes her crown to Shivali Kadam, Miss Portland, at the 2019 Miss Oregon Scholarship Program's state competition, which concluded with the crowning Saturday night in Seaside.

SEASIDE — Oregon has a new representative: a 25-year-old engineer armed with a passion to demonstrate Miss America and its interconnected state and local programs can be an outlet for women with diverse interests.

“I’ve been working for this goal for four years, and to finally have it come to fruition and to be able to set into action all the plans I’ve been dreaming of for years is so exciting,” said Miss Portland Shivali Kadam, who was crowned Miss Oregon on Saturday night.

Kadam and 24 other Miss Oregon contestants competed in preliminary competitions Wednesday through Friday, before the final contest and crowning at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center.

For the talent portion, Kadam sang a rendition of the song “Reflection” from Disney’s “Mulan.”

However, her emphasis throughout the competition was promoting science, technology, engineering and mathand discussing how she will help contribute to growing the next generation of female engineers and scientists through her platform: STEM to Bloom.

“Anyone can be in the Miss America organization,” said Kadam, who graduated from Oregon State University in 2018 with a degree in chemical engineering and works as a construction manager in semiconductor manufacturing for Jacobs Engineering Group.

“It doesn’t matter what your goals are, personal or professional, we are here to support you in all of those goals.”

Kadam first became familiar with the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program when she saw her friend and fellow collegiate a cappella group member Emma Wampler, Miss Linn-Benton County 2015, at an appearance.

“When she described the program to me, the emphasis on service, I was like, ‘I’m all in, I want to do this,’” Kadam said. “I’m so grateful for the last four years in this organization. It has brought me a second family and so many mentors I respect so much who have been guiding lights in my life.”

Miss Oregon interview

The top five contestants for the Miss Oregon title included, from left, Shivali Kadam, Miss Portland; Hannah Garhofer, Miss Tri-Valley; Stephanie Magee, Miss Meadow Lark; Allison Burke, Miss Northwest Wonderland; and Claire Sparks, Miss Central Valley.

During the final day of competition, Kadam and the other top 10 candidates competed for a second time in the categories of talent; evening wear and social impact; and onstage interview.

Those candidates included Emily Warren, Miss Sunstone; Stephanie Magee, Miss Meadow Lark; Claire Sparks, Miss Central Valley; Rylee Young, Miss Southern Gem; Sarah Blum, Miss Linn-Benton County; Josie Carstensen, Miss Capital City; Rose Sheldon, Miss Coos County; Allison Burke, Miss Northwest Wonderland; Hannah Garhofer, Miss Tri-Valley; and Danielle Cormier, Miss Emerald Valley.

Garhofer, of Seaside, was Miss Clatsop County in 2017.

Once the field was narrowed down to the top five — Kadam, Sparks, Magee, Burke and Garhofer — the contestants had an onstage discussion with emcee Kari Virding Christensen, Miss Oregon 2007, about their qualifications for the job that accompanies the crown.

Kadam will advance to the Miss America pageant.

Also during the evening, Marin Gray, of Roseburg, was crowned Miss Oregon’s Outstanding Teen. Gray, who took fourth runner-up last year, was Miss Umpqua Valley’s Outstanding Teen.

“I went into it this time just wanting to bond with my sister queens, because I realized last year that there was such a good sisterhood,” said Gray, whose platform is Building Respect, Alliances, and Value for Everyone, or BRAVE. “I came in here with the mindset of just spending time with those people who are so amazing and having a lot of fun, and it just worked out for me this year.”

She will spend the next three weeks refining her performance in the various categories of competition to prepare for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition in Florida at the end of July.

Miss Outstanding Teen

Marin Gray, Umpqua Valley’s Outstanding Teen, is crowned Miss Oregon’s Outstanding Teen for 2019 by Kennedy Hjelte, Miss Oregon’s Outstanding Teen 2018.

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