A native of Wheaton, Soniya Krishan was crowned Miss Maryland Teen USA on 15 May 2022 and represented Maryland at the Miss Teen USA pageant in Reno, Nevada. Soniya identifies as a South Asian Jewish American and embraces both cultures. She made history as the first South Asian to win the Miss MD Teen USA title and hopes to work in the entertainment industry, using her platform as a public figure to promote equality.
When Soniya Krishan was crowned Miss Maryland Teen USA 2022, she made history by becoming the first South Asian American to represent Maryland at Miss Teen USA. This was the second pageant in which she had ever competed, having been first runner up in 2021. Soniya’s mission throughout her reign is to advocate for underprivileged communities in Maryland and to amplify the voices of those who typically go unheard.
Soniya was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington DC. Her family is multi-ethnic with her father coming to the United States from India at the age of 19 and her mother from Germany at the age of 12. Soniya identifies as a South Asian Jewish American and embraces both cultures.
Growing up home-schooled allowed Soniya the opportunity to explore her passions without any limitation. She practiced Aerial Arts, creative writing, and was involved in competitive horseback riding. She also received technical voice training in an invitation only program.
At the age of 14 Soniya enrolled in a Sudbury school which is run democratically by staff and students. There she immersed herself fully in student government as well as various social causes. She was co-chair of the anti-racism committee and helped organize a student-led peaceful protest to improve cultural sensitivity at the school. As a result of this, Soniya has become passionate about human rights and plans to continue being involved in social change.
In addition to human rights, Soniya is dedicated to disability advocacy and destigmatizing the mental health needs of youth. Soniya herself has struggled with anxiety and depression. She wants to share her story as a way to show other people that they are not alone, and that recovery is possible.
Soniya has been accepted into her dream school NYU and will start her studies in 2023. She plans to major in Individualized Media Studies. Her goal is to work in the entertainment industry and to use her platform as a public figure to promote equality.
During her reign as Miss Maryland Teen USA, Soniya is looking forward to using her position to bring about change for her generation. She plans to spend the year being an advocate for inclusivity with an emphasis on being accepting of and embracing those different from yourself. She is honored and excited to highlight Maryland’s vibrant diversity and represent her home state at Miss Teen USA!
The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Soniya’s state pageant photos.
Lights, camera, action! Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.
Take look back at Soniya’s photos from 2021, when she finished first runner-up to Maria Derisavi.