We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Averie Bishop. She's double majoring in human rights and political science and pursuing a minor in law and legal reasoning. She's a junior but technically a sophomore because she plans on graduating a year early. She's the Vice President of Phi Alpha Delta, a law fraternity on campus, and is the co-founder of a non-profit she started with her mom.
Oh – and on top of all that she's also the reigning Miss Teen Asian American.
HCSMU: What is it like being Miss Teen Asian American?
Averie Bishop: I'd say it's a lot of work. A lot of people assume that when a girl wins a beauty pageant it's clear sailing from there but it essentially isn't that way. When you win a title you are required to represent your community and your culture by attending a lot of community events, festivals and galas around the DFW area. When you are invited to those things you usually have to host them or emcee them, so it's actually a lot of work.
HCSMU: Can you tell me about the last event you went to?
AB: One of the biggest things I do every year is host the Filipino Republic Day Celebration Gala and it's held in Dallas over the summer. Last year they had several representatives in attendance such as Representative Angie Chin Button - I got to meet her she was really cool – and there were a lot of police chiefs and deputies that attended as well.
HCSMU: Have you always done pageants?
AB: Girl, no! So I'm probably the weird one out. I had no idea what I was doing going into it. It was the very first pageant I'd ever competed in. This pageant circuit is very different. Instead of a bathing suit competition it had a cultural attire competition where you wear clothing that represents your ethnicity. The pageant I won also emphasized the interview portion more than other pageants usually do.
HCSMU: You have your own fashion blog, tell me about that!
AB: I started that maybe a month ago. So there's this group called Trade for Print (TFP) and it's for young college students who want to get their foot out in the social media aspect, like freelance modeling, fashion blogging and lifestyle blogging. I thought it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of that. Also, a lot of the time the fashion bloggers I follow on Instagram buy really expensive clothing and I'm not really into that, I don't want to pay $100 on a dress because, obviously, I need to spend that money on things I need for college and so I wanted to start a blog that emphasized thrifting rather than going out to Nordstrom's and Dillard's. So the blog is primarily about finding really good deals that pertain to a college student's budget.
HCSMU: What is your style inspiration?
AB: I feel like I'm all over the place. Honestly it's whatever I find on the clearance racks and it really mimics my mood.
HCSMU: What is your favorite item in your closet?
AB: [Laughs and points at the shoes she's wearing.] These! They're so comfy. When I see girls walking around in sandals on campus I'm like 'How are you surviving?'
HCSMU: If you could high-five anyone in the world who would it be and why?
AB: Barack Obama hands down. He's fabulous and he has a great personality.
HCSMU: What is one item on your bucket list?
AB: So my mom and I have a nonprofit organization called the Bishop Outreach that helps children in third world countries get an education and I really want that to get up off the ground. Right now it sponsors about 25 kids and it helps them afford tuition every year. I feel like on my bucket list I can see that becoming something more than just me and my mom. It would be a really fulfilling moment to see that organization grow to incorporate more than just children in the Southeast Asian region.
HCSMU: What do you plan on doing after graduation?
AB: I plan to go to law school preferably in the Washington area or New York area after I graduate. I like knowing I have a plan but you never know what's going to happen. We'll see what happens.