Houston, Texas – March 25, 2008. Interview with Crystal Stewart, Miss Texas USA 2007, currently in Las Vegas competing for Miss USA 2008.

Diane: How is it like being in Las Vegas so far?

Crystal: Actually, I got here yesterday. It’s been amazing when I stepped into the airport, it was a little overwhelming because of casinos everywhere, big bill boards, lights, but it’s been a great experience. It’s been great so far.

Diane: What has been your proudest moment in life as Miss Texas USA?

Crystal: My best moment since winning Miss Texas I would have to say is my motivational speech called “Waiting to Win”. I did a test version of it at a church and it was received very well. That is what I have been doing and want promote a career in, so I would say my motivational speaking.

Diane: Is that where you envision yourself in the future as?

Crystal: Yes, I actually want to open a charm school in three years and continue speaking. Also I want to write a character education curriculum for Texas schools.

Diane: Perfect. Crystal, you have got it all. If you win Miss USA what is your biggest dream?

Crystal: You know what? It’s a way to impact people and their lives and talking to people about their lives and talking about persistence, patience, and perseverance. I would love to win Miss Universe and represent the United States, it would be an honor. To be able to have the title of Miss Universe as Miss USA would be amazing.

Diane: Have you ever created the path to being “the first”(ie. such as creating a name for the minority community)?

Crystal: Well actually, I can say, I am the first African American to win Miss Texas USA. I know Chelsea Smith is mixed. Her mother is Caucasian her father is African American so she considers herself biracial. I’m not, both of my parents are African American. So I can say that I am the first true African American for Miss Texas USA.

Diane: Wow. I really hope you will advance and know Miss USA has crowned ladies from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. Coming from the Asian American community I know there a lot of women that look forward to the opportunity to compete for the prestigious Miss USA title. How will you be more involved with the Asian American community and other minority communities in Texas if you win Miss USA?

Crystal: I would love to join different organizations because we are all minorities here. I think we could work together. I would join different organizations and support it in anyway possible. The one thing Texas is is that it’s very diverse and multi-cultural. Representing Texas, I represent everyone. I represent Koreans, Asians, Black, Whites, every creed or color. So I would like to support it in anyway possible.

Diane: That’s great. We come from a similar standpoint of being a minority and representing the entire State of Texas. As a Miss Korea Texas titleholder I run into a lot of stereotypes in pageantry. What is one of your biggest stereotypes or challenges you face as Miss Texas USA?

Crystal: One of the stereotypes is that we are not intelligent because it is a “beauty pageant”. The one thing I can say is, for instance, that Rachel Smith is great title holder, she is very well educated and very well spoken and I would like to say so for myself as well a college graduate and educated. I think one of the stereotypes is that we are not intelligent women. I think it takes everything: craft, beauty, and intelligence.

Diane: Great answer Crystal. You know, there are a lot of young women that look up to you. Is there something you would want to tell them on this interview? Any words of inspiration coming from your reign?

Crystal: All I can say is try hard for your dream. I always say this quote, “The race doesn’t go to the swift but to the one that endures”. It took me five years to win Miss Texas. But I did not give up on my goal; I just worked harder and trained harder. I just did everything I needed to do to pursue my goals, dreams, and confidence and it paid off. The one thing I talk about is persistence and perseverance; it always pays off if you set a goal and work hard to achieve it.

Diane: Any other small tips that we can laugh or have fun with?

Crystal: Fun tips? Put vaseline on your teeth if you get tired of smiling. There is this thing called butt glue for your swimsuit if you don’t want it to ride while you are walking. They call it panty tape or butt glue so it will keep everything in place.

Diane: How can we, as the Asian American community, support you?

Crystal: The one thing is no matter what spirituality you are; you can keep me in your hopes and your prayers. Also you can vote for me on website for Miss Photogenic.

Diane: Anyone you would like to thank for bringing you this far in life?

Crystal: Oh wow, you know what; there are so many people if I start naming I think I will forget. Mainly my parents, they have been really supportive throughout the beginning. They have given a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of tears, and efforts towards me. Also my good friend who got me started in pageantry. My best friends and my team- they call themselves “Team Crystal”. I’m missing people like sponsors from Miss Texas organization, Julie Philips, etc., there are just a ton of people I’m sure I’ll forget if I really start listing naming names. But first and foremost, my parents.

Diane: Yes, I know we are always in debt to them. My last question might throw us off course a little. Are you in intimidated, fearful, or how are you feeling at this competition?

Crystal: You know what, I feel great. You would think I would have all the pressure in the world. I’m coming from a huge state which is well known for the pageant experience we have had. In 1995 back when Miss Texas won Miss USA. I have a great team behind me. I’m one of the older contestants. So you would think I would have a lot of pressure, but I feel very calm and have a peace about me. And all I know is that is that if I can compete with confidence I know I did all that I can do and I’ll do my best and no one can hold me back when I lose.

Diane: Great Crystal. I went onto the website already and they already have pictures up of contestants from every state. You look beautiful and stunning, believe that you will place in the top. I wish you the best Crystal, from our community and the State of Texas. Thank you Crystal for your time!

Crystal: Thank you so much. Diane, you have been very supportive. The Korean community and Asian community as a whole should be grateful to have you. You work so hard, thank you for everything you’ve done, so thanks Diane.