DALLAS — For the first time in state history, Texas is represented by Asian American women at two of the most prestigious pageants in the country.
Miss USA is from Houston, and Miss Texas is from McKinney.
WFAA spoke to Miss USA's former professor at the University of North Texas, and Averie Bishop, who was crowned Miss Texas.
It was the moment R'Bonney Gabriel had been waiting for -- the 28-year-old was crowned Miss USA 2022 on Monday.
The news stunned Alisa Otto, who is Gabriel's former professor at UNT.
“Her work ethic was just phenomenal. Always really encouraging of other students,” said Otto.
From encouraging to having a passion for helping, Otto said Gabriel, "talked a lot about sustainability, which is something we focus on in the program."
Gabriel is a Filipino American from the Houston area.
She and Averie Bishop have made history as the first two Asian American women to represent Texas at two of the most prestigious pageants in the United States.
Bishop, who is from McKinney, won Miss Texas in July 2022.
"Ahh, that feeling... it was incredible," said Bishop.
“In the back of my head, I’m like, it’s not me. They don’t crown people who look like me,” she said.
But they do. The 26-year-old, also a Filipino American, was stunned to know another Asian American had been crowned in one of the most competitive pageants.
“We can come from many different places and walks of life. It’s important that we acknowledge this, Texas is growing,” said Bishop.
While Bishop continues to focus on her nonprofits, she’s also getting ready to compete for the title Miss America in December.
She wants young women to know that being compassionate will go a long way.
“It’s important that we equip our students, children, current generations with knowledge and resources, and respect one another,” said Bishop.