Student squeezes beauty pageant into busy schedule

February 4, 2014

By Adiba Khan

The sheer course load involved with the rigorous curriculum overwhelms many International Baccalaureate diploma students, but that hasn’t stopped Ava Trindeva from running for Miss Teen Washington USA this year.

“I never thought of myself as doing one,” Trindeva, a member of DECA at Skyline High School and a classical piano player, said regarding pageants.

Ava Trindeva

Ava Trindeva

But a pageant adviser found Trindeva on Facebook, and she then considered the prospect of running.

“I thought it would be an amazing opportunity, and decided to go for it. I’m really excited,” Trindeva said.

The 17-year-old Bulgarian native is currently searching for local sponsors, which help pay for various aspects of the pageant.

Sponsors provide funds for pageant events, food, a sash and preparatory classes that help the candidates learn how to walk and talk during the event. Sponsors can also help Trindeva purchase a swimsuit and an evening gown, which are both required for the competition.

Karate West in Issaquah is the first local organization to help sponsor Trindeva for the pageant.

“She is very goal-oriented, works hard and is a very nice person,” said Ken Watrous, the senior operations manager at Karate West. He has known Trindeva since she was a young girl.

Trindeva received her black belt at Karate West, which she considers to be one of her greatest accomplishments, she said.

“Its purpose is to inspire girls to be, like, motivational, and to build their people skills, their self-confidence and their work ethic,” Trindeva said of the pageant. “The pageant does help with business and social skills, and that’s sort of what I’m interested in.”

Trindeva participated in DECA at Skyline for the first time this year. DECA is an organization that helps young students build business and marketing skills. Trindeva said she enjoyed the class and attending the DECA area competition earlier in the school year.

How to help

The fee required to participate in Miss Teen Washington USA in the October pageant is about $1,000. She needs the money by the end of February. Sponsors can support Ava Trindeva by writing a check on her behalf or buying advertisements in the pageant programs. Email her at

Trindeva never planned to participate in a pageant, and her mother has been very supportive.

“Lately, it’s not only about beauty,” said Trindeva’s mother, who added she is convinced the pageant will be a great experience for her daughter. “They have to find sponsors. It’s like getting them ready for life. You have to fight for it.”

The girl who wins Miss Teen Washington will go on to compete for the title of Miss Teen USA. Contestants compete for rewards, prizes and scholarships.

Though Trindeva said she feels apprehensive about her prospects of winning, she optimistically noted that the experience will be worthwhile whether she wins or loses.


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