First Hmong contestant to win USOA Miss Minnesota taking historic victory in stride

Padee Yang made history as the first Hmong United States of America Miss Minnesota.

Crowned United States of America’s Miss Minnesota 2020, Padee Yang of Anoka, Minnesota is the first Hmong contestant in the state to hold the title.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” said Yang. “I’m taking it all with gratitude.”

In addition to her crown, the 25-year-old assistant loan officer wears many hats.

“I’ve been meditating for about 4 years now,” said Yang. “I truly believe that meditation can definitely help out with mental health.”

For Yang, one of six children in her family, it’s been a personal journey.

“I definitely fell into my own mental health struggle,” she said. “And I think that’s when I needed to find a way for myself to know that there is an outlet.”

Through the practice of meditation she has restored her inner strength. It's a technique she now uses to help others.
“For me to know that I was able to heal myself, just to know that I could heal one person, that would mean the world to me,” said Yang.

Yang's mission to empower others leads to Las Vegas, where she'll take the stage to compete for the national title next year.

Padee Yang will compete for the national title next year.

“I’m representing Minnesota,” said Yang. “But I’m also representing women all over the world who have a dream and representing anyone who has struggled with mental health and representing our Hmong community as well.”

On its website, the USOA says its pageants are designed to encourage women to strive to achieve their dreams, while making them feel beautiful inside and out.

A fundraising effort is underway to help get Yang to the national competition in Las Vegas in February. For a link to her GoFundMe page, click here.