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Miss Teen USA resigns days after Miss USA stepped down

UmaSofia Srivastava says her "personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization."
Miss Teen USA resigns
Posted at 9:37 AM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 09:37:36-04

Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava is stepping down from her role the same week Miss USA Noelia Voigt also resigned.

Srivastava said she made her choice “after months of grappling with this decision.”

“After careful consideration, I've decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization,” said the titleholder in a statement on Instagram.

Srivastava, who represented New Jersey, said being able to represent her state as a first-generation Mexican-Indian American at the national level was “fulfilling in itself”

The pageant queen says she has a number of plans in the works for her next chapter.

“I will continue my relentless advocacy for education and acceptance, with my multi-lingual children's book, ‘The White Jaguar,’ and with the organizations that I have had the privilege to work with long before I started competing, namely The Lotus Petal Foundation and the Bridge of Books Foundation,” Srivastava said. “Ultimately, working with these incredible non-profits and seeing the first-hand impact that ‘The White Jaguar’ has had on the kids and adults I've read it to is what has forged my legacy.”

“I look forward to the rest of the year as I finish 11th grade as part of the National Honor Society and start the college application process, knowing that my academic career has been defined by my hard work, and my hard work alone,” she said.

Srivastava said she is also pursuing a new writing project that will become available to subscribers of her “That’s Fan Behavior” blog.

She also thanked her supporters for backing her for who she’s always been.

Voigt, who relinquished her Miss USA title just three days ago, said she wasn’t aware Srivastava had also planned to resign.

"I actually didn't know that she was going to do that, so it was surprising," Voigt said in an interview with People. She added that the two are "very, very, close."

Voigt cited her mental health when she stepped down. But a crisis manager, along with social media users, was quick to point out her statement on Instagram appeared to have a hidden message: the first letter of each sentence spelled out "I AM SILENCED."

Denise White, a crisis manager who has worked with Voigt, said people online were perceptive in picking up on the possible hidden message as state titleholders urged the Miss USA organization to release Voigt from her nondisclosure agreement so that she can speak out on the circumstances surrounding her dramatic departure, Scripps News Salt Lake City reported.

Following Voigt’s exit, the Miss USA Organization quickly appointed a new Miss USA 2023, announcing that Savannah Gankiewicz of Hawaii would take over the crown and duties of the role. A celebration in her honor will be held on May 15, the organization said on social media Thursday.

Scripps News has made attempts to contact the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA organizations for comment.

Former Miss USA Noelia Voigt.

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