Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Perez Baraquio Grey.
Angela Perez Baraquio, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born the eighth of ten children in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Filipino immigrants. In my 20’s, I won the title of Miss Hawai’i 2000 and Miss America 2001. As the first Asian Miss America and the only Filipina-American to win the title since the pageant’s inception in 1921, I traveled the country on a national speaking tour called, “Character in the Classroom: Teaching Values, Valuing Teachers.”
I began hosting a multi-Telly-Award winning statewide show in Hawai’i called, “Living Local with the Baraquios.” Today I am a motivational speaker and a published author. I was proud to release a faith-based inspirational memoir called, “Amazing Win, Amazing Loss, Miss America Living Happily, EVEN After.” I am also a wife of 16 years, a teacher, a K-8 School Principal, a former Presidential appointee, and mother of 5.
Winning Miss America empowered me to earn over $100,000 in scholarship assistance and graduate from college debt-free. With this award, I funded my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, and today, I am a K-8 school principal. I am forever grateful to the Miss America Organization for helping me make this dream of mine come true.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, not at all. I was Miss America during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Then, in 2006, I lost my youngest brother to suicide in 2006. Amidst all the ups and downs I had faced in my life, I was always able to bounce back and remain optimistic. I attribute this to my strong faith in God, myself, and others, my family, and my closest friends.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a motivational speaker, a published author, and a K-8 school principal. As a professional speaker, many businesses, corporations, and schools hire me to speak because I was the first Asian Miss America to be crowned since the pageant started in 1921. I was the only Filipina woman in history to win as well. I am proud that people of all backgrounds can relate to me, and be inspired by my story of adversity, triumph, tragedy, and hope.
I am proud to be the first teacher to hold the title of Miss America and to have been able to earn scholarship money through the program to earn my Master’s degree and become a school principal. I was also chosen to be a member of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation from 2006-2008, because of my work as an advocate for Character Education. My goal is to serve and lead by example.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The Miss America Organization has undergone much change in the past year, and I am hopeful that the women competing will continue to keep Miss America strong and relevant to the world, as we approach our 100-year anniversary in 2021. One of the biggest shifts that occurred this year was when our current Chairwoman and Former Miss America, Gretchen Carlson, decided to eliminate the swimsuit competition.
Our pageant was founded on the idea of being a bathing beauty contest to attract tourists to the Jersey shore in 1921. To change a long-held tradition, shook the organization to its core and caused much controversy, but at least it started some fruitful and much-needed conversation. This is relevant to my work as a professional motivational speaker because no matter what happens after the September telecast, I am grateful to the Miss America Organization for giving me the many wonderful opportunities that I have been blessed with in my life.
Winning the title of Miss America opened up so many doors for me, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. I was able to work as a TV host and motivational speaker for almost 2 decades now and earned scholarships to finish my higher education goals. As a school principal, a big trend is that I see is a greater focus on the 21st-century student, who needs to learn critical thinking skills and requires greater knowledge in the areas of STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. In my role in Catholic education, I continue to focus on preparing students for college, career, and heaven.
I’m very proud of my school for earning the award of “Best Private School in the South Bay 2018.” We were voted for this award by the readers of the Daily Breeze newspaper. We won the Best Private School award in 2015, the Favorite Private School award in 2016 and 2017, and this year, we are the BEST once again. I attribute this to the amazing students, parents, and staff at my school. With more collaboration, and people taking shared responsibility in education, our students will be the biggest beneficiaries overall, and as a teacher at heart, this makes me very happy.
My future goal is to find ways to meld my interests of education and media together, in a way that produces quality and unique children’s educational programming.
- Speaking engagements and appearances vary from $5,000-$15,000/day
- Address: 9852 W Katella Ave. #282 Anaheim, CA 92804
- Website: www.angelaperezbaraquio.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Angela Perez Baraquio Grey
- Twitter: @AngelaPBaraquio
Just a Girl Productions