Miss Texas USA

Alayah Benavidez

Age 23 | San Antonio | Photos

An avid reader since childhood, Alayah Benavidez may one day write her own life story. A high point will be the achievement of a lifelong dream, winning the title of Miss Texas USA. As she joined the competition on pageant weekend, Alayah Benavidez did not pray to win. Instead, she asked for peace, confidence, a clear and steady mind, and an open and joyful heart. At the end of the day, Alayah’s poise and elegance, her authenticity and expressiveness, coupled with her distinctive beauty won her the crown and the title of Miss Texas USA 2019!

Alayah does not begin this chapter of her story without a sense of what she wants to accomplish. In today’s sometimes divisive and contentious climate, Alayah would convey a message of “unity by respecting the opinions of others,” even if different from your own. She intends always to be kind, approachable, and inspiring, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Her Read the Way program, which benefits local schools and literacy programs, is one avenue for her to constructively influence the lives of children. She says that she is “living proof that you can accomplish all things you set your mind to no matter what obstacles you may face.”

While in high school, Alayah was diagnosed with dyslexia and told it was a disability. The experts urged her to take remedial classes and accept subpar academic performance. She chose a different direction. She turned her liability into the impetus “to work smarter and strive higher” which propelled her into AP and dual credit courses. The very subjects that should have been most difficult, are the ones in which she is majoring at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She looks ahead to earning a PhD and becoming an Ivy League professor and a published author. Alayah took her passion for reading and writing a step further with the creation of her “Read The Way” campaign, which has enabled her to encourage school children across the nation in reading, writing, and goal setting.

In addition to working as an Orthodontic Assistant to help finance her education, Alayah is a successful model and is active in her community, serving as Team Captain for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Walk of Hope, and MDA camp counselor. She has also worked with God’s Love We Deliver, Habitat for Humanity, the USO, and the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas.

The next chapter of Alayah’s story takes her to the Miss USA competition in the spring of 2019, where she will seek to bring the national crown back to the Lone Star State!

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