“I’ve been so busy traveling together with HVBC (Hawaiian Visitors
Bureau and Convention Center) representing Hawai‘i, but it’s
been so much fun.” Michioka went to Taiwan in the fall to attend
the media press conference for the premier of Disney’s Lilo
& Stitch, where she promoted, not just the movie but also Hawai‘i.
After Taiwan, she traveled once to Japan for another premiere
and again to Japan and China together with the PCC (Polynesian
Culture Center) and HVBC for world trade conventions.
“It’s been a great experience and my passport is full of stamps
from all over,” said Michioka while laughing and picking at
some chicken on her plate.
Here in Hawai‘i, Michioka has also been busy fulfilling her
duties asMiss Hawai‘i USA 2002, which include attending both
formal and informal events. “Sometimes I’ve been giving out
awards,” she said, sometimes just greeting the guests at formal
dinner parties. “I have to wear the tiara and the sash so people
can take pictures with me,” she added with a smile.
Michioka has also used her success as a beauty queen for more
serious social responsibilities. She is the spokesperson for
Maile Alert, which is an organization designed to help locating
missing children in Hawai‘i. “I decided to support them because
I was kidnapped once myself,” said Michioka with a serious look
on her face.
Michioka wrote an article for Kalamalama in 2001 about her
experience as a victim to make readers aware of the need to
be proactive about safety. Whenever she organizes a fundraiser,
part of the funds raised go to Maile.
Michioka has not done any traveling recently since her agency
has asked her to stay here to prepare for the national Miss
USA pageant on March 24 in San Antonio, Texas. “I feel somewhat
prepared, but I’m not fully there yet,” she said.
Going to the gym at least six days a week, sometimes twice
a day, is part of Michioka’s preparation for the pageant.
“Mental preparation is also very important,” she said. She
is very well aware of the hard competition she will meet in
Texas, but her attitude is that “I will compete with myself
and do the very best I can because I really want to win.” She
also stressed the importance of confidence in oneself, and it
was very obvious that she was secure in that part in her preparation.
Knowing what’s going on nationwide and around the world is
very important, Michioka added. “When they ask you your opinion
about something, it’s really important to provide strong answers
with supportive facts,” she said.
When asked what will happen if she doesn’t win, Michioka answers
with a smile: “I will just come back and give up my crown in
May, and in June I’ll get married.” She also said that she would
like to go back to school since her immediate career goal is
to become a weather girl.
So, what will happen if she does win? “I will get to live
in a prepaid apartment in New York City for a year, with an
annual salary, while traveling around the nation and the world
representing the United States.”