There are 22 contestants, ages 17 to 27, from across the country competing in the Miss Asian American Pageant
The pageant was started 25 years ago as a showcase of the culture, intelligence and talent of the women.
"What we're looking for is the person who has the potential or desire to become a community leader, a person who is confident, just really a caring and compassionate person," pageant founder and director Rose Chung said.
Chung was a former Miss Chinatown when she began the pageant in 1985. This spectacle is about opportunities, growth and inspiration.
"At the pageant we also provide classes for the contestants on public speaking, self motivation and business etiquette to prepare them for a professional career," Chung said.
Melanie Wong is from Honolulu where she is an urban community planner. For her, this is a way to carry on her culture.
"It's really to get to know the Asian American culture a little more, because Hawaii is so diverse and diversity is what defines us," she said.
Angellica Yi lives in San Francisco and works for the Social Security Department.
"I basically wanted to get my face out there, meet new people and do as much as I can to work," she said.
It all culminates in the big night when a new Miss Asian America is crowned. And this is about a sense of community.
This really is more than a beauty pageant, this is about social relevance. The pageant is Saturday night in the Palace of Fine Arts.