Miss India North America 2018!
Meet Vinita Khilnani, the newest 2018 Miss India North America pageant winner! Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Vinita grew up with a Singaporean mother and Indian father.
“I used to get bullied in middle school. People would always make fun of my skin color. I decided to use my uniqueness to be proud of who I am and where I came from. Growing up I was always told I had to become a doctor, because that’s what Indian people do. I was always the rebel of the family and wanted to pursue other things.”
Yes, she did go out and get 2 master degrees; one in Biology and the other in Public Health, but her main passion is entertainment! While pursuing her studies, Vinita met NBA player Metta World Peace, who signed her to his record label after hearing her perform. She had two singles, “Take Me for One Night” and “Whatchu Want” that were featured on E! News. After finishing school, she also began comedy improv training at the Groundlings and UCB theaters in Los Angeles. She also started her own YouTube channel, @OMGVinita, where she does several characters and is also a frequent BuzzFeed actor. Vinita believes laughter is the best medicine and feels everyone needs to lighten up a little and not be so stressed.
“I love making people laugh; that’s my passion,” she said.
Last time we sat down with her was back in 2013 and since then she has grown! She is now hosting and working on a few other projects. Vinita also spends a lot of time giving back to the community. She sits on a board for the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, whose mission is to bring music education back into the schools of underserved neighborhoods. Currently they reach 4,500 students in the LA area, with a year-long program that integrates with and enhances students’ understanding of math, reading, science, history and creative writing. She also spends her time as president of a Cottage Guild, as they fundraise and volunteer with foster girls who are trying to get their lives back on track.
“It’s a blessing to see these girls get better, because many of them have had it rough. It makes me feel good to know that I’m making a difference in someone’s life.”
You can find her at the Celebrate LA event on Sept 30th in Los Angeles! She will be the emcee for the Bollywood Step Dance with Yogen Bhagat, a world-famous Bollywood choreographer and dancer. He has danced on the Ellen DeGeneres show and performed at the Hollywood Bowl! (Flyer attached) More details here: https://www.laphil.com/celebratela/
Keep up with Vinita because she wants to do so much and help other young Indian girls break the mold of the Indian stereotype! She has a few shows coming up at the Groundlings and UCB Theater! You can follow her YouTube channel, instagram and Facebook page @OMGVinita