Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada, was crowned Miss USA at the 2014 Miss USA pageant on Sunday night, with runner up Miss North Dakota Audra Mari.

Nia Sanchez Asked About Sexual Assault

Sanchez, 24, was born in California and has lived all around the world. At the age of 18, Sanchez moved to live with extended family in Germany and she later worked at Disneyland Hong Kong as various princesses.

Sanchez, who is dating actor Daniel Booko, is a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. She teaches the martial art to children, and used her fighting skills to her advantage in the competition.

“I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out into the public. But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women,” Sanchez said on Sunday when asked about the staggering wave of sexual assaults on college campuses and what schools can do to create safer environments for students by judge Rumer Willis.

Miss USA 2014 Used To Be Homeless

Sanchez volunteers at Shade Tree, a Las Vegas-based women’s shelter, and says she can personally connect to the women she meets there. As a child, Sanchez lived in a shelter for two months with her mother after her parents were divorced.

Sanchez currently lives in Las Vegas, but as Miss USA, the beauty queen will be whisked away to New York City, given a salary and a luxury apartment as she trains for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.

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