Monday, November 12, 2012

Pratima Yarlagadda: Former Miss Indiana and Miss USA finalist

Actress, Host, Model and Beauty Queen, Pratima Yarlagadda grew up in a small Amish town in the heart of the Midwest.

In this unlikely setting, her parents, Indian immigrants, began their families' quest for the American dream. Pratima, the middle of three children, rose above convention and expectation when she was crowned Miss Indiana USA. She went on to make Miss Universe history as the first woman of East Indian descent to place in the top six at Miss USA 1999. Her accomplishments were featured in newspapers and publications such as India Today which recognized her as a forthcoming East Indian presence in the entertainment industry.

Pratima signed with internationally renowned Ford Models after moving to New York City. Her work has been featured in prestigious publications including Vogue Italia, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town and Country and Glamour. She has had the honor of working with photographers such as Victor Skrebneski and modeled for Calvin Klein, Betsey Johnson, Giuseppe Zanotti, Hanes, Stefan Hafner, Arbonne and Artistry Cosmetics among others. Her formal theatrical education began in NY where she studied the Meisner technique. Pratima's work eventually took her to Los Angeles where she currently resides. Her Film, TV, and Theatre credits include: performing as Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's classic and appearances in "The Arranged Marriage", "New Girl", "How To Seduce Difficult Women", "Outsourced", "All My Children" and "Beautiful". Additionally, Pratima hosts a series of lifestyle events. She has conducted interviews with Salman Rushdie, Kal Penn, and Mira Nair in connection with this endeavor.

Growing up in a family that strongly believes in philanthropy, Pratima is part of a charitable project created to construct a hospital for the poor. Menno-Clinic India, built in the donated remains of her mother's childhood home, is a free hospital that was opened in 2002. It currently serves a population of 20,000 that previously had no access to healthcare. Additionally, Pratima was the founder and creator of WIN, Working to Instill New Attitudes, a summer day camp for at-risk children.

Pratima graduated magna cum laude from St. Mary's-Notre Dame where she was a Harry S. Truman nominee. She had the honor of becoming a CLEO Scholar and holds a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Brandeis School of Law where she also received the Book Award for Conflicts of Law.

She is the first woman of East Indian descent to place in the top ten at Miss USA.
She is a Ford Model.
Guest Speaker for Harvard South Asian Association.
Has a Juris Doctorate degree.

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