EDISON, N.J. (Diya TV) — Indian-American college student Chhavi Verg was recently crowned Miss New Jersey, and in doing so will go on to compete in this year’s Miss USA pageant. If the 20-year-old is crowned there, she will become the first Indian-American to do so in history.

“That’s one of the reasons why winning this pageant is so important to me,” Verg said in a conversation with Patch. “I want to not only break stereotypes about South Asians, but I also want to represent the changing face of America and what it means to be American.”

She grew up in Edison, a New Jersey township with a thriving and expanding Indian American population. Currently a sophomore at Rutgers University, Verg is studying marketing and finance. She modeled as a teenager, and competed in Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2015. Moving on to the Miss USA pageant is what’s next in line for her.

Verg told American Bazaar she plans to use her Miss New Jersey title to help advance women’s education and combat child abuse. She’s already begun researching charities that are working to educate women in developing nations.

“I am a huge proponent of women’s education and equality so I really would like to do appearances and talks about that,” she said.

Once she retires from the pageant circuit, Verg said she would like to own her own business, either in the health and fitness or, naturally, the beauty industry. Verg is a certified personal trainer and a Bharatanatyam dancer.

The Miss USA pageant will take place next summer.