CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Newly crowned Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez is back in the Silver State this week for her official Nevada homecoming. Dozens of supporters greeted her at the Capitol Building in Carson City Wednesday for the start of her visit.
"I’m honored to be from Nevada, representing at the USA pageant and to have won," said Sanchez.
24-year-old Sanchez is the first Nevadan in pageant history to be crowned Miss USA. 'I knew that Nevada had never won, so I was really, really trying hard for the state of Nevada and I feel so proud to represent Nevada, be Miss USA and put us on the map a little more.'
This week is Sanchez’s first celebration trip since winning the title last month, and she said becoming Miss USA has been a life changing experience. I think that's one of my favorite parts about being a title holder is to be able to touch the lives of children and young teens around. Everybody I get to meet, I’ve worked at the children’s hospitals, and even the Boys & Girls Club, they’re so sweet, they’re so much fun and just seeing their faces light up is one of the best parts of the job."
Sanchez said as Miss USA, she hopes to use her skills to encourage women to protect themselves. "I really hope to use my black belt and my martial arts experience to just encourage women and give them confidence. And you know, if they're walking to their car by themselves or walking in a dark alley, they can feel a little bit more confident in any situation."
Sanchez also said what she has learned the most through this experience is to always have a positive attitude. After Wednesday, Sanchez will be in Las Vegas for the rest of the week during her homecoming trip, but she is planning another trip back to Northern Nevada later this year.