A polished and poised Roshni Sabhaya doesn’t hesitate to lead by example and step up to serve her community.
In the city she has grown up with, Sabhaya has helped Kent’s troubled youth and the many underprivileged. It’s just her nature to give back.
“It’s a lot of work, being motivated, being dedicated,” she said of her ways. “My friends, my family, everybody around me have kept me grounded and being involved.”
That sense of duty and drive hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Recognized for excellence in academics, community service and public speaking, the 18-year-old Sabhaya captured the Miss Cornucopia crown, receiving the tiara from Mayor Dana Ralph at a coronation Friday afternoon in Town Square Plaza.
The Lions Club chose Sabhaya from among three contestants.
Sabhaya, who graduated from Kentridge High School in June, earned a $3,000 scholarship from the Kent Lions, money that she will apply to her studies at the University of Washington this fall. Sabhaya plans to study human centered design and engineering at UW.
Sabhaya is the daughter of Chandu Sabhaya and Urmila Mungra, both of whom immigrated from India many years ago.
“It’s a really nice honor,” Sabhaya said afterward. “I get to represent the city, having been a part of it. It’s an honor to represent Kent, the Lions Club and the youth of our city.”
Sabhaya will represent the city during the three-day, 48th annual Kent Cornucopia Days street fair and festival, including an appearance in Sunday’s Grand Parade that starts at 1 p.m. along Fourth Avenue. She will make other appearances at special events throughout the year.
Sabhaya’s extensive community service includes her work on the Kent Police Youth Board for six years. Board members – middle and high school students – focus on leadership and youth wellness, putting together projects that focus on drug/alcohol prevention, health, wellness and leadership development. Board members are diverse and strive to make a positive influence on their peers toward healthy lifestyle choices.
The board also organizes the annual Game of Life Youth Conference at Kent Commons, a full-day gathering that broaches such topics as respect, leadership, drug and alcohol addiction, human trafficking, personal safety, self-esteem, social media, distracted driving, community involvement and other topics of its choosing.
More than 100 Kent-area middle school students participate in the conference each year.
In May, the Kent Community Foundation awarded the first Diego Moreno scholarship to Sabhaya. Established by the Moreno family, the scholarship was named in memory of the late Kent Police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2018. It will be awarded each year to a Kent student who has demonstrated a commitment to serving their community and plans to use their education to make the world a better place.
Isabelle Muzzy, 18, a Kentlake High School graduate who went through the Running Start program at Green River College, was first runner-up. She plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz., this fall to study worship ministry.
Jessica Plett, 19, was second runner-up. Plett, a 2018 Kentwood High School graduate, is a sophomore-to-be at Eastern Washington University, where she is studying physical therapy.
Muzzy and Plett each received $500 scholarships to apply to their college education.
Friday’s coronation was Andi Lanxon’s last, she said, after 18 years coordinating the Miss Cornucopia program with the Kent Lions. Lanxon will stay on as president of the Kent Lions Foundation.