Kristen Leyva wears the Miss New Mexico USA 2018 crown onto the Miss USA stage this year, and she will be aiming to be the first Miss New Mexico USA since Mai Shanley in 1984 to bring home the Miss USA crown. The 23-year-old Las Cruces native succeeded 2017 winner Ashley Mora.
Leyva is currently a mechanical engineer working as a contractor at White Sands Missile Range supporting government contracts.
Using the Miss New Mexico USA platform, Leyva founded the #JustONE program which she uses to “encourage students to pursue challenging opportunities, and an example of how a single individual can move mountains.”
Miss USA takes place Monday, May 21 at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana. The pageant will air live on FOX. The Miss Universe pageant will take place at a yet-to-be-determined date.