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Meet Mia Risco – from Rotherham

By 26th April 2024 No Comments

My name is Mia Risco, I am 19 years old and from Rotherham in South Yorkshire . Im also a Miss England 2024 National finalist.

Since leaving school, I have become a dancer, aspiring actress and creative!

My passions lie within the arts industry, politics and societal issues. I very much care about a variety of topics such as feminism, poverty, homelessness and more.

However, in the Miss England contest my main focuses and areas I would be advocating for is
support for cancer victims and their families, and inclusivity as well as racial
and religious prejudice specifically within the arts.

When it comes to the subject of cancer it’s very personal to me. Many of my relatives have dealt with the horror that is cancer, including both of my grandads. My grandad on my dads side battled cancer for 3 years and sadly passed away in 2015. He was a hard worker and faced many obstacles during  his lifetime. He came over to Sheffield from Pakistan in the 1950s with my
grandma joining him in the 60s. During this time in England, it was a challenge for a lot of south asian migrants travelling over due to the racial prejudice that was so prevalent in our country. It was something that sadly played a part in my families lives heavily, however was something that they were forced to
overcome. Not only did it affect my grandads life, but my own fathers too.

Both had to push through an unaccepting society, to get somewhere.

They have helped mould who I am today. It is very important to me to use my privilege to help amplify the voices of those who aren’t heard. Hearing my families experiences, while also having my experiences dealing with racism and islamophobia, is part of the reason why I aim to educate through the arts and advocate for inclusivity.

At school I turned the problems I had been facing
into something positive. I produced and choreographed an entire show called Dancing Around the World when I was 17. I had included scripts and a variety of cultural dances while explaining their background and history, with the aim of the show being that all cultures are beautiful and something to embrace.

At school I was used to being called names and being mocked for my Pakistani
heritage and religion. But with my show being so successful I was very proud
and seeing people change their mindsets, which made me realise even more
how impactful the arts can be.

I also have organised another dance event since leaving school and raised over £500 for Papyrus, the mental health charity during my time in the Miss England contest.

I also teach a variety of dances, such as bollywood at schools to children. I believe that it is very important to show children from a young age that being different is something to embrace and not to shy away from.

When I teach and see a young child watching their culture being taught and everyone joining in and enjoying it, it’s so wonderful!  All children should feel valued and taught no matter our differences we are all equal. In the future I would like to continue dancing while also pursuing acting and film.


Mia on stage at the Miss England 2024 Semi final by GreyFalena_ she reached the final 3 in the Talent round

I believe that they can
help educate a wide amount of people, while actually helping the audience to
understand and connect to the stories. This is why I want to join the arts
industry especially someone like myself who has never felt represented on TV
personally. I’ve always been deeply connected to my pakistani side and have
followed Islam all my life. Growing up, on TV I had never seen a south asian
or muslim character be the main lead. In fact, I had never seen a muslim
character in mainstream television. I only ever saw stereotypes and poorportrayals of muslims everywhere: in films, the media and more. Seeing this
was hard as I never felt represented and was left feeling confused when
people had prejudged opinions of me as soon as they knew I was muslim.
Through my advocacy I also want to help break negative stereotypes, and
help open doors of new opportunities for so many others who’s stories and
voices aren’t listened to.

As I have previously mentioned, I am also wanting to raise awareness on
cancer, which both of my grandads had dealt with. My grandad on my mums
side was one of the best people you could ever meet. He too lived a difficult
life. His mother died when he was 5 years old, and within the next year his
father had to remain in an asylum following the passing of his wife. My
grandad was left with his two young brothers in Salford with no help. From
such a young age my grandad had to focus on survival. A common story my
grandad would tell me was growing up he had holes in his shoes, to fix this he
would go to the swimming baths and take other peoples shoes, due to him not
being able to buy new ones. He always said this whilst laughing, along with
the story of him not knowing it was Christmas until he heard the carollers. He
was so strong and had the biggest heart with the best smile. My grandad had
dealt with cancer a while back before dealing with it for the second time.

Whilst he was battling it the first time round, he also endured a triple heart
bypass surgery. He was dealing with various problems but overcame them
and rang the bell to say he’s cancer free! However in 2020 the cancer had
returned and despite often hospital appointments and scans, it wasn’t caught
until it was too late. It had spread into his other lung and to another area of his
body. We was told he hadn’t got long to live and my entire family’s life turned
upside down. The best man we had ever known wasn’t going to be with us in
this world much longer. I always remember my grandad walking me to school
and picking me up. Bringing me pie at lunch because I was too particular
about the food. Making me tea and toast and bringing it to me in bed every
morning, while singing a song. He treat me like a princess and never once
raised his voice at me. Being with him during those months and watching him
take his last breathe was a time that I will never forget. He passed away in
2021 at 79. What cancer does to people and their families is heart wrenching.
Which is why I want to do what I can in raising awareness on cancer and the
pain that it causes to the victim, as well as the family. I am currently
fundraising for balls to cancer with my just giving page and have even done a
skydive for Macmillan just last year.

With the platform and influence I would gain with being successful in the Miss England contest I would want to like I have mentioned increase awareness on the cruelty of cancer and show young people no matter your heritage or religion you are welcome in all spaces and we have so much to offer in the arts industry.

I hope one day all children will feel represented on the screen
and not have to worry about what others will think of them because of their

Mia is a Finalist in the Miss England 2024 competition -which is sponsored by www.watermanshair.com due to be held at the Grand Station Wolverhampton on the 16th & 17th May 2024 . You can support  by downloading the Miss England App for FREE & place a Free Daily vote for her. 

Tickets to the 2 day Miss England final event  are available on the Grand Station