Devanshi Vyas: Embracing Challenges, Inspiring Success

By Guillaume Jean Lefebvre

Devanshi Vyas, a name that resonates with determination and resilience, was born in Gujarat, India, and moved across continents, settling in Langley, BC, Canada. Her name, Devanshi, holds a profound meaning in Sanskrit, translating to "part of God," a reflection of her Hindu heritage.

Growing up amid constant relocations, Devanshi faced the challenges of adapting to new environments. The pivotal influence in her life was her father, who instilled a unique perspective—finding positives even in adversity. Tragedy struck when her father passed away in 2020, a defining moment that fueled her determination to rise above challenges.

In her formative years, Devanshi encountered bullying, enduring hurtful comments about her South Asian identity. Music and dance became her refuge, providing solace during moments of isolation. Despite the hardships, these experiences deepened her passion for the arts.

Devanshi's journey into the professional realm commenced as a dance instructor at seventeen. She later transitioned to the aviation industry, serving as a Ramp Lead and Supervisor at Vancouver International Airport. Currently, she contributes to public safety as a Special Municipal Constable at the Vancouver Police Department.

Academically, Devanshi excelled, maintaining a stellar record and pursuing a bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Studies at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Her achievements extend to aviation, holding a Private Pilot's License, with aspirations to obtain a Commercial Pilot's License and a Helicopter's License.

In the realm of the arts, Devanshi's accomplishments are commendable. She clinched bronze and gold for Canada at Dance World Cup 2017 and 2019, respectively. Her advocacy for women's empowerment led her to challenge societal norms, obtaining a Private Pilot's License to break barriers.

Balancing her personal and professional life, Devanshi relies on focus and determination. A meticulous planner, she manages her multifaceted responsibilities with grace. Her journey is a testament to the power of self-love and resilience in the face of adversity.

Looking ahead, Devanshi aims to merge her aviation and law enforcement careers, becoming a pilot for law enforcement. As a beacon of empowerment, she envisions competing in Miss Universe/Miss World and maintaining a positive outlook.

Devanshi Vyas desires to be perceived as a focused, strong, and confident individual, defying stereotypes. Her journey embodies the spirit of never giving up, inspiring others to overcome setbacks and emerge stronger, time and time again.


1. Can you share more about your experiences growing up in such diverse locations and how that has shaped your worldview and career choices?

Throughout my childhood, I was moving around and living in various locations across Canada and the United States of America which made me susceptible to have a clear perspective and an open mind. While my family and I were moving around, I was introduced to the diverse nature amongst the populations; I met and befriended individuals from different cultures, and I was able to thrive in a multicultural community. However, I was also being bullied a lot due to my South Asian culture. I was ridiculed for having my hair in a braid, and I was continuously left alone as I was a “brown girl” and the “odd one out.” Not only was I questioned for who I was, but I was questioned for what I will be capable of doing when I grew up; I was consistently told that I was not good enough to achieve my goals and become successful. Hence, I had a predetermined mind set, since I was little, that I wanted to prove those that questioned my abilities wrong; I wanted to show everyone that doubted me that I could be successful. Therefore, moving around from city to city opened my view to embrace the diverse nature of cultures thriving in the world, but it also enabled me to be motivated to do something big in my future so that I can prove myself to those that bullied me. Likewise, I decided to have a career that would break the societal barriers that are set for women; I wanted to make a career within a male dominated environment so that I can advocate for women empowerment and make a mark as a South Asian female in a modern society.

2. How did your early exposure to music and dance help you cope with the challenges of bullying, and how has it influenced your identity and passions?

My mom always told me that music and dance are healing agents, so I would always lean towards them when I would feel down and alone. When I was being bullied, I felt as though I was trapped in a room where I had no ways to escape; I would come home and cry in my closet because I had kids in my school telling me that I should not be alive. It had gotten bad to the point where I started to believe that I was good for nothing and that I am never going to be able to achieve the goals that I had set for myself. However, the only thing that helped me cope with my fear of going to school, talking to people and making new friends, and trying to let the past go, was music and dance. I felt free when I would dance as I was able to express my emotions and feelings through the movements projected by my body. Not only was I able to see life with a new perspective, but music and dance helped encourage me into trusting my capabilities and loving myself for who I was. If it were not for music and dance, I would not have learned to be optimistic and goal-oriented; music is something that has taught me that freedom begins and ends with yourself; you have the ability to feel free once you let go of the things that are suppressing you, and once they have been let go, the true essence of beauty, love, and gratitude transpire.

Photographers: Eshan Johia - @longview_studios / Ishu Kler - @ishuklercreative
Model: Devanshi Vyas - @devanshi.vyas
Hair and Makeup Artist: Navneet Kathuria - @navneetkathuriamua / Dee - @peachlustreartistry
Stylist: Navneet Kathuria - @navneetkathuriamua


Suit: Ever New Melbourne
Shoes: NineWest
Dress: Ulla Johnson
Top Designer: Navneet Kathuria
Pants: Dynamite

3. Your transition from aviation to law enforcement is quite unique. What motivated this change, and how do you see your background in aviation influencing your role as a Special Municipal Constable?

I have always approached the route that has the most risk and hurdles. My dad has influenced me greatly to take risks and to do things that scare me the most as those things will bring the most thrill and appreciation in life. Hence, I was motivated to step into the realm of aviation and policing. Aviation and law enforcement are purely male dominated careers, and this aspect intrigued me significantly as I am wanting to inspire other women and let them know that they can reach success in something that is not seen fit for women by society. I am hoping to merge flying airplanes with my future aspirations as a police officer; I want the best of both worlds so that I can inspire and motivate others to be resilient and confident in what they do. Likewise, I hope to see my background in aviation influencing my role as a Special Municipal Constable significantly because I am hoping to reach to other women, especially South Asian women, so that they too can become inspired to be a pilot, a law enforcement personnel, or both. There is stigma that is attached to South Asian women where they are seen as being housewives, and this notion stems from historical contexts and perspectives that are held within the Indian culture. Therefore, I am wanting to break this stigma and become an individual who encourages the recruitment of South Asian women in various male dominated careers. My careers of aviation and law enforcement are indeed unique, but it is not impossible to be successful in both, and that is exactly what I want to do; currently, I want to be the best and toughest version of myself as a pilot and as a Special Municipal Constable.

4. Juggling academic excellence, pursuing pilot's licenses, and maintaining a thriving career is impressive. How do you manage to balance these various aspects of your life?

The only way I can balance everything is through my motivation and determination to be better than who I was yesterday. I am very goal-oriented; I pre-plan my days and set my goals a year ahead into the future. I guess I can be thought of as being an overachiever but being goal-driven is what compels and pushes me forward into the future. However, managing time and prioritizing events is crucial; therefore, I use a planner and write down all the things I need to accomplish for the day. I write down errands, what I need to get done in terms of schoolwork, my exercise routines, as well as what I consume; keeping track of all of these things gives me a clear picture of what I need to improve on for the following day. Having a balance is essential, but having clarity and focus is what keeps the mind and soul moving towards excellence.

5. As a strong advocate for women's empowerment, could you share specific instances where you've actively worked towards breaking gender stereotypes, and how do you envision your impact on inspiring other women?

I am constantly trying to work towards breaking gender stereotypes and helping to empower women within my community as well as around the world. I have volunteered for almost 4 years at my local community policing centre to raise awareness towards becoming a police officer. I have talked to individuals especially women and have shared my input in having a policing career as a South Asian woman. Through volunteering, I have put myself forward to encourage other South Asian women to apply and become a part of a law enforcement agency. Moreover, I have won the title of Miss International America Petite 2023 with the platform of equalizing gender roles amongst society. My purpose to win the crown was to break the perception of seeing women as being inferior to men; rather women are equal counterparts as men in every way. Hence, after winning the title, I have been talking within the community as well as on radio shows advocating the significance of women capability; if I can pursue two male dominating careers and can win a crown; then any female can as well. I want to inspire women to be who they want to be despite what society has to say; a woman can have a professional career and have the strength to foster a family, pursue a hobby, or even run her own business because she is confident, fierce, and resilient.

6. Dealing with the loss of your father must have been incredibly challenging. How did you find the strength to overcome this difficult period, and in what ways has it shaped your resilience and determination?

Somedays are still tough for me because the memories are so fresh; sometimes it feels as though my dad has not left, instead it feels like a dream that I will eventually wake up from. However, the reality is tougher than what it seems; I was very close to my dad, and I would share everything with him. My dad was my biggest role model. He taught me to smile through the pain because that one smile will have the power to suppress all the pain and help me move ahead faster. In fact, he was the one that taught me to see the positives even in the negatives; even when my dad was having the worst day of his life, he did not let it show. He would always be smiling just to keep my mom and I from worrying, and that is something that I have adopted within my lifestyle. I have taught myself to keep going and showing life that I can overcome whatever it throws at me even if that means that I have to fail time and time again, but I will not give up no matter what. My determination and resiliency stems from my dad because he told me to never stop trying; when I was getting bullied in school, my dad told me to take it as a learning lesson and become stronger by having a voice that can support myself. If it was not for him, I would not have been able to stand up for myself and I would not have had the confidence to have a voice that wishes to stand up against the atrocities that are happening for women around the world. My dad made me realize how powerful my voice is, and that is something I will never forget.


7. Winning accolades in dance competitions and beauty pageants is remarkable. Can you highlight some key moments in your career that you are particularly proud of and the lessons you've learned along the way?

I am most proud of my win at Dance World Cup in 2019 where I won gold for Canada. This win symbolized my persistency, handwork, and determination to not give up despite what others were saying to me. Coming from a South Asian background, society deems females as predominantly being the nurturers of the family. Dating it back to India, dancing is not very fond of in many cultures as it relates to the idea of a girl not being conservative. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old; I have been performing and competing for 22 years, and I have mastered myself in 25 different dance forms with my prominent dance forms being Contemporary, Afro, and Hip Hop. There was a time where I was told by a family member to stop dancing as I will not get a proper family to get married into; he said that a family would not want a “nachaniya,” which in Hindi, translates to a brothel dancer. I was stunned and due to the harsh comment, I gave up dancing, competing, as well as being on the dance team in my high school. if it weren’t for my parents’ support and motivation for me to start my passion up again, I would not have achieved all the milestones in dancing and pageants. I had first competed at Dance World Cup in 2015 where I won 4th place; I competed again in 2017 where I won a bronze for Canada, but I wanted the gold; hence, I competed again in 2019 where I accomplished what I desired. This competition showed me that with the right focus and confidence, I can accomplish what I want; I should not listen to others and give up what puts a smile on my face. Thus, winning competitions and pageants stems from my urge to show others that their comments do not affect me; I am happy in what I do, and I will not let the judgement of others affect my route to success.

8. How would you describe your approach to handling setbacks and failures, both personally and professionally?

I have faced a lot of setbacks and failures in life; I have been rejected multiple times at auditions, I have lost in dance competitions by 0.25 points, and the biggest setback was having me let the perspectives of others suppress myself. However, I see the concept of setbacks and failures as being steppingstones towards success. If I had not had the failures in the past, then I would not have become so strong and rigid. In fact, those failures prompted me to try harder and become a better version of myself where my only competition is myself and I must try hard to be a better person than who I was yesterday. My biggest inspiration towards accepting setbacks and failures are my parents; my mom and dad taught me to live life in the present because if I worry too much of what happened in the past, then I will ruin the future; if my focus is on the present, I can look ahead and make my future the way I want it to be. They told me to take failures as learning lessons, so they won’t be repeated in the future. One thing that I always tell myself is that nothing is impossible; I keep telling myself that “I’m-possible,” and that is what keeps me focused and balanced.

9. Balancing personal and professional life is often a challenge. What strategies or routines have you found most effective in managing your time and priorities?

I have found that the perfect balance between personal and professional things is outlining your priorities first and working you way downwards. I have been setting reminders on my phone to remind me of upcoming assignments, appointments, and events so that I can well prepare myself for them. Moreover, I have been using a planner to help me remember my tasks that have to be completed in a day, and once they are done, I cross them off accordingly. Not only does writing things down help myself be balanced, but it helps me to be organized too. I believe that a well-balanced life comprises of three essential things: focus, organization, time management. Once a person masters these three things, everything will flow smoothly and reach a state of equilibrium.

10. Looking ahead, what are your future aspirations and projects? How do you plan to continue making a positive impact in your various roles, both in your career and personal life?

I am a goal-setter, so I am always thinking about the future and what I want to accomplish in the future. In my personal life, I have plans of competing in and winning Miss World and/or Miss Universe. I have gotten the opportunity to be a judge for Miss India as well as Miss Universe USA this year, so I am hoping to keep judging in the future as well. I also have the hopes in opening my own dance academy for underprivileged children in India where they will be taught for free; I want to bridge the gap between South Asian culture and the art of dancing especially for women, and I hope that opening a dance academy where dance is taught for free will enable many children whose families cannot afford dance lessons to learn the art form. In my professional life, I am aiming to obtain my helicopters licence soon; having a helicopters licence will be an amazing success on my end as I will be able to merge my passion for flying with my policing career. I wish to continue to break barriers and societal stigmas that are attached to women, and I hope to inspire and motivate many women around the globe to use their voice and confidence to stand up against any adversary that they are faced with.

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