School: Arizona State University
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Film and Media
New York City! Gina Vaia lived in New York City for two months on her own and fell in love with the city. If she had the chance, she’d go back in a heartbeat.
Why did you want to be a 12 girl?
Why do I want to be a 12 girl? Why not? I get to meet eleven random girls that I will probably end up becoming friends with for the rest of my life. It’s our own sorority, really. I really enjoy meeting new people, especially when a few of them ending up being super similar to me! There are a few people that wish to keep to themselves and huddle up in the same group of friends they’ve had since middle school. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just love networking and enjoy listening to somebody else’s stories than my own. That’s another reason why I want to be a 12- the networking with not only people, but places. Our first event was held at El Hefe. It was one of the craziest places I have ever seen on a Sunday afternoon! There were so many people and I had such a great time! I could definitely surround myself with hundreds of bodies at events. It’s exciting.
What do you want to be when you grow up/ How will being a 12 help?
Someday I want to stand in front of camera. Whether I’m “struttin” my stuff as a Victoria Secret Angel or broadcasting on E news, being a 12 girl will boost my confidence and my ability to be comfortable around people and the media. I’ve wanted to do Victoria Secret since I was maybe 16. Every year during the shows, I will separate myself from everybody else and study Ms. Lima. I get phone calls and texts during the yearly shows- I have amazing supporters and it keeps me motivated! I have been modeling since I was 10. My first job was a Plunkett Furniture commercial (haha). I also FELL IN LOVE with watching Guiliana Rancic on E news. I think it is super cool to host the red carpet events, royal weddings, and Fashion Police. I could definitely see myself as TV host 100%.
Tell us something about you that people wouldn’t expect from just looking at you?
I eat. A LOT. And 90% of it is fast food. My addiction began as a junior in high school. For lunch and dinner I go to two different places. Mostly Panera Bread, which is similar to Paradise Bakery in Arizona. Last year as a Freshman here, I became obsessed with Einsteins Bagels, so instead of my healthy Special K cereal, I would grab a bagel and cream cheese J You’re probably wondering why I don’t gain any weight? Well, as a child, I played basketball for 8 years, 3 of the years was volleyball included. My metabolism is really fast, although…. One day it is going to slow down! I definitely still am at the gym at least 3-4 times a week. I want to make sure I can still eat whatever I want. In middle school I played on my driveway with my dad every day, shooting hoop after hoop. It was intense and took up a lot of my time. I played on a Feeder team, which is designed for more serious players. And then when I was 16 I played on a National volleyball team. I stopped playing sports at the end of high school. I definitely miss it!
What’s your major and how did you decide on that?
I am currently studying Film and Media. I will eventually transfer to the WalterCronkiteSchool so I can specifically study the arts of Broadcasting and TV hosting. I fell in love with E News TV hostess Giuliana Rancic. Since then I started watching her performance on the red carpets and special events, I knew I wanted to do just that.
Best trip you have ever taken?
Halloween of 2011, I went to Miami, Florida with my best friend. We stayed that weekend at the W hotel right on South beach. The vacation alone was absolutely breath taking, but on top of that, I was discovered by a New York modeling agency right in my hotel lobby. During the vacation, we ran into a family. We instantly clicked and we hung out with them by the pool for two of the days. There were 3 boys around our age that we ended up meeting out with them during the night events. I still talk to a few of them. Hopefully we can all make it to Miami soon for round 2!
How have things changed since you’ve become a 12?
My body has definitely changed. It’s important to eat healthy and work out to stay in good shape for the upcoming events and the calendar shoot. Goodbye fast food addiction for a while! I like this lifestyle better because not only do I look better, but I feel better. I have a lot more energy!
Favorite college memory?
My favorite college memory was the Vista Del Sol pool party in the beginning of the year. I had never been to a pool event that big and that crazy. It was a great introduction for my year as a freshman to say the least.
What do you look for in a guy?
The VERY first thing I look for in a guy is the way he carries himself. I can pretty much automatically get an idea whether he is a good guy or a complete jerk. I definitely don’t want to be hanging around somebody that thinks they’re a hot shot. I have actually been told I tend to lean towards the nerds. The second but most IMPORTANT think I look for in a guy is his nationality. I absolutely must marry an Italian. And no, I’m not talking about the gorilla juiceheads. I look for an authentic Italian that can usually speak some of the language! SO HOT! I also look at a man’s education. There is nothing more attractive than a man with a good education and a good career.
Tell us about your best and worst date?
The best date I ever went on was with a boyfriend back in summer 2011. It was our first date, and he took me out to a beautiful Italian restaurant and followed by the dinner, he was my date to my best friend’s uncles wedding. I definitely think that good dates depend on the person you are with and not necessarily where the date takes place.
The absolute worst date I ever went out was watching movies at his place and later in the night seeing a “Just Married” sign hung up in his kitchen, priceless.
Why did you decide on ASU?
I started to look into ASU because my older brother was a student there while I was in high school. I went to visit him and absolutely fell in love with it. It is definitely one of the most beautiful college campus’s I have ever seen. I am so glad I ended up applying to ASU. I love it now and I wouldn’t transfer to any other college. I can definitely see myself here for the next 3 years.
Tell us about where you grew up?
I grew up in a small town just 40 minutes outside of Chicago. I was born in a North-West town, Glen Ellyn. I lived there for a little while, but at 2 years old, my parents split. My parents lived in two different towns just about 15 minutes away. I went back and forth all the time with my older brother and little sister.
What’s one item you can’t live without and why?
One item I can’t live without is my iPhone. I am obsessed with it and I treat it as if it were my baby. My first cell phone was in 6th grade and ever since my first T-Mobile Sidekick; I have been addicted to texting. If I didn’t have the unlimited plan, I would be screwed!