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Meet the 74 women competing to be the next Miss Universe

Summary List PlacementAlbania: Paula Mehmetukaj Paula Mehmetukaj, 23, is an MBA student and founder of the Bashke Foundation, which "uses public art to rejuvenate public places to build stronger communities," according to the Miss Universe website.  Mehmetukaj also volunteers with the Red Cross and plants trees with the Municipality of Tirana. She hopes to one day enter the entertainment industry "so her voice can be heard everywhere in the world." Argentina: Alina Luz Akselrad Alina Luz Akselrad, 23, has certificates in persuasive writing and children's rights from Harvard University. She recently wrote and published her own book "that offers guidance and empowerment to young...

Miss Universe 2021 contestants

Summary List Placement

Albania: Paula Mehmetukaj

Paula Mehmetukaj, 23, is an MBA student and founder of the Bashke Foundation, which “uses public art to rejuvenate public places to build stronger communities,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Mehmetukaj also volunteers with the Red Cross and plants trees with the Municipality of Tirana. She hopes to one day enter the entertainment industry “so her voice can be heard everywhere in the world.”

Argentina: Alina Luz Akselrad

Alina Luz Akselrad, 23, has certificates in persuasive writing and children’s rights from Harvard University. She recently wrote and published her own book “that offers guidance and empowerment to young women,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Akselrad, who experienced bullying as a child, also has her own advocacy campaign called “Embrace Your Power” to help “improve women’s self-confidence from childhood.” 

In her spare time, Akselrad hosts a radio show with her mother and co-hosts a television show about fashion trends and pageant news.

Armenia: Monika Grigoryan

Monika Grigoryan, 21, is studying linguistics and foreign languages. She currently works as a communications specialist for a logistics company, as well as a translator “for people all across the globe,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Grigoryan has appeared in 24 Armenian and Indian music videos. She also works at a children’s modeling agency, where she teaches catwalk lessons.

Aruba: Helen Hernandez

Helen Hernandez, 20, is a business administration student who runs her own car rental service and can speak four languages, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Hernandez also works as an event coordinator at a popular Italian restaurant in Aruba and aspires to become a professional wine sommelier. When she’s not working, Hernandez volunteers as an ambassador for CEDE Aruba and Fundacion Pa Nos Comunidad to help improve the mental health of her community. 

Australia: Maria Thattil

Maria Thattil, 28, is an accredited life coach with a psychology degree and a master’s degree in management, according to the Miss Universe website. She had never competed in a national or international pageant before winning the Miss Australia title. 

Thattil currently volunteers for the United Nations Association of Australia and calls herself a “fierce activist for inclusivity, equality, and empowerment.” She also had a podcast, called “Mind With Me,” that explores a “myriad of critical and complex topics.” She hopes to become the shortest winner in Miss Universe history. 

Bahamas: Shauntae Miller

Shauntae Miller, 28, has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and currently works as a student coach for the youth division of a nonprofit athletic, health, and fitness club, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Miller, who competed in track and field, grew up in an athletic family — both her parents and three siblings have represented the Bahamas in international sports competitions. Miller is also a spokesperson and advocate for “Get Fit Bahamas,” which “promotes nutrition and healthy living,” and a national ambassador for the Bahamas Red Cross Society and the Bahamas AIDS Foundation.

Barbados: Hillary-Ann Williams

Hillary Ann-Williams, 25, is a survivor of gender-based violence and has become a “very vocal advocate in the fight to end the cycle of abuse for all women,” according to the Miss Universe website

Ann-Williams, who is biracial and grew up in both Barbados and Canada, has worked with the United Nations Women’s Secretariat in Barbados. She discusses gender-based violence issues “at every chance she is given.”

Belgium: Dhenia Covens

Dhenia Covens, 23, currently works as a makeup artist and is the manager at the Hollister in her hometown of Antwerp, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Covens has been practicing ballet and jazz since she was 5 years old. She has helped mentor a number of Miss Belgium delegates and hopes to one day become a professional pageant coach. 

Belize: Iris Salguero

Iris Salguero, 24, grew up with 11 siblings and financed her own high-school education. She plans to obtain her bachelor’s degree in digital marketing and dreams of opening a trade school in her community, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Salguero is the survivor of an abusive relationship and is fighting to end violence against women. She is also part of the organization S.H.I.N.E., which is dedicated to “building healthy self-esteem for teenage girls.”

Bolivia: Lenka Nermer

Lenka Nemer, 24, is an international affairs graduate who can communicate in seven different languages. She is currently working to “advocate against hunger and violence around the world,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Nemer, who struggled with food security as a child, created “Huertos Urbanos Bolivia,” which is aimed at providing “education about urban cultivation and ways to eradicate hunger.” She also hopes to use her platform to help stop gender violence in Bolivia.

Brazil: Julia Gama

Julia Gama, 27, currently works as an actress, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She is the first Brazilian actress to be featured in the Chinese film industry, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Gama, who can communicate in five different languages, has been an international ambassador for leprosy and now works with Smile Train in Brazil, where she hopes to provide surgeries to all the cleft lip and palate children in the country by July 2021.

British Virgin Islands: Shabree Frett

Shabree Frett, 24, has a bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders from Alabama A&M University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Frett founded the organization “Lend A Hand BVI” to help assist families in need. Her “biggest goal is to touch as many lives as possible and make a difference.” 

Bulgaria: Radinela Chusheva

Radinela Chusheva, 25, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is completing her master’s degree in marketing, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Chusheva is a former rhythmic gymnast and professional dancer and also acted on a popular Bulgarian TV show. She currently works as a model and volunteers with orphaned children. 

Cambodia: Sarita Reth

Sarita Reth, 26, has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently completing a master’s degree in international relations, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Reth has acted in more than 10 feature films and TV shows and worked as a presenter for a BBC television series. She also received the Youth Champion Award from U.N.F.P.A Cambodia for her “advocacy in promoting gender equality, reproductive health rights, and prevention against gender-based violence in Cambodia.” 

Cameroon: Kossinda Angele

Kossinda Angele, 28, has a master’s degree in finance and provides free math lessons to underprivileged children in her hometown, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Angele became an advocate for the education of young and disadvantaged women in Cameroon after witnessing how girls as young as 12 were forced into marriage in her tribe. She hopes that offering free education “will create a new generation of empowered and confident young girls with better opportunities.” 

In her spare time, Angele acts and produces a comedy series on YouTube. 

Canada: Nova Stevens

Nova Stevens, 26, was sent to live in Canada at the age of 6 after her family fled the civil war in Sudan, and had to grow up without them, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Stevens is the co-founder and spokesperson for “Freedom March Vancouver” and “Black Freedom Society,” which works to “eradicate hate and racism experienced by Black and indigenous people of color.” She currently also works as an actress and model.

Cayman Islands: Mariah Tibbetts

Mariah Tibbetts, 27, graduated from university with four degrees and is now a certified professional accountant, according to the Miss Universe website. 

She volunteers with a number of local charities — including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, and the Red Cross — and is also an ambassador for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, where she works to support those affected by the disease.

Chile: Daniela Nicolas

Daniela Nicolas, 28, is studying journalism and sign language and currently works as an actress and professional makeup artist, according to the Miss Universe website. She has appeared in four sitcoms and also worked for ESPN and Fox Sports. 

Six years ago, Nicolas was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called undifferentiated connective tissue disease. She now volunteers to raise awareness for the condition and support children who have been diagnosed with it. 

China: Jiaxin Sun

Jiaxin Sun, 23, has a bachelor’s degree in management and works as a mentor for a youth leadership academy, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Sun also launched the “Mother-Made Club” after visiting the Lijin village in southern China. Her organization helps women living in Mountain Wuzhishan to sell handmade products so they can make their own money to “support themselves and their families.”  

Colombia: Laura Olascuaga

Laura Olascuaga, 25, is a freelance model and journalist. She currently works in her state government’s communications department to “aid in the development of vulnerable communities,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Olascuaga, who has been cyberbullied in the past, also speaks out on mental health and depression and hopes to “widen her impact and inspire the youth.”

Costa Rica: Ivonne Cerdas

Ivonne Cerdas, 28, is a software engineer at Intel and hopes to get her master’s in information security, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Cerdas has worked with a number of different NGOs, including the LPH Foundation — which helps low-income children with cleft palates — and the Pic Nic Foundation, which has provided aid to families in need during the pandemic.

Croatia: Mirna Naiia Marić

Mirna Naiia Marić, 22, plans to study business and economics to help launch her own swimsuit and clothing company, according to the Miss Universe website. She started her own fashion label, called Naiia, earlier this year. 

Marić was given a modeling contract with a major agency in Milan when she was 16 and spent four years modeling all over Europe. 

She is also an advocate against gender-based violence and “uses her platform to raise her voice for those who are silenced.”

Curaçao: Chantal Wiertz

Chantal Wiertz, 22, is an international model who launched her #celebrateyouruniquenesss social-media campaign after she was diagnosed with autism, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Wiertz has a ranch with six horses. She gives equine therapy to children with special needs to help “boost their self-confidence and teach them how to cope with stressful situations.” 

Czech Republic: Klára Vavrušková

Klára Vavrušková, 21, is currently studying dental hygiene and “loves making others feel confident by helping them achieve a beautiful smile,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Vavrušková volunteers at various children’s homes throughout the Czech Republic and also helps seniors visit their families. 

Denmark: Amanda Petri

Amanda Petri, 23, is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in international business communication and plans to get her master’s in the field as well, according to the Miss Universe website. She is also a professional dancer and currently works as a dance teacher.

Petri, who has been a victim of cyberbullying, is an advocate for gender equality. She is currently working on a project to highlight online gender-related abuse. 

Dominican Republic: Kimberly Jiménez

Kimberly Jiménez, 24, is currently studying for degrees in forensic science and business administration, according to the Miss Universe website. She also currently works as a model and stage actress. 

Jiménez volunteers at a local orphanage in her hometown to help children who’ve been abused or homeless. She also helped launch the Dominican Republic Women’s Club, which provides services to women with breast cancer.

Ecuador: Leyla Espinoza Calvache

Leyla Espinoza Calvache, 24, is studying international business and currently works as a professional model and accounting assistant, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Espinoza Calvache creates entrepreneurial projects for women who have survived abuse, helping them start their own businesses so that “they can take control of their own lives.” She also volunteers with the Richard Foundation, donating wheelchairs, beds, and other items to people with disabilities. 

El Salvador: Vanessa Velásquez

Vanessa Velásquez, 25, has a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing and currently works as a model, brand ambassador, and influencer, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Velásquez also launched her own charity, Angel Hands by Vane, to “provide aid to children in hospitals, provide food to low-income communities, and support people who’ve suffered after natural disasters.” 

Finland: Viivi Altonen

Viivi Altonen, 24, is currently studying social psychology and anthropology and also works as a model and scuba diving instructor, according to the Miss Universe website. She once appeared in a Bollywood film while living in India. 

Altonen has traveled to more than 30 countries and now volunteers for UN Women, through which she launched the #SheCan campaign to “empower young women to work towards their dreams.” 

France: Amandine Petit

Amandine Petit, 23, is studying for her master’s degree in social, sanitary, and geological management and aspires to become the director for a health establishment within the elderly community, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Petit helps support medical research for various conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, and visits residents in retirement homes to help combat elderly loneliness. She advocates for various causes on a weekly radio show and donates her earnings to an organization for underprivileged women. 

Ghana: Chelsea Tayui

Chelsea Tayui, 25, has a degree in communications and media and currently works as the communications director for KJM Foundation, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Tayui began volunteering with the nonprofit to help bring clean water to impoverished villages in Ghana. She is also working to help eliminate the stigma of autism in her country. 

Great Britain: Jeanette Akua

Jeanette Akua, 29, has a master’s degree in international economic policy and analysis and currently works as a business development manager for a leading economic consultancy, where she’s addressed CEO and world leaders at global conferences, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Akua was a top 10 finalist in “The X Factor UK” and her music has received more than a million streams. She is also the founder of the “Be Audacious” campaign and hosts an online series to share stories from diverse women all over the globe. 

Haiti: Eden Berandoive

Eden Berandoive, 24, is currently studying psychology, English, and entrepreneurship, according to the Miss Universe website. 

A sexual assault survivor, Berandoive now advocates for victims of rape and abuse and “hopes to give others the courage to break free from their solitude.” She also helps teach adults how to read and works to provide education to children who live in the countryside. 

Honduras: Cecilia Rossell

Cecilia Rossell, 25, is currently studying social communication and advertising. She works with CES, an organization of Yale students that helps “educate people living in underdeveloped countries about health and nutrition,” according to the Miss Universe website. 

Rossell, who lost her mother to cancer, also spends much of her time visiting cancer patients.  

Iceland: Elísabet Hulda Snorradóttir

Elísabet Hulda Snorradóttir, 22, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chinese studies. She has visited more than 20 countries and can speak Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Snorradóttir volunteers with the Icelandic Red Cross and “Tölum Saman,” a program that
“teaches immigrants the Icelandic language so they can successfully enter the job markets and educational systems.” She also works with a charity that provides financial aid to families with chronically ill children. 

India: Adline Castelino

Adline Castelino, 22, has a business administration degree and works as a professional model. She has appeared on runways, magazine covers, and campaigns for major fashion brands, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Castelino was born in Kuwait and moved to Mumbai by herself when she was just 15. She’s a goodwill ambassador for Smile Train and currently works with SNEHA to provide affordable healthcare to women. Castelino is also an advocate for farmers’ rights and volunteers with an organization to help aid rural communities in India. 

Indonesia: Ayu Maulida Putri

Ayu Maulida Putri, 23, has a bachelor’s degree in law and plans to become a lawyer, according to the Miss Universe website. She has also worked as a model since she was 15.

Putri, who has been fasting during the pageant for Ramadan, would be the first Muslim woman to win Miss Universe. She co-founded the organization Senyum Desa/Smiling Village to help bring education and healthcare to rural areas in Indonesia. The organization has expanded to 20 cities and eight provinces since its launch in 2017. 

Ireland: Nadia Sayers

Nadia Sayers, 26, has a master’s degree in psychology and mental health therapies and now works as a mental health intervention worker in suicide prevention, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Sayers, who had her own mental health struggles as a young girl, also works with a mental health charity to create comic books based on the stories of young survivors. She hopes to one day make mental health check-ups “as common as dental.” 

In her spare time, Sayers dresses up as the Disney princess Anna from “Frozen” and visits children in hospitals. 

Israel: Tehila Levi

Tehila Levi, 19, recently graduated from high school and has begun her military service for the Israeli Defence Forces, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Levi also volunteers in a kindergarten for children with special needs, as well as the Israeli Society for Children and Adults with Autism. She hopes to study speech therapy. 

Italy: Viviana Vizzini

Viviana Vizzini, 27, is currently studying communications science and marketing, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Vizzini is an ambassador for the Italian Red Cross and volunteers for Casa Penelope, a safe house for women in need. She also works for Smile Train, which provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. 

Jamaica: Miqueal-Symone Williams

Miqueal-Symone Williams, 24, is an international model with a degree in marketing. She’s worked with brands like Valentino and Loreal, according to the Miss Universe website, and is signed to five different agencies around the world.

Williams is also passionate about mental health, and recently created “The Bloom Initiative,” which provides internet access to children in Jamaica so that they can attend school. She one day hopes to open a mental-health facility in honor of her late mother.

Japan: Aisha Harumi Tochigi

Aisha Harumi Tochigi, 25, is currently an activist for malaria eradication and also works for campaigns supporting orphanages and women’s rights, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Tochigi, who is Japanese and Ghanaian, lived in extreme poverty and contracted malaria in Africa when she was a child. She later faced discrimination in Japan and now hosts discussions on racism and biracial identity.

Kazakhstan: Kamila Serikbai

Kamila Serikbai, 18, has dreams of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently enrolled in classes at Süleyman Demirel University in Turkey, and she plans to help low-income people in Kazakhstan once she’s earned her degree.

Over the past year, according to the Miss Universe website, Serikbai has volunteered with local hospitals dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. But for fun, Serikbai enjoys sports. She’s both a former soccer player and a master of karate. She even teaches self-defense to women in her spare time.

Korea: Hari Park

Hari Park, 21, is passionate about modeling. She’s working towards a degree in the field at Dongduk Women’s University, the first four-year school to offer a modeling major.

That being said, she doesn’t believe women “need to pursue a career in beauty to shine,” according to the Miss Universe website. Instead, she believes “everyone is powerful and brave in their own way.”

When not walking runways, Park spends her time working with children and teaching English, which she honed while living in Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Kosovo: Blerta Veseli

Blerta Veseli, 25, grew up as a ballet dancer. Today, however, she’s more focused on completing her studies in architecture, creating a hair-care brand, and motivating others through television.

According to the Miss Universe website, she created her own public-speaking themed TV program, and also stars on the Albanian series “Cka Ka Shpija.” In her spare time, Vesli often meditates and reads. She’s particularly fond of the books “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman and “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, which she’s read three times each.

Laos: Christina Lasasimma

Christina Lasasimma, 27, is a multilingual master’s student studying software engineering. She can speak English, Russian, Thai, and Lao, according to the Miss Universe website.

Her passions include making education accessible to others and helping HIV patients receive support and childcare. Lasasimma also has experience working as a model and influencer, and currently serves as the CEO of a health-drink brand.

Malaysia: Francisca Luhong James

Francisca Luhong James, 25, is “the first woman with full native heritage to win Miss Universe Malaysia,” according to the Miss Universe website.

She grew up in a longhouse with 101 doors and went on to study public relations and mass communications. While in school, she participated in track and long jump and won three medals, despite having asthma.

James has also made time for charity and empowering women. Through volunteer work, she’s raised money for children with special needs, helped gather food for Malaysia’s indigenous people, and supported refugees. 

Malta: Anthea Zammit

Anthea Zammit, 26, is a dancer with two degrees: a bachelor’s in dance studies and a master’s in dance instruction. She’s also working towards earning a third degree in law, according to the Miss Universe website, and she hopes to open a firm with her younger sister.

When not studying, Zammit dedicates her time to working with the FIDEM Charity Foundation, which “funds educational courses and learning materials” for abused women and children.

Mauritius: Vandana Jeetah

Vandana Jeetah, 29, describes herself as a “free spirit” who’s grounded and ambitious, according to the Miss Universe website. She has a master’s degree in law and currently works as an in-house barrister. Jeetah also volunteers with the Lions Club.

For fun, Jeetah loves to travel. She’s visited 33 countries so far, and she can speak four different languages. She’s also athletic and enjoys swimming, mountain hiking, and running — especially with her mom. 

Mexico: Andrea Meza

Andrea Meza, 26, comes from a big family with 40 cousins. But she knows how to stand out in a crowd.

She previously graduated with a degree in software engineering and is “proud to be a woman” in a “male-dominated field,” according to the Miss Universe website. She’s also skilled in extreme sports, and enjoys CrossFit, rappel, and sandboarding.

Meza’s activism includes working with the Municipal Institute for Women to help end gender-based violence, serving as a tourism brand ambassador to showcase her home country, and being vegan to support animals.

Myanmar: Thuzar Wint Lwin

Thuzar Wint Lwin, 22, has a diploma in tourism and hospitality management and is currently studying English, according to the Miss Universe website. She also works as a professional model and beauty blogger. 

Lwin recently underwent surgery to remove tumors from her breast. She now works with local breast cancer foundations “to support patients and bring awareness to the cause.”

Nepal: Anshika Sharma

Anshika Sharma, 24, works as a DHL Business Analyst. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology, and now “advocates for the importance of children receiving a quality education,” according to the Miss Universe website.

She even created an organization that supports “24 students who were on the verge of dropping out” of school.

Netherlands: Denise Speelman

Denise Speelman, 24, believes fashion can lead to empowerment. She had an eating disorder five years ago, according to the Miss Universe website, and now wants to help others “going through what she went through.”

To do so, she encourages people to wear clothes that make them feel comfortable through her styling company. She also volunteers at an eating-disorder clinic and helps to train therapy dogs.

Nicaragua: Ana Marcelo

Ana Marcelo, 24, is an agroindustrial engineer who previously created a social campaign that helped medical professionals create biosecurity kits, according to the Miss Universe website.

Even when not working, Marcelo is often found giving back to others. She advocates for both Nicaraguan youth, and inclusivity within the Latin American pageant community. For fun, she enjoys sightseeing in her home country and taking road trips.

Norway: Sunniva Frigstad

Sunniva Fristad, 21, is a marketing and management student who describes herself as having “an incredibly competitive instinct,” according to the Miss Universe website.

But when it comes to her friends, she’s just as supportive. After her best friend opened up to her about enduring abuse, Fristad began volunteering with Enough Norway, an organization that helps sexual-abuse survivors. Fristad, who is dyslexic, is also an advocate for mental wellness.

Panama: Carmen Jaramillo

Carmen Jaramillo, 26, is the first member of her family to attend college. She’s currently pursuing two different degrees — one in journalism and one in psychology — at two different schools.

She also works as a model, journalist, and an activist. She advocates for low-income families, indigenous communities, people with albinism, and animals. According to the Miss Universe website, she’s rescued more than 400 strays and had more than 50 dogs at one point. 

Paraguay: Vanessa Castro Guillén

Vanessa Castro Guillén, 28, says her greatest accomplishment is her “commitment to architecture studies,” according to the Miss Universe website. She currently designs buildings for a living, and “loves” to incorporate elements of design from other cultures.

She’s also passionate about women’s empowerment and is a strong supporter of women entering male-dominated industries.

Peru: Janick Maceta Del Castillo

Janick Maceta Del Castillo, 27, is an audio engineer who’s worked with some of the biggest names in the music business, including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and more. She’s also created a record label that promotes young artists.

But when not in the studio, she volunteers to help people with disabilities, and children who have been sexually abused. Castillo created the Little Heroes organization to provide legal and psychological help to the latter group.

Philippines: Rabiya Mateo

Rabiya Mateo, 24, believes in the power of learning. She graduated with a degree in physical therapy and is now the Philippines’ ambassador for education. She also created the “Feed Me and I Read You” program, which offers food and reading sessions to underprivileged children.

In her spare time, according to the Miss Universe website, Mateo enjoys rapping and volunteering with the Philippine Red Cross.

Poland: Natalia Piguła

Natalia Piguła, 27, is an engineer who runs her own transportation company. According to the Miss Universe website, she’s especially proud of her strength, and believes that “women are builders” and can “make their dreams come true, just like she did.”

She also does charity work around Christmas, when she holds events for children with cancer.

Portugal: Cristiana Silva

Cristiana Silva, 19, suffers from arachnophobia, as well as fears of the ocean and public speaking. But she’s also motivated and has worked towards overcoming her obstacles.

According to the Miss Universe website, she’s currently studying law, and expanding her social-media following to spread awareness about issues like domestic violence and bullying, the latter of which she experienced.

Puerto Rico: Estefanía Natalia Soto Torres

Estefanía Natalia Soto Torres, 29, studied in three different countries to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. However, she’s lived in even more: seven. As a result, she can speak four languages.

Torres, who has Meniere’s disease, also strongly believes in mental health, and discusses “entertainment, healthcare, and the academic industry” on her podcast “Voces de Reinas,” according to the Miss Universe website.

Romania: Bianca Lorena Tirsin

Bianca Lorena Tirsin, 22, is a business administration student and currently runs her own online shop that “promotes confidence with the use of oral health care products,” according to the Miss Universe website. She first started her own makeup studio when she was just 16, selling all her furniture so that she could launch it. 

Tirsin, who has traveled to almost 40 countries, is currently an ambassador for Cetatea Voluntarilor Arad, through which she helps rehabilitate hospitals, organize events for children with Down syndrome, and fundraise for impoverished areas in her community. She has won the organization’s “Volunteer of the Year” award every year since 2017.

Russia: Alina Sanko

Alina Sanko, 22, has a degree in architecture and design and is currently getting her master’s in television, according to the Miss Universe website. 

Sanko is a painter and is preparing to open her own art exhibit. She provides art therapy and craft classes for children, and also volunteers for various foundations that “support children with serious diseases.”

Singapore: Bernadette Belle Ong

Bernadette Belle Ong, 26, describes herself as “a woman of the world,” according to the Miss Universe website. She studied accounting, finance, and culinary arts, and then went on to work as a DJ, model, and actress.

Ong also advocates for equal pay and fair treatment of migrant workers, and frequently works with the It’s Raining Raincoats nonprofit organization to help marginalized groups. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, training in krav maga, and fostering cats.

Slovak Republic: Natália Hoštáková

Natália Hoštáková, 26, can speak Czech, English, and Spanish fluently, and she also knows the basics of Russian, Polish, and German. Her language skills come in handy when it comes to her passion for travel, and dreams of being a hotel manager.

Hoštáková is equally dedicated to sustainable living, supporting the elderly, and creating a supportive community of women, according to the Miss Universe website.

South Africa: Natasha Joubert

Natasha Joubert, 23, is the owner of a fashion company that specializes in couture and employs all women. She previously studied marketing management and worked as a public relations officer for a law firm, according to the Miss Universe website.

She’s also eager to see a “better future” for the youth of her home country, and advocates for young democracy. 

Spain: Andrea Martínez

Andrea Martínez, 27, studied in León, Madrid, and Paris, to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration. During that time, she also “fell in love with traveling,” according to the Miss Universe website.

Also important to Martínez is her work with the León Association of Women With Breast Cancer, a disease that’s impacted her family. Her other activism includes the #RaiseYourVoice campaign to help end bullying and sexual harassment.

Thailand: Amanda Obdam

Amanda Obdam, 27, has been competing in pageants since she was 10 years old. She later went on to study in Toronto, Canada, and earn a degree in business administration, according to the Miss Universe website.

More recently, Obdam founded a sustainable fashion brand that honors traditional batik art. She’s also created the “Have You Listened” campaign to promote understanding in her community, helped teach English to children impacted by a local tsunami, and advocated for mental health.

Ukraine: Yelyzaveta Yastremska

Yelyzaveta Yastremska, 28, is a model, makeup artist, television presenter, and fashion designer with her own brand. She has a degree in marketing and human resources and is continuing her studies in philosophy and meditation, according to the Miss Universe website.

In her spare time, Yastremska volunteers and holds educational events to support children.

Uruguay: Lola De Los Santos

Tania Lola De Los Santos, 23, overcame bullying as a child, and now uses her platform to help others. She volunteers with anti-bullying organizations, according to the Miss Universe website, and she’s passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

The human-resources student also cares deeply about the environment and leads ocean clean-up events. For fun, Santos often goes surfing and skateboarding.

USA: Asya Branch

Asya Branch, 23, is no stranger to the stage. She previously won two state titles, and became the first woman from Mississippi to be crowned Miss USA. Afterward, she used her platform to fight for criminal-justice reform, support people with disabilities, and more.

Branch, who is one of eight siblings, currently owns a cosmetic brand. She’s also working towards a degree in integrated marketing communication.

Venezuela: Mariangel Villasmil

Mariangel Villasmil, 25, is a psychology student, certified pastry chef, and small-business owner, according to the Miss Universe website. Through the latter venture, she donates cakes she’s made to nursing homes and children’s hospitals.

In the past, Villasmil experienced a “misinformed surgical operation,” which later inspired her to host conferences about body positivity. She’s also passionate about making HIV testing free and available to all.

Vietnam: Khanh Van Nguyen Tran

Khanh Van Nguyen Tran, 25, believes that love has the power “to help people overcome all the pain in life,” according to the Miss Universe website.

One of her biggest passions is supporting sexual-abuse survivors, something she said she almost experienced. She now tours Vietnam to help teach others about self-defense and protection.

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