The Miss Universe pageant will be held on December 12 in Eliat, Israel.
Eighty women are competing for the crown, coming from all over the world for a chance at the title.
The contestants are not only pageant queens, but scientists, philanthropists, and more.
Albania: Ina Dajci
Ina Dajci, 27, is an architect and has worked on projects on five different continents, according to the Miss Universe website. She focuses mainly on communities suffering from “environmental, social, and cultural degradation” and also champions energy-efficient designs and recycling methods. Her gown at Miss Universe will be 100% sustainable.
Dajci is also an artist and had her first painting exhibit at the Albanian National Historic Museum.
Argentina: Julieta Garcia
Julieta Garcia, 22, has been passionate about studying psychology and human behavior since she was a child. She is dedicated to helping people who are struggling with addiction, according to the Miss Universe website.
Garcia has also been practicing ballet for 12 years and currently works as an international model.
Armenia: Nane Avetisyan
Nane Avetisyan, 24, is a lawyer who hails from a big family — she has eight sisters and two brothers, according to her Miss Universe bio.
Avetisyan believes it’s a priority to “constantly educate, develop the mind, the soul, and the body.” She said she is not afraid of anything in this world and knows “about fear only from the stories I was told.”
Aruba: Thessaly Zimmerman
Thessaly Zimmerman, 27, has a degree in communications and is a social-media manager for a digital marketing agency. She speaks four languages and currently works with different organizations and the Aruban government to advocate for mental health, according to the Miss Universe website.
Zimmerman was also a top-ranked tennis player and represented Aruba at numerous international competitions.
Australia: Daria Varlamova
Daria Varlamova, 27, has a business degree and recently earned her master’s in counseling, according to the Daily Mail Australia. She plans on becoming a psychotherapist and currently hosts mental-health workshops for girls.
Varlamova emigrated to Perth from Russia when she was 8 years old and taught herself how to speak English by reading as much as possible.
Bahamas: Chantel O’Brian
Chantel O’Brian, 27, has a business degree and is a certified youth leader with the Bahamas’ Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture, where she “helps marginalized youth with their educational pursuits,” according to her Miss Universe bio. She also founded The Leading Ladies Project to prioritize the education of underprivileged girls.
O’Brian is only the third woman in her country’s history to win both Miss World Bahamas and Miss Universe Bahamas. She also runs her own pageant consulting company.
Bahrain: Manar Nadeem Deyani
Manar Nadeem Deyani, 25, is the first woman to ever represent Bahrain in the Miss Universe pageant. She is currently studying for her fashion degree and plans to launch a sustainable label using environmentally friendly materials, according to the Miss Universe website.
Deyani is also among the first ambassadors for Sephora Middle East. She wants to use her platform to raise awareness for mental health and “show that beauty standards are here to be changed.”
Belgium: Kedist Deltour
Kedist Deltour, 24, was born in Ethiopia and adopted by a Belgian family at the age of 10 after her mother died and her father took her and her younger siblings to an orphanage, according to the Miss Universe website.
In 2012, Deltour saw that Miss Belgium had African roots. From that moment on, she knew she wanted to be on the Miss Universe stage one day too.
Bolivia: Nahemi Uequin Antelo
Nahemi Uequin Antelo, 20, currently works to raise awareness about the high level of femicide in Bolivia, according to her Miss Universe bio.
Antelo also works as a professional model and has spoken out about the cyberbullying she received while competing in her country’s national pageant, saying it “did not take away my strength or the desire to continue fighting for my dream.”
Brazil: Teresa Santos
Teresa Santos, 23, is currently studying for her degree in psychology. In her Miss Universe bio, Santos said one of her biggest dreams “is to open a space for women in vulnerable situations where they can take care of themselves and have access to psychological help.”
Santos launched a project that provides English classes to children in underprivileged areas. She also gives sewing lessons to women living in vulnerable conditions.
British Virgin Islands: Xaria Penn
Xaria Penn, 18, currently works as a model. She’s studying for her associate degree in human services, according to the Miss Universe website, and wants to become a child psychologist one day to help “break the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Penn recently lost her aunt to breast cancer and hopes to create a foundation in her honor to raise awareness and provide more options to help women get tested for early detection.
Bulgaria: Elena Danova
Elena Danova, 21, is currently studying for her degree in public relations, according to her Miss Universe bio. She hopes to become a journalist one day.
Danova also received a professional qualification in acting and has starred in several films and commercials.
Cambodia: Marady Ngin
Marady Ngin, 22, is pursuing a degree in international relations. She has been acting since she was 14 to help finance her studies and support her family, according to the Miss Universe website.
Ngin is an ambassador for the LGBTQ organization Love is Diversity to help raise awareness against discrimination. She also raises funds to support Sok Sabai, an NGO that provides school and hygiene supplies to children in need.
Cameroon: Michèle Ange Minkata
Michèle-Ange Minkata, 25, has a degree in geography and currently works in public relations and communications. She plans to pursue a career in diplomacy.
Minkata has worked with Smile Train, a nonprofit that provides corrective surgery to children born with cleft lips and palates. She also recently launched her own academy, called Angels & Queens, to inspire “young girls to tap into their inner potential.” According to her Miss Universe bio, the project was inspired by Mikata’s own childhood after she was bullied for being a tomboy.
Canada: Tamara Jemuovic
Tamara Jemuovic, 27, is a businesswoman and licensed real-estate broker who can speak six languages and has traveled to more than 30 different countries. She has modeled for international brands including L’Oréal and Schwarzkopf, according to the Miss Universe website.
Jemuovic is also the CEO and founder of PHNX Cosmetics, a cruelty-free makeup brand that is dedicated to using only clean ingredients. The pageant queen said PHNX is “intended to provide the cosmetic industry with a revolutionary change.”
Cayman Islands: Georgina Kerford
Georgina Kerford, 18, is the youngest Miss Cayman Islands in the last three decades, winning the first pageant she’s ever entered, according to her Miss Universe bio. She has trained as a dancer for the last 15 years and studied more than 10 different styles of dance.
Kerford works closely with the Alex Panton Foundation, which raises awareness for mental-health issues and suicidal ideation. She’s also an advocate for domestic and sexual abuse prevention and received her “Stewards of Children” training certificate at the age of 16 from Darkness to Light, a nonprofit committed to child sexual abuse prevention.
Chile: Antonia Figueroa
Antonia Figueroa, 25, has a degree in environmental civil engineering and has taught herself how to speak four languages, including German. She plans to continue her studies in Berlin to get her master’s in renewable energy and water technology, according to the Miss Universe website.
Figueroa is a regional champion in Taekwondo and recently received her first-degree black belt. She has also competed on “MasterChef Chile” and recently launched Volunteers for Children, enrolling people who are willing to provide free lessons to their communities.
China: Shiyin Yang
Shiyin Yang, 21, is currently studying literary and artistic directing at the Communication University of China.
Yang has been volunteering since she was 13, once serving as a liaison for the ambassadors of multiple countries. She also spends much of her time helping plan “various public welfare and variety shows,” according to her Miss Universe bio.
Colombia: Valeria Ayos
Valeria Ayos, 27, graduated with a degree in marketing and currently works in international relations. She dreams of becoming the minister of education in Colombia so she can ensure “everyone will have the opportunity to get a good education,” according to the Miss Universe website.
Ayos is also an environmental activist. The pageant queen said she realized how important it is to take care of the earth after growing up in the Archipelago of San Andrés.
Costa Rica: Valeria Rees
Valeria Rees, 28, is a law student and dreams of becoming a businesswoman who motivates “young women to embrace their talent and power.” She has also worked as a model in nine different countries.
Rees is dedicated to raising awareness for eating disorders and, through her platform Open Cage, speaks about her own experience with anorexia. In her Miss Universe bio, the pageant queen says she wants to help people “understand the struggle of recovery” and help them realize “it feels like escaping a cage that has had you locked out of life.”
Croatia: Ora Ivanišević
Ora Ivanišević, 20, is studying tourism management and dreams of opening her own hotel one day, according to the Miss Universe website. She can speak three languages, including English and Russian.
Ivanišević has been playing volleyball for 12 years, competing in numerous international competitions, according to Croatia Week. She also writes novels and poems and is passionate about promoting education to young adults.
Curaçao: Shariëngela Cijntje
Shariëngela Cijntje, 28, is currently finishing her master’s in corporate law. She is the founder of her own e-commerce company, Style Headquarters, which she began “while studying law to gain experience as a business owner,” according to her Miss Universe bio.
Cijntje also wrote the book “Release Your Amazon,” hoping to make a difference in women’s lives by “providing economic, educational, and psychological empowerment.” She writes in her bio that she believes “every woman is an amazon, some just need the proper tools to release it.”
Czech Republic: Karolina Kokesova
Karolina Kokesova, 25, is a model, host, and business owner who has traveled to more than 30 countries. She also currently runs her own fashion brand, according to the Miss Universe website.
Kokesova has worked with a number of women’s empowerment foundations and believes “every woman has the right to decide what she will do with her body or mind.” The pageant queen also recently worked to raise money for an organization that helps mistreated animals.
Denmark: Sara Langtved
Sara Langtved, 26, is currently completing her degree in human resources and works in the legal department at the Copenhagen Business School. She hopes to earn her MBA and open her own company one day, according to the Miss Universe website.
Langtved is passionate about animal rights and frequently volunteers at animal shelters around the world. She also plans to use her platform to advocate for the environment.
Dominican Republic: Debbie Aflalo
Debbie Aflalo, 28, graduated with honors in international relations and diplomacy. She is now pursuing her master’s in international trade and dreams of becoming an ambassador to the United Nations.
Aflalo also has a technical degree in fashion and dressmaking. In her spare time, the pageant queen organizes garbage clean-up projects across the Dominican Republic, according to her Miss Universe bio.
Ecuador: Susy Sacoto Mendoza
Susy Sacoto Mendoza, 24, is a law graduate and medical student who advocates for eye health. She launched Ventana de la Vida, a program working towards the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of glaucoma for Ecuadorian families with limited economic resources, according to the Miss Universe website.
The pageant queen also gives talks that “promote values of acceptance, respect, and self-love to women who have been victims of physical and psychological abuse.”
El Salvador: Alejandra Gavidia
Alejandra Gavidia, 25, has a master’s degree in political consulting. She wants to earn her doctorate in psychology and conduct more research on the asexual community, according to her Miss Universe bio.
Gavidia founded the Asexuales El Salvador foundation to “give voice and visibility to minority groups in the LGBTQ community, especially the asexual community.” She has also launched social innovation projects to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups in her country, including the LGBTQ community, sex workers, and people living with HIV.
Equatorial Guinea: Martina Mituy Avomo
Martina Mituy Avomo, 19, is young but accomplished. She can speak two languages, Spanish and French, and is currently studying petrochemical engineering. In her spare time, she works as a caregiver for elderly residents of a nursing home.
Travel is also important to Avomo, according to her Miss Universe bio. She’s visited Cameroon, Cuba, Gabon, and Spain.
Finland: Essi Unkuri
Essi Unkuri, 23, is a graduate of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, where she studied marketing and wrote a thesis on influencers. She also founded a tech company while in school at the age of 21, and now works as an entrepreneur, model, and actor, according to her Miss Universe bio.
Able to speak four languages, Unkuri often makes time for travel and has visited more than 20 counties. Additionally, she volunteers with senior citizens, and recently created a fundraiser that helps pay for their care and decrease loneliness.
France: Clémence Botino
Clémence Botino, 24, is a literary student working towards her master’s degree in art history. She’s become passionate about “tradition and cultural heritage” through her studies, according to her Miss Universe bio, and now helps elder members of communities share their stories and knowledge through social media, TV, and more.
Botino is also passionate about French rum and its impact on the local economy. As a result, she wants to make the rum industry more accessible to women, and French rum more well-known around the world.
Germany: Eloisa Jo-Hannah Seifer
Eloisa Jo-Hannah Seifer, 19, is passionate about exploring different cultures and meeting new people, according to her Miss Universe bio. She’s lived in Madrid, studied in Germany, and visited 17 countries. She’s also fluent in Spanish, as her mother is Colombian.
Seifer is now attending acting school, but has dreams of becoming a journalist. She also cares deeply for the environment, dogs, mental wellness, and stopping bullying.
Ghana: Silvia Naa Morkor Commodore
Silvia Naa Morkor Commodore, 27, is a business-administration student who grew up in Accra, an “economically vibrant hub” of her home country. Living there sparked her interest in trade and running businesses, according to her Miss Universe bio.
She’s also a model, wedding planner, and dancer — the latter of which helped her overcome difficulties throughout her life, like poverty. Commodore hopes to eventually build a dance studio to help children facing similar challenges that she once experienced.
Great Britain: Emma Collingridge
Emma Collingridge, 23, earned her bachelor’s degree in English after writing a dissertation on Medusa’s origins. The project inspired her to take a stand against gender-based violence, her Miss Universe bio says, and led her to create the #DrawTheLine campaign, which empowers women through self-defense courses.
Today, she volunteers and works as a model in her spare time, and is passionate about dance as well. Travel is also important to her, as it allows her to experience new things like skydiving, which she tried for the first time just before the pandemic started.
Greece: Sofia Arapogianni
Sofia Arapogianni, 21, is a student of the Merchant Marine Academy, and has dreams of becoming a ship captain.
She’s also a model, according to her Miss Universe bio, and dedicates some of her time to charity work.
Guatemala: Dania Guevara Morfin
Dania Guevara Morfin, 24, has been competing in pageants since she was 3 years old. She’s also a lifelong athlete, and has competed in basketball and karate while participating in swimming, cycling, and more for fun, according to her Miss Universe bio.
When not on stage, Morfin is dedicated to making the world a better and safer place. She’s currently in law school and is determined to end malnutrition in her home country. She also runs a restaurant where she serves healthy versions of popular Guatemalan dishes.
Haiti: Pascale Belony
Pascale Belony, 25, has degrees in nursing and health education. She now works in both fields, and also spends time as a volunteer. She’s an ambassador for the P4H Global nonprofit, which works to transform Haiti through education, and a consultant for Hope for Haiti, the Haitian Ministry of Education, and MamaBaby Haiti.
For fun, Belony enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family, her Miss Universe bio states. And though she says she doesn’t know how to swim, she sometimes goes scuba diving and jumps off waterfalls.
Honduras: Rose Meléndez
Rose Meléndez, 27, is a longtime pageant contestant who is now working towards earning a degree in business administration, according to pageant blog Angelopedia.
She also enjoys volleyball and modeling, according to her Instagram page, and serves as an ambassador for the Garífuna Sawaina Museum in her home country. She also works with Organización LLAVES to help those who have been impacted by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Hungary: Jázmin Viktória Elizabeth
Jázmin Viktória Elizabeth, 20, was recently crowned Miss Hungary over 13 other contestants, according to the blog Pageant Circle.
She’s a student and also works as a model. In recent months, she’s shared much of her work on Instagram.
Iceland: Elísa Gróa Steinþórsdóttir
Elísa Gróa Steinþórsdóttir, 27, has three jobs. She’s a full-time flight attendant, a part-time makeup artist, and occasionally a dance teacher. Her full-time position allows her to pursue her passion for travel — she’s visited 20 countries so far — while dancing gives her a chance to continue a passion she’s had for 22 years.
As her Miss Universe bio states, Steinþórsdóttir is dedicated to the cause of suicide prevention. She frequently works with Píeta Samtökin, an Icelandic organization focused on suicide and self-harm awareness, and recently raised money to support the group.
India: Harnaaz Sandhu
Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, has been deeply impacted by the women in her life, especially her mother. As a result, she’s now an advocate for women’s empowerment. She helped her mother teach women’s health and hygiene at camps as a child, and now as an actor, Sandhu hopes to break stereotypes of women through her movies.
In her spare time, you can find Sandhu doing yoga, playing chess, dancing, and more. She also loves the water, according to her Miss Universe bio, and swims any chance she gets.
Ireland: Katharine Walker
Katharine Walker, 27, has spent the past few years helping others in need. She became a registered nurse in 2016, spent time looking after children in pediatric and neonatal intensive care, and worked on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Walker started a social-media campaign called “Kat’s Call” to teach others about the threat of violence against women and inspire people to come forward with their stories, her Miss Universe bio says. When not working, she spends time learning sign language and serving as a radio and podcast host.
Israel: Noa Cochva
Noa Cochva, 22, spent time in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat medic commander, and taught other soldiers how to save lives, her Miss Universe bio states. Today, she works as an entrepreneur, CEO, and product manager at an interior-design startup she created.
For fun, Cochva enjoys surfing, working out, volunteering to protect the ocean, and baking. She’s even a trained pastry chef, having studied in Israel and France.
Italy: Caterina Di Fuccia
Caterina Di Fuccia, 23, is making an impact on children’s lives as a teacher for students with special-education needs, according to her Miss Universe bio. She also advocates for women as an ambassador for “Scarpetta Rosa,” a nonprofit organization that helps those who have faced violence.
Di Fuccia, who occasionally works as a runway coach, could make history this year if she wins the competition — she’d be the first woman from Italy crowned Miss Universe. She was previously named an ambassador for her home city.
Jamaica: Daena Soares
Daena Soares, 22, has found inspiration in her life experiences. She moved halfway around the world at age 11, according to her Miss Universe bio, and saw women working in roles ranging from farming to business. This inspired her to later partner with multiple organizations that provide equal opportunities and resources to women.
Swimming is also a big part of Soares’ life. She first learned at a nearby river, when a local told her dad to throw her into the deep end. She’s been swimming for fun ever since.
Japan: Juri Watanabe
Juri Watanabe, 26, was born in Japan, but went to school in both the United States and China. She experienced mental-health struggles while growing up, her Miss Universe bio says, which inspired her to now advocate for mental wellness through live streams and in-person events.
She previously earned a degree in international development studies, and is now pursuing her MBA. Education is extremely important to her — so much so that Watanabe is now a permanent US resident so that she can continue her studies at American universities.
Kazakhstan: Aziza Tokashova
Aziza Tokashova, 27, earned degrees in economics and marketing, and has since worked in the public-relations field. She became passionate about helping charities during her school years, and works with children who have cerebral palsy, her Miss Universe bio says.
Tokashova also helps others through social media. On Instagram, for example, she has more than 200,000 followers. So when she met a young boy who was visually impaired and wished to have a piano, she and her followers raised money to buy him one.
Kenya: Roshanara Ebrahim
Roshanara Ebrahim, 28, graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in law, and has gone on to travel the world as a runway and editorial model. She’s been featured in events like New York Fashion Week, and has even written a book called “Beyond the Darkness.”
Her Miss Universe bio states that nature is also extremely important to Ebrahim. She plants trees when she has time, and advocates for women’s unity because she believes it can “heal the world.”
Korea: Jisu Kim
Jisu Kim, 23, studied at the Seoul Institute of Art and earned a degree in acting and theatrical arts. She now dreams of using that degree to host a major concert, while separately creating an organization to promote environmental protection.
And her skills don’t stop there. According to her Miss Universe bio, Kim is a lifelong golfer who previously competed in the sport. She can also speak three languages: Korean, English, and German.
Kosovo: Shkurtesa Sejdiu
Shkurtesa Sejdiu, 19, is more commonly known as Tuti. She’s a huge fan of fashion and works as a model, but believes that “real beauty is within,” as she says in her Miss Universe bio. She hopes to inspire young women through her work onstage and off.
Shkurtesa is fluent in Turkish, but is now learning English as well. In her spare time, she works alongside organizations that support women and those who have faced human trafficking.
Laos: Tonkham Phonchanheuang
Tonkham Phonchanheuang, 26, is an actor and model, making her one of the most well-known women in her home country, according to her Miss Universe bio. But she’s also known for giving back.
She’s currently working towards supporting elders and ending poverty in Laos, and often donates to different charities. For fun, Phonchanheuang enjoys surfskating and learning traditional music so that she can pass the knowledge of her country to others and future generations.
Malta: Jade Cini
Jade Cini, 26, earned an education degree in 2017, and is now a full-time teacher to 7 and 8 year olds. Before that, she spent 11 years studying jazz dancing, and nine years training as a singer. She’s also acted and modeled in numerous local productions.
She now has dreams of becoming an author and pageant coach, her Miss Universe bio states, and would like to help create a more inclusive society for children with learning disabilities.
Mauritius: Anne Murielle Ravina
Anne Murielle Ravina, 26, lost her mom when she was only 12 and was raised by her grandmother. Through the experience, she learned that “hardships can be turned into blessings,” according to her Miss USA bio. She’s since earned a political-science degree and now teaches at a college.
She also works with numerous organizations that support women and children, and has been featured on CNN for her accomplishments. To relax, Ravina enjoys spending time at the beach, painting, dancing, and learning new languages.
Mexico: Debora Hallal
Debora Hallal, 25, has spent five years dedicated to a social project she created called “One Purpose.” According to her Miss Universe bio, the effort “connects marginalized people to develop a more united community.”
Having Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that developed into hypothyroidism, Hallal is also passionate about inspiring others to have confidence and strength. She has a degree in business administration, and serves as a tourism ambassador for her home country.
Morocco: Kawtar Benhalima
Kawtar Benhalima, 22, holds many titles, including philanthropist and entrepreneur. She earned a business-administration degree in Paris, and has spent time in places including Russia, Turkey, Paris, Greece, and Singapore.
Benhalima also created a jewelry line with her sister, according to her Miss Universe bio, and has worked with groups in Morocco to help advocate for education. For fun, she enjoys dancing, songwriting, cooking, yoga, reading, and more.
Namibia: Chelsi Shikongo
Chelsi Shikongo, 24, has a heartwarming tie to the Miss Universe pageant — she was named after Chelsi Pearl Smith, who won Miss Universe in 1995. That connection inspired her to compete in pageants herself, and start a modeling career. She’s since done the latter in Germany, South Africa, and Singapore.
According to her Miss Universe bio, Shikongo is pursuing a degree in development and business studies, and hopes to start a foundation that will aid low-income and homeless families with food donations.
In her spare time, Shikongo is often found doing stand-up comedy, creating special-effects makeup looks, and more.
Nepal: Sujita Basnet
Sujita Basnet, 28, has a degree in biomedical engineering and works at the Fortune 500 company Accenture, according to the Miss Universe website.
Basnet has also been leading LiberatED, a nonprofit that helps give young women access to education and job opportunities, since 2016. As if that wasn’t enough, she is also the director of the Miss Nepal US pageant.
Netherlands: Julia Sinning
Representing The Netherlands, Julia Sinning, 25, has both a bachelor’s degree in communication and a professional film actress certificate, as the Miss Universe website states.
She’s also a companion for the elderly and an advocate for Hulphond Netherlands, a service dog program. Sinning vlogs about her life as well, sharing how she gets out of her comfort zone through her videos.
Nicaragua: Allison Wassmer
Allison Wassmer, 26, studied graphic design and is a flight attendant for Emirates Airline, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also founded Cerealisimo, a small business that creates cereal bars. Wassmer runs the business with her mother.
Nigeria: Maristella Okpala
Maristella Okpala, 28, has a master’s degree in public health and has trained as an international flight attendant for Emirates Airline, according to the Miss Universe website.
Okpala has dedicated her life to advocacy work. She has given over 1,000 children school essentials, ensured pregnant people receive pre and post-natal care, helped to maintain recycling and waste clean up in Nigeria through the the Africa Clean Up Initiative, and helped to prevent the spread of Malaria in Ajegunle.
Norway: Nora Emilie Nakken
Although Nora Emilie Nakken, 23, already has a bachelor’s in marketing management, she’s studying for a second bachelor’s degree in media science, as stated on the Miss Universe website.
A dedicated mental-health advocate, Nakken founded The 5 Bear Buddy, an online nonprofit that provides people with a stuffed animal they can share their feelings with. She also makes pearl jewelry in her spare time, which is a skill she learned from her mom.
Panama: Brenda Smith
Brenda Smith, 27, was born to a father from Panama and a mother from Mexico in the United States, according to the Miss Universe website. She has degrees in journalism and cultural studies.
Smith fights against racism and xenophobia on a daily basis as a United Nations Human Rights Fellow. She also had to fight to get the job at all, flying to Senegal, Africa, after being rejected for the position three times to appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about why she deserved the role.
Paraguay: Nadia Ferreira
Nadia Ferreira, 22, is not only a model and TV personality, but also the founder of NF, a company that helps women who want to develop their careers or escape domestic violence, per the Miss Universe website. She also does a plethora of service work, collaborating closely with Paraguay’s First Lady.
Ferreira encourages others to persevere, looking to her own health struggles, which include a surgery at 8 months old and a struggle with Susac syndrome that left her unable to see, hear, or move the left side of her body for a year and a half, for inspiration.
Peru: Yely Rivera
Literally born at the foot of a volcano, Yely Rivera, 25, is a jack of all trades. She has a degree in business administration and marketing, was in an all-girl pop band that produced hit songs, and now she works for The Success Clinic to help others with their personal growth, according to the Miss Universe website.
Participating in pageants also runs in her family. Rivera’s sister was a top-10 finalist in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant.
Philippines: Beatrice Luigi Gomez
Beatrice Luigi Gomez, 26, is in the navy, is a community development worker, and is currently studying to get a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, per the Miss Universe site.
Gomez is the first bisexual woman to become Miss Universe Philippines. She also advocates for youth who have come into contact with law enforcement, working at a juvenile facility in the Operation Second Chance of the Department of Social Welfare Services of Cebu City program.
Poland: Agata Wdowiak
Agata Wdowiak, 25, is a climate activist, serving as the ambassador for a campaign in Poland against air pollution, according to the Miss Universe website.
She’s currently studying nanotechnology, though she already has a degree in business management. Wdowiak also has a passion for extreme sports and has even spent an entire night climbing a 120-foot industrial chimney.
Portugal: Oricia Dominguez dos Santos
Oricia Dominguez dos Santos, 27, has degrees in fashion image, styling, and audiovisual media from two schools, which have propelled her into a career working with brands like Vogue and GQ, as stated on the Miss Universe website.
Dos Santos also has a degree in nursing, and she advocates for cancer prevention and grief support, which she became passionate about after having firsthand experience with both.
Puerto Rico: Michelle Marie Colón
Michelle Marie Colón, 21, is a pre-med biology major who hopes to become a dermatologist, according to the Miss Universe website.
She puts her love of science to work as an advocate for multiple organizations, including Susan G. Komen and CAP, which fights pediatric cancer, as well as Puerto Rico’s National Guard to help ensure 70% of Puerto Rico’s citizens were vaccinated against coronavirus.
Colón also founded the C.A.R.E. Empowerment Program to help women get better healthcare and remove them from violent situations.
Romania: Olimpia Elena Carmina Cotfas
Olimpia Elena Carmina Cotfas, 20, is a student studying history who intends to be a professor someday, as the Miss Universe website says.
She’s currently a passionate radio host and model, and she used to be a professional volleyball player. Cotfas has a love of music as well, and she sings and plays piano.
Russia: Ralina Arabova
Ralina Arabova, 22, is currently enrolled at two universities where she studies advertising and public relations, as well as law, according to the Miss Universe website.
She’s also on her college’s stand-up comedy team, and she’s played a myriad of sports, including swimming and basketball.
Singapore: Nandita Banna
Nandita Banna, 21, is a lot of things: a freelance model for publications like Vogue Singapore, an avid dancer, and a student studying business management and information systems with the hope of making people’s lives better through technology, as stated on the Miss Universe website.
She is also an advocate for children, spending time with and supporting children through Care Corner Singapore. She also does art projects with children in her community.
Slovak Republic: Veronika Ščepánková
By day, Veronika Ščepánková, 26, who goes by Vea, uses her degree in international business to work as a real-estate agent, according to the Miss Universe website.
Ščepánková loves to cook, and she has heterochromia. One of her eyes is blue, and the other is green.
South Africa: Lalela Mswane
Lalela Mswane, 24, is a model and ballerina, but she has a degree in law as well, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also founded the Lalela Mswane Foundation, which aims to empower South African children and give them opportunities they might not have otherwise.
Spain: Sarah Loinaz
Sarah Loinaz, 23, has a passion for ocean advocacy. She teaches children in Spain about how to recycle to protect the oceans around them as part of her Recycle, Sea, Action! campaign, according to the Miss Universe website.
Loinaz is also an ambassador for the Solidarity Needle Association, which allowed her to provide 120,000 items to help support the fight against COVID-19, including masks, gloves, and clothes.
Sweden: Moa Sandberg
Moa Sandberg, 26, currently works as a personal assistant, but she also runs an online personal coaching business with the hopes of raising the funds to open a hostel in Asia, per the Miss Universe website.
Sandberg is also in the process of learning sign language, and she embraced the nomadic lifestyle by living out of a van in the summer of 2020.
Thailand: Anchilee Scott-Kemmis
Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, 22, has a degree in sociology, and she is one of very few “curve” models in Thailand, as stated on the Miss Universe website.
Her two passions led her to start the #RealSizeBeauty campaign, which addresses unrealistic body standards people have in Thailand.
Turkey: Cemrenaz Turhan
Cemrenaz Turhan, 23, studies management engineering in Istanbul, per the Miss Universe website.
When she’s not in school, Turhan dedicates her time at NGOs that support the deaf community and those suffering from pediatric cancer. She also helps to protect world historic sites through her work with the World Heritage Volunteers and Travelers by UNESCO.
Ukraine: Hanna Neplyakh
Hanna Neplyakh, 27, holds a degree in engineering, but her passion lies in travel, as she’s already been to 30 countries in her life.
As a blogger, she hopes to inspire girls to be themselves and support victims of domestic abuse, as she is a survivor herself. She’s also an advocate for animals, frequently volunteering at animal shelters.
United States of America: Elle Smith
Elle Smith, 23, competed in her first pageant just six months ago, as Insider previously reported. She felt passionately about wearing her natural hair during the competition.
Smith has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, which she uses for her work as an on-air reporter.
Venezuela: Luiseth Materán
Luiseth Materán, 25, has a bachelor’s degree in communications, which she uses to work as the communications director for the app CEOS, as the Miss Universe website states.
But Materán’s dream is to become an actress. She’s working to make her goal a reality by studying theater and working on a tv show.
Materán is also an advocate for many causes, including those living with HIV/AIDs. She is passionate about serving those with Down syndrome as a result of her brother, who she calls her “biggest fan,” being born with Down syndrome.
Vietnam: Kim Duyen
Kim Duyen, 26, is the co-founder of the Spreading the Love foundation, which aims to support students pursue their academic goals regardless of their circumstance, as stated on the Miss Universe website.
Duyen also actively works in community healthcare advocacy, joining a COVID-19 youth task force in 2020, and she serves as the ambassador of Vietnam Solar Energy Park.
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