Meet the contestants

  • candidate-1

    Albania

    Lindita Idrizi

    Age: 20

    Hometown: Elbasan

    Height: 5'11

    Competing came easy for Lindita Idrizi as she has competed and won the three titles of Miss Elbasan, Miss Europe Continental and Miss Universe Albania. Not only does she enjoy her time in the spotlight, but she also likes taking time out for herself to play the flute. Idrizi’s main priority is finishing up her degree at AAB College, Pristina, Kosovo where she studies Social Science. Idrizi likes to pass the message on to ‘live in the moment’ and to take in every opportunity given. Idrizi is looking forward to meeting the women from all over the world, and hopes to take home her 4th crown this January.

  • Angola

    ANGOLA

    Luisa Baptista

    Age: 21

    Hometown: CUANDO CUBANGO

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Luisa Batista is a native of Kuando Kubango currently attending UPRA where she studies Psychology. On top of school, she volunteered for the National Institute of the Fight Against Cancer. In Batista’s spare time, you can catch her reading, going to the movies, dancing, or playing handball. If she were to become Miss Universe, she would love to continue to help raise awareness for Cancer.

  • Argentina

    ARGENTINA

    Estefania Bernal

    Age: 21

    Hometown: CIUDAD AUTONOMA DE BUENOS AIRES

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Estefania Bernal best describes herself as optimistic, persevering and cheerful. She is currently a professional publicity model while studying Media Communication in hopes of one day becoming a television producer. When she isn’t modeling or studying, Bernal can be seen dancing or playing sports. If crowned, Bernal hopes to advocate for women’s rights and also hopes to help those with lower resources.

  • ARUBA

    ARUBA

    Charlene Leslie

    Age: 24

    Hometown: ORANJESTAD

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Charlene Leslie is a 24 year old student who has her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health. Simultaneously, she decided to start her own practice where she helps clients achieve their nutritional goals by providing a more personal approach to each person. As a child, Leslie won many medals in Track & Field and as she grew older she was scouted for modeling. With an active and healthy lifestyle, Leslie enjoys running and finding recipes she can make healthier. If she is crowned the next Miss Universe, Leslie would like to use her platform to educate and lower the prevalence of obesity and lifestyle diseases worldwide.

  • AUSTRALIA

    AUSTRALIA

    Caris Tiivel

    Age: 23

    Hometown: PERTH

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Caris Tiivel hails from the Western Australian city, Perth. Caris’ talent and passions lie in the arts, where she has been recognized for over five years. Whether she is creating something on canvas or making something to model down a runway, she is always inventing new ways to express herself. Caris works closely with children who are in need through fundraising, functions, and mentorship programming. By competing at Miss Universe, she wants the world to know what and who she stands for.

  • Miss Universe Austria, Dajana Dzinic, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. H/O Miss Universe Organization.  ©IMG Universe LLC

    AUSTRIA

    Dajana Dzinic

    Age: 21

    Hometown: VIENNA

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Dajana Dzinic is an Austrian student studying legal rights and jurisprudence in her fourth year of education at the Johannes Keppler University in Linz. Dajana proactively works on humanitarian projects such as helping refugees and animals. In her down time, Dajana likes to ski, hike, swim, and draw. As a Miss Universe contestant, she plans to take the stage to highlight the attributes of the modern women, by showing that she is career oriented, independent, and educated.

  • BAHAMAS

    BAHAMAS

    Cherell Williamson

    Age: 24

    Hometown: NASSAU

    Height: 6’

    Entrepreneur, Cherell Williamson, is a gifted makeup artist, face painter and jewelry designer. She is from Nassau and has spent 8 of her young academic years competitively swimming. During her final year of high school, she had the privilege of participating in The National Art Enrichment Program where her creative talents blossomed under the tutelage of industry experts. After finding her passion, Williamson opened her first business while pursuing further training at a cosmetics school with local professionals. It is no surprise that her attraction to fashion, beauty and art would eventually lead her to a modeling career. She has walked the runway of many hometown and international stages. With a busy schedule, Williamson finds time to work with her mother at their Bahamian Boutique and also train hearing impaired young ladies on the art of jewelry making. It is through this giving program that has pushed her to open the Hearing Impaired Native Craft Center. If crowned Miss Universe, Williamson would advocate alongside with the AIDS foundation to raise awareness and diminish the discrimination on people with HIV/AIDS.

  • BARBADOS

    BARBADOS

    Shannon Harris

    Age: 22

    Hometown: BRIDGETOWN

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Shannon Harris is proud to be the first title holder of Barbados in over nine years. As one of the few Barbadians to ever receive a major modeling contract, Harris has learned that hard work truly pays off. When she isn’t on the runway, you can catch Harris lounging in sweatpants or yoga pants. Shannon is an avid reader, especially when it comes to self-improvement books. Harris also has worked with several charities in Barbados, including “I Am A Girl”’ that works with high school girls to empower them to know that their voice matters. If she were to win the title of Miss Universe, Harris would want to use her voice to encourage young girls that loving yourself and being true to yourself is the best thing you can do.

  • BELGIUM

    BELGIUM

    Stephanie Geldhof

    Age: 19

    Hometown: AALST

    Height: 5’ 8”

    19 year old Stephanie Geldhof is one of the youngest contestants to compete in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition. She resides near Brussels and is studying Marketing Management at the city center of Aalst in Belgium. Before studying Marketing Management, Geldof went to beauty school and became a professional esthetician. With a wide range of artistic talents, Geldhof models, paints and sings. Geldhof likes to stay fit by being involved with acrobatic gymnastics and swimming. If she were to be crowned Miss Universe, Geldhof would want to be a role model and make a difference to people all over the world.

  • BELIZE

    BELIZE

    Rebecca Rath

    Age: 23

    Hometown: DANGRIGA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Rebecca Rath was born in the small coastal town of Dangriga, Belize. Spending much of her life outdoors, Rath grew up learning about diversity and many natural attractions including the tropical rainforest and Caribbean Sea of Belize. Her sporty side came out when she began playing volleyball in high school, representing Belize internationally in both beach and indoor volleyball. After high school she attended The University of Houston and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management. Later, Rath moved back to Belize and became the 3rd generation of her family to work in their quaint hotel and actively participate in the national tourism organizations. Today she works with women of all ages and backgrounds as an event and restaurant manager, and she also volunteers as a volleyball coach at her former high school. If Rath wins the title, she hopes to raise awareness on domestic violence and also contribute to the non-profit children institutions in her country.

  • BOLIVIA

    BOLIVIA

    Antonella Moscatelli

    Age: 21

    Hometown: SANTA CRUZ

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Antonella Moscatelli is no stranger to seeing hard work pay off. Antonella grew up seeing poverty first hand in Bolivia. After learning English and receiving education from a convent, she made it her duty to give back to those who are struggling to make ends meet. Antonella believes that she is representing more than just herself and her country at Miss Universe, she is representing all  the people in Bolivia. Antonella says that with effort and sacrifice, everything can be achieved in life, which is exactly how she made it to the Miss Universe stage.

  • BRAZIL

    BRAZIL

    Raissa Santana

    Age: 21

    Hometown: ITABERABA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Raissa Santana is a basketball playing, cooking enthusiast who graduated college with a Marketing degree. Santana is so proud to be representing Brazil as the first black woman crowned in 30 years. Santa has volunteered with the elderly and hopes to get involved with charities and organizations that focuses on child adoption. With her charm and attitude, she hopes to have the judges eyes locked on her during the Miss Universe Competition.

  • BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

    BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

    Erika Creque

    Age: 22

    Hometown: ROAD TOWN

    Height: 5’ 6”

    A ball of fun as described by her friends, Erika Renae Creque is an absolute daredevil. Her bucket list consists of bungee jumping and skydiving. Being a Caribbean girl at heart, Creque has a great love for the environment and participates in various non profit organizations such as Association of Reef Keepers, Caribbean Youth Environmental Network, GreenVI and Greencrete VI. She enjoyed helping people so much that she decided she wanted to be a firefighter. Creque has training in basic life support skills, first aid and has completed basic EMT training. She wishes to complete the full course in order to qualify as an EMT. Her true life goal is to become a Civil Engineer and plans to pursue a degree in that field. Creque is prepared to rock her free spirit and hardcore lifestyle on the Miss Universe stage.

  • BULGARIA

    BULGARIA

    Violina Ancheva

    Age: 21

    Hometown: SOFIA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Violina Ancheva would describe herself as a powerful woman with great leadership skills. Ancheva is 21 year old student, studying European Studies at The University of Sofia. She hopes to have a political career and one day become the first woman president of Bulgaria. A unique quality of Ancheva is that her first name stems from the word ‘violin’, making her always feel ‘gentle as a melody’. Taking home the crown would be a dream for Ancheva, and if she does, she hopes to help people who have suffered and is suffering from anorexia.

  • CANADA

    CANADA

    Siera Bearchell

    Age: 23

    Hometown: MOOSE JAW

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Siera Bearchell is a law student, entrepreneur, runner, and golfer. After finishing her second year of law school, and running her first marathon, Bearchell earned the right to represent Canada at Miss Universe. Most people enter the world of pageants with potential stardom in mind, but Bearchell began competing for a completely different reason. After her family lost their home to a fire, she was inspired by the help they received from Red Cross. Seeing pageants as potential opportunities to commit herself to charity and community, she set her sights on becoming Miss Teen Saskatchewan and has risen to the heights of Miss Universe Canada. Siera plans to use her law degree for business endeavours and to help the most vulnerable communities throughout the globe. Bearchell is so fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer for more than seven charities, and if she takes home the Miss Universe crown, she would like to focus on working with young women on their self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.

  • CAYMAN ISLANDS

    CAYMAN ISLANDS

    Monyque Brooks

    Age: 25

    Hometown: WEST BAY

    Height: 5’ 9”

    A love for Caymanian arts, culture and heritage has heavily influenced Monyque Brooks life. Brooks is set on leaving her footprint in the arts industry through participation in major programs, festivals, and dance. Brooks has a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and currently puts that to great use working at the Department of Tourism. For her, becoming the next Miss Universe is not only a lifelong dream but also a mission to inspire and induce change. Brooks vows to stay dedicated to her cause, Dance through the Heart, while continuously demonstrating her zeal and commitment to ‘Caymankind’.

  • CHILE

    CHILE

    Catalina Paz Cáceres

    Age: 26

    Hometown: SANTIAGO

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Catalina Paz Cáceres enjoys spending most of her time with animals, painting, or volunteering. Besides her family, she looks up to Erika Olivera who is an olympic athlete, a child abuse survivor, and has lived in poverty. Cáceres volunteers at Racion Alzheimer Chile and she loves knowing that she is making a difference in somebody’s life. Cáceres is proud and determined to take home the Miss Universe crown because she knows that Chilean women are fighters. If Cáceres is crowned, she hopes to raise awareness and support women who have been abused.

  • CHINA

    CHINA

    Li ZhenYing

    Age: 23

    Hometown: SHANGHAI

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Miss Universe China, Li ZhenYing, is a 23 year old native of Shanghai. When ZhenYing isn’t studying for Administration at Polytechnic University, you can find her playing the ukulele or volunteering at Smile Train. Her other interests include singing, dancing and acting. Previously, ZhenYing has worked on the 2010 Shanghai World Expo China Pavilion and was recently a host for a Rio Olympic Games television show. ZhenYing is proud to be representing China in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition and if she takes home the crown she hopes to spread the message of self love.

  • COLOMBIA

    COLOMBIA

    Andrea Tovar

    Age: 23

    Hometown: QUIBDÓ

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Full of creativity, Andrea Tovar, graduated college with an Industrial Design and Photo Production degree. Tovar is described as beautiful, funny and a risk taker by some of her friends. On top of being a great friend, she also enjoys being an active volleyball player. Her confidence allows her to be goofy and she isn’t afraid to randomly get up and start dancing. If crowned Miss Universe, Tovar wants her generation to be properly educated on the environment. One of her dreams is to create an innovative foundation that uses raw materials from the Pacific region to transform Colombian products.

  • COSTA RICA

    COSTA RICA

    Carolina Duran

    Age: 27

    Hometown: ALAJUELA

    Height: 5’ 7”

    English teacher, Carolina Rodriguez Duran, has a zest for life and lives every moment to the fullest. Making people laugh with her bubbly personality is something she strives to do. Carolina has had a passion for sports since the age of 7 and is now considered a professional swimmer. Through swimming, she has harnessed the value of discipline, perseverance, and strength teaching her that hard work always pays off. As a volunteer, Carolina collects trash/non-organic residues from rivers to protect the water and create a cleaner environment. Carolina has also volunteered at Plant a Tree In Bioparque, Organization Llovera Comida, Costa Rica National Children’s´ Hospital, and Youth Committee of Alajuela. With her active lifestyle, will to help others, and intelligence, Carolina hopes to win the upcoming competition for Costa Rica.

  • CROATIA

    CROATIA

    Barbara Filipovic

    Age: 19

    Hometown: ZAGREB

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Barbara Filipovic has been working hard in university to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian. Barbara grew up in Zagreb but always preferred to play outside and surround herself in nature, especially playing with dogs and riding horses. She is dedicating her life to veterinary medicine because she believes that there is so much more to our relationship with animals. With instinct and intellect, you can expect Barbara to leave her mark at the Miss Universe Competition.

  • CURACAO

    CURACAO

    Chanelle De Lau

    Age: 21

    Hometown: WILLEMSTAD

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Chanelle de Lau isn’t all business, though studying International Business and Management at school. In her spare time, you can catch Chanelle cooking and creating exciting new dishes for family and friends. For relaxation, Chanelle enjoys dancing as a form of showing her self-expression and also to relax. In her final year of highschool, Chanelle devastatingly lost her father to cancer. Now, as an advocate for Cancer research, Chanelle is working with many people and organizations around the world to use her voice to advocate for cancer awareness and prevention. If crowned Miss Universe she can reach more people all over the world and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

  • CZECH REPUBLIC

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    Andrea Bezdekova

    Age: 21

    Hometown: PRAGUE

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Andrea Bezdekova is a 21 year old student who was born in Nacho and now resides in Prague. Bezdekov is currently studying at The Charles University where she hopes to graduate with a degree in Sports Management. Fitness is her main priority and if she isn’t at the gym, you can find her exercising by dance or cheerleading. Described as positive and funny, Bezdekova believes that everyone should be confident in their true selves. Challenging tasks and exploring new things is something that Bezdekova thrives to do, and she is ready to accept the challenge of taking home the Miss Universe crown.

  • DENMARK

    DENMARK

    Christina Mikkelsen

    Age: 24

    Hometown: COPENHAGEN

    Height: 5’ 9”

    After being named first runner up at the 2011 Miss Universe Denmark, Christina Mikkelsen knew, in order to pursue her goal of representing Denmark at Miss Universe, she needed to be prepared. By networking and traveling internationally to work with charitable organizations, Christina found herself in China. She spent an entire year in China volunteering her time and efforts to various charities. She then returned to Denmark to study politics and journalism. She traveled to West Africa and obtained a job as an image consultant for a national television station. She also spent a considerable amount of her time volunteering for the organization CANIGE. Through the CANIGE organization she was able to work with the VIVA organization in Singapore. She was honored to be able to be the liaison to connect the two organizations to work together towards their goals. At 24, Christina now resides in Denmark and owns a salon in Copenhagen. Christina would be honored to continue her travels as the next Miss Universe.

  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Sal Garcia

    Age: 24

    Hometown: MAIMÓN, MONSEÑOR NOUEL

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Rosalba “Sal García” Abreu was born into a large agricultural and cattle breeding family in Maimón, in the province of Monseñor Nouel in the Dominican Republic. Sal joined her father, and 12 brothers and sisters, in raising cows and selling pineapples until she was quickly scouted by a modeling agency at 16. Sal is proud to say that her accidental career as a model has helped her pave way into having her own modeling business while paying her own college tuition. On top of her business, she enlists her volunteering services for the charitable organization “Corazones Nobles.” It was one of her proudest accomplishments for she believes that volunteering keeps her humane and humble. If she becomes Miss Universe, she is excited to continue to volunteer for many organizations.

  • ECUADOR

    ECUADOR

    Connie Jimenez

    Age: 21

    Hometown: VENTANAS

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Connie Jiménez is an Agribusiness Engineer who isn’t afraid to kick off her heels and get to work. When she is out of the spotlight, this environment lover can be seen working in the land wearing rubber boots full of mud and a sun hat. As the current Miss Ecuador, she focuses on helping families in her country that were affected by the earthquake last April. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases leading to death in Ecuador, which is why she got involved in working with ‘FUVIDA’ a Diabetes Organization. Jiménez also got involved with the prevention of HIV infection for babies born at the Mariana De Jesús Hospital. At the competition, she wants to show young women that nothing is impossible if you are strong and courageous. If she is crowned Miss Universe, she would like to work on projects that teach people how to keep producing food in an eco-friendly way.

  • FINLAND

    FINLAND

    Shirly Karvinen

    Age: 24

    Hometown: HELSINKI

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Only child, Shirly Karvinen grew up in Africa where she lived with her parents for seven years. At age seven, her family moved back to Finland to start her in elementary school where she grew insecure because of bullying. Eventually, when Karvinen grew older she moved to the capital and, it changed her way of thinking. With an Applied Sciences degree, Karvinen went off to China to explore her roots which led her to get an internship at the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. After coming back to Finland, she continued her studies and worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Karvinen hopes to take home the Miss Universe crown, and if she does, she hopes to raise awareness on bullying, since the issue is so close to her heart.

  • FRANCE

    FRANCE

    Iris Mittenaere

    Age: 23

    Hometown: PARIS

    Height: 5’ 8”

    23 year old Iris Mittenaere was born in North of France in a town called Lille. Mittenaere has kept herself busy the last 5 years by pursuing her degree in Dental Surgery. Besides dental school, Mittenaere has always been fond of extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking new French dishes. Fresh, funny and caring is how she would best describe herself. She enjoys making others happy, especially when volunteering at Bienvenue-Tongasoa and Les Bonnes Fées. Mittenaere is honored to be representing France in the upcoming Miss Universe competition. If she takes home the crown, she hopes to advocate for dental and oral hygiene.

  • GEORGIA

    GEORGIA

    Nuka Karalashvili

    Age: 25

    Hometown: TBILISI

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Nuka Karalashvili is 25 years old and currently working as a Public Relations Manager. Karalashvili is a model who enjoys a wide range of activities from traveling around the world to opening up a new book to read. What some people don’t know about her is that she has an artistic side, which includes special training in piano and dance. Some words of wisdom that Karalashvili lives by is that you should always stay true to yourself. Karalashvili has been involved with the Olympic Games Organizations and hopes to work with charities involving homeless children if crowned Miss Universe.

  • GERMANY

    GERMANY

    Johanna Acs

    Age: 24

    Hometown: ESCHWEILER

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Johanna Acs is a student of Textile and Clothing Management whose concern especially lies in improving the textile production conditions in developing countries. Her biggest passion in life is traveling, and after visiting over 50 countries she has seen the positive and negative sides of the world. While experiencing the negatives, Acs was inspired to change the world, so she established her own charity organization ‘Healing Art’. Going above and beyond her limits is something that Acs is known for. Not only when traveling, but also when doing extraordinary activities such as skydiving, swimming with sharks, and climbing volcanoes. She hopes to be crowned the next Miss Universe at the upcoming competition. If crowned, she would love to continue to advocate for HIV awareness, and also raise more awareness and support for clothing production in developing countries.

  • GREAT BRITAIN

    GREAT BRITAIN

    Jaime-Lee Faulkner

    Age: 27

    Hometown: SHEFFIELD

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Proudly representing Great Britain, 27 year old Beauty Specialist Jaime-Lee Faulkner is excited to work for the crown this year. She is a great team member and her bubbly personality is contagious, as she has the ability to keep everyones spirits up through tough times. Faulkner is proud to be an ambassador for a local charity that supports children and teenagers who are at risk through running away from home. When Faulkner isn’t volunteering, she enjoys adventurous challenges. She has hiked to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and is currently a trained and qualified ski instructor and master scuba diver. One of her biggest achievements is when she got up close and personal with sharks in the open water. Experiencing the underwater world encouraged Faulkner to learn more about marine conservation, and if she is lucky enough to be crowned Miss Universe, she will use the platform to continue to learn and raise awareness on this global issue.

  • GUAM

    GUAM

    Muneka Joy Cruz Taisipic

    Age: 19

    Hometown: YONA

    Height: 5’ 6”

    This 19-year-old isn’t only an athlete, Muneka Joy Cruz Taisipic is also a student studying Pre-Physical Therapy. When she’s not in the classroom, you can catch her playing volleyball, rugby or paddling. Before winning the title of Miss Guam, Taisipic was a tomboy who had never walked in heels. She is proud to be stepping out of her comfort zone and is confident in who she is. Taisipic hopes to take the crown home, and if she does she would want to advocate healthy lifestyles among people of all races and ages.

  • GUATEMALA

    GUATEMALA

    Virginia Argueta

    Age: 22

    Hometown: JUTIAPA

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Virginia Argueta is a student studying External Relations at the Universidad Rafael Landivar. After she gets her degree, Argueta plans on studying abroad in Paris to get her Master’s Degree. Argueta is constantly reading books and political articles. Her dream is to one day become a deputy in the congress of the Republic of Guatemala. Argueta has volunteered at the Asociación Anini de Guatemala, which is a non-governmental organization and hopes to advocate for Cancer and Malnutrition in the future. When she is not practicing for the upcoming Miss Universe Competition, you can catch Argueta practicing her salsa dancing across the stage. If she becomes the next Miss Universe, Argueta hopes to exalt the values of her nation and demonstrate to the world that Guatemala is a progressively developing country.

  • GUYANA

    GUYANA

    Soyini Fraser

    Age: 26

    Hometown: GEORGETOWN

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Soyini Fraser hails from the “Garden City” Georgetown, the Capital of Guyana. This stunning beauty is a media personality, an executive producer of her own television series and a professionally trained dancer and actress. Soyini is an aspiring Christian Child Psychologist, and has been closely working with elderly and children, who are less fortunate, by empowering them through mentorship. Soyini is recognized as a Special Ambassador by the Guyana Tourism Authority and plans to share the warmth of her Guyanese people with her sisters at Miss Universe!

  • HAITI

    HAITI

    Raquel Pelissier

    Age: 25

    Hometown: PORT-AU-PRINCE

    Height: 5’ 11”

    The multi-talented, Haiti born contestant, Raquel Pelissier, is excited to compete in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition. This 25 -year old has survived the earthquake that destroyed her hometown in January 2010, which made her value her life and fight for her goals and dreams. Something that makes Pelissier extra special is that she is quadrilingual. She enjoys reading a good book and going to museums. Not only does she love learning new things on her own, she is also getting her Master’s Degree in Scientific Research in Optometry and Vision. She is working on a research project on the regeneration of the optic nerve. She hopes to become the first Miss Universe to find a cure for blindness.

  • HONDURAS

    HONDURAS

    Sirey Moran

    Age: 26

    Hometown: EL PROGRESO, YORO

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Described as sweet and humble by friends and family, Sirey Moran always strives to have an optimistic view in life. Before going to her business classes at La Guardia Community College, Moran enjoys waking up extra early before taking a breakfast, to do her exercise. Moran believes that smiling and being happy will help you live a happier and healthier life. After volunteering at FEIH, Rotary Club of Historic Jackson Heights, Charmont Academy Roatan Honduras, and more, Moran hopes to use her experiences in helping raise awareness on abandoned children. Moran hopes to take home the crown, and make a positive change for the world.

  • HUNGARY

    HUNGARY

    Veronika Bódizs

    Age: 24

    Hometown: BUDAPEST

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Veronika Bódizs is a 24 year old student studying Financial Management at The International Business School. When the textbooks are closed, Bódizs likes to read books on positive psychology because she believes that the most important value in life is knowledge. For relaxation, Bódizs enjoys listening to music, and especially playing her violin. In her spare time, Bódizs volunteers at orphanages and likes to value and remind the children of how important they truly are. If crowned Miss Universe, Bódizs would like to inspire women to trust and love themselves because love is beauty.

  • ICELAND

    ICELAND

    Hildur Maria

    Age: 24

    Hometown: KÓPAVOGUR

    Height: 5’ 6”

    Hildur Maria is an extreme sports adrenaline junkie with a passion for motorbike racing and snowboarding. Whether she’s playing Iceland’s national sport, handball, or traveling the world as a flight attendant, Hildur is always looking for the next big rush. She plans on tackling the Miss Universe competition with the confidence of her daredevil edge.

  • INDIA

    INDIA

    Roshmitha Harimurthy

    Age: 22

    Hometown: BANGALORE

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Roshmitha Harimurthy is a multilingual student at Mount Carmel College pursuing her Master’s Degree in International Business. With an eagerness to help others, Harimurthy decided to share her knowledge by volunteering as a teacher at Thanisandra Government Primary School in association with EFSA (Eco Foundation for Sustainable Alternatives). When Harimurthy has time for herself, she enjoys reading, dancing, gardening, and swimming. Competing in pageants has helped Harimurthy overcome her fear in public speaking and she has grown so much since then.Taking home the crown would give Harimurthy so much pride in her country, and if she does, she hopes to advocate for healthcare and HIV awareness.

  • INDONESIA

    INDONESIA

    Kezia Warouw

    Age: 25

    Hometown: JAKARTA

    Height: 6’

    ‘Keke’, formally known as Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, is a humble yet wise girl who wants to inspire many young women around the world. Keke got her degree in Informatics Engineering and later became employed and held the position Head of Accounting and Finance. On top of juggling her school work and her career, she began volunteering for Smile Train Indonesia. In the future, she hopes to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS for young children and women. Rarely tall for an Indonesian woman, Keke is ready to use height and her past experiences as an advantage in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition.

  • ISRAEL

    ISRAEL

    Yam Kaspers Anshel

    Age: 18

    Hometown: HERZELIYA

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Yam Kaspers Anshel is proud to be representing Israel in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition. Not only does Yam compete in pageants, but she also competes in horseback riding. In her spare time, Yam can be found scuba diving, boating, or just lounging in the sand. Yam loves the sea, she grew up sailing Israel and abroad with her parents. Yam is excited to meet the new contestants and is looking forward to creating great friendships within the community. With a competitive lifestyle and bright personality, Yam hopes to take home this year’s crown.

  • ITALY

    ITALY

    Sophia Sergio

    Age: 24

    Hometown: NAPLES

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Motivated and determined is how 24 year old, Sophia Sergio, would describe herself. Besides studying Marketing Management at Parthenope University in Naples, Sergio travels and enjoys exploring new cultures. She is a very positive person and strives to bring out the positivity in everyone around her. Sergio is very excited to be representing Italy in the upcoming Miss Universe Competition. Sergio hopes to take home the crown and to make her mother proud by advocating for Breast Cancer Awareness.

  • JAMAICA

    JAMAICA

    Isabel Dalley

    Age: 20

    Hometown: MONTEGO BAY

    Height: 6’ 2”

    Inspired by her 3 younger siblings, 20- year old Isabel Dalley hopes to demonstrate great leadership and nurturing qualities throughout her reign. Growing up with her grandparents who had many cats, dogs and koi fish, Isabel developed a deep and everlasting love for animals. While in college, after a student based assessment, her geography class led her to the Montego Bay Marine Park. After falling in love with Montego Marine Park, she later became the Chief Ambassador. Dalley then realized her calling in life was to become a Marine Biologist. Her love for pageants happened after college when Dalley began her career in modeling, leading to photoshoots and small -scale modeling jobs. If crowned, she hopes to use her platform to raise awareness for marine biology and teach her followers about ways on how they unite to support marine life.

  • JAPAN

    JAPAN

    Sari Nakazawa

    Age: 23

    Hometown: SHIGA

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Sari Nakazawa is a senior dental student with a passion for children and travel. Making her way around the world, Sari has volunteered at orphanages and children’s hospitals in places like Vietnam and Cambodia. Along with her volunteer work, Sari also plays volleyball, arranges flowers, hosts tea parties, and plays piano. Becoming Miss Universe means Sari can combine her passions for travel and child advocacy into one, which is why she is working hard to earn the title.

  • KAZAKHSTAN

    KAZAKHSTAN

    Darina Kulsitova

    Age: 19

    Hometown: SEMEY

    Height: 5’ 6”

    Raised in a small town in Semey, 19- year old Darina Kulsitova holds the crown of Miss Universe Kazakhstan. When she isn’t studying Finance at Financial Economical College, Kulsitova enjoys collecting souvenirs and money from every country she travels to. She believes that self-confidence, happiness and beauty is something that comes from the inside, and believes that it is important to always spread that message. Kulsitova is a cheerful and determined girl who hopes to take home the crown. Her advocacy is  climate change awareness.

  • KENYA

    KENYA

    Mary Esther Were

    Age: 27

    Hometown: NAIROBI

    Height: 5’ 11”

    ‘Never give up’ is a quote that 27 -year old, Mary Esther Were, lives by. Mary is determined and proud to represent her country in the upcoming competition. She takes pride in Kenya’s magical destinations, from millennia-old acclaimed historical sites in Turkana to enchanting giant oak tree forests in Meru. Mary has accomplished a lot throughout the years, she wrote a novel she hopes to get published soon and she is a Marketing Administrator for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. Mary’s long -term aspiration is to talk to adolescents about never giving up on their dreams and to guide them to explore their personal uniqueness. Hoping to take home this year’s crown, Mary would like to advocate on HIV awareness, drug addiction and affordable rehabilitation.

  • KOREA

    KOREA

    Jenny Kim

    Age: 23

    Hometown: SEOUL

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Jenny Kim is a student at Ewha Womans University double majoring in International Office Administration and English Language and Literature. Kim would describe herself as passionate and warm-hearted, especially when she is volunteering as an interpreter at the Indonesian National Museum. Kim is ecstatic to be representing her country and culture at the upcoming Miss Universe competition. She is most excited about making unforgettable memories with the beautiful ladies from around the world. Kim will do her best to take home the  crown. If she does, she would want to advocate and raise awareness on child abuse.

  • KOSOVO

    KOSOVO

    Camila Barraza

    Age: 23

    Hometown: PRISHTINA

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Growing up in Pilar, Buenos Aires, Camila Barraza is the first woman not originally from Kosovo to win the Miss Kosovo Pageant. At the age of 14 she began modeling and shortly after, she started traveling abroad as a kickstart to her modeling career. After living in many countries, she eventually chose Kosovo, Prishtina as her home. The love of the city and the people is what made her decision to stay so much easier. On top of traveling, supporting her family is another accomplishment that Barraza was happy to do. It makes Barraza proud to know that what she does, makes her happy. With a helping mentality, Barraza hopes to take the crown and help as many people as possible.

  • MALAYSIA

    MALAYSIA

    Kiran Jassal

    Age: 20

    Hometown: SUBANG JAYA, SELANGOR

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Kiran Jassal is a bookworm and fitness junkie coming from a family of law enforcers. Reading over 800 books and participating in multiple obstacles, Kiran is always up for a new challenge. Currently, she is studying dentistry, believing that she can bring her patients their winning smile. Kiran believes in celebrating individuality in unity, which is what she plans to do while competing with contestants from all around the globe at the Miss Universe Competition.

  • MALTA

    MALTA

    Martha Fenech

    Age: 26

    Hometown: ST.JULIAN'S

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Miss Universe Malta, Martha Fenech, is a 26 year old Brand PR Representative for a global cosmetics company. She is currently writing a book about her travel experiences and eventually hopes to host her own travel show. Other goals she has set include: attempting to visit every country in the world, raising funds for ALS research in her country, and one day having her own family with as many kids as possible! Martha is thrilled to be the first Miss Universe Malta to return to the contest after a fifteen year hiatus.

  • MAURITIUS

    MAURITIUS

    Kushboo Ramnawa

    Age: 26

    Hometown: RIVIERE DU POSTE

    Height: 5’ 6”

    Kushboo Ramnawaj is the first Miss Universe Mauritius to come from Riviere Du Poste. With a degree in BEng (Hons) in Chemical and Renewable Energy Engineering and an active contributor to non-governmental organizations, she uses her diverse experiences to inspire herself to keep moving forward in learning even more. As a lover of nature, the Flora and Fauna of Mauritius is very important to her. If you don’t see Kushboo behind the camera, you can find her walking on the beach, listening to the sounds of the waves and spending time with her family and loved ones. Ramnawaj is excited to prepare for the upcoming Miss Universe Competition and is determined to take home the crown.

  • MEXICO

    MEXICO

    Kristal Silva

    Age: 25

    Hometown: CIUDAD VICTORIA, TAMAULIPAS

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Funny, positive, and committed is how 24 -year old Kristal Silva would describe herself. Ever since Silva was young, she had always watched the Miss Universe Competition and had always dreamt of competing. Now that she has the opportunity to compete, Silva is very proud to be representing the traditions and culture of her country on this year’s stage. If crowned, Silva would like to get involved in building homes for those in need.

  • MYANMAR

    MYANMAR

    Htet Htet Htun

    Age: 24

    Hometown: YANGON

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Htet Htet Htun is a 24- year old model who currently owns her own event management company. On top of her ownership of a company, Htun also conducts her own DJ classes for beginner students. Htun has been a part of five pageants and is proud to be finally representing her country at the upcoming Miss Universe competition. For volunteer work, The Miss Universe Myanmar Organization has gotten her involved with Smile Train. On the side, Htun volunteers at the Future Youth Donation Group and the Friends Donation Group. If crowned, Htun would be looking forward to raising awareness on those who are suffering from HIV.

  • NAMIBIA

    NAMIBIA

    Lizelle Esterhuizen

    Age: 20

    Hometown: WINDHOEK

    Height: 6’

    Lizelle Esterhuizen is very proud to represent Namibia for the first time in four years at this year’s Miss Universe competition. She believes that holding the title of Miss Universe brings great influence to those in need. Lizelle is working towards national reconciliation and uplifting the lives of the previously disadvantaged people in her homeland. From a small town girl to earning the title of Miss Namibia, she is now in a better position to make a meaningful difference and to live her dreams by representing her country on a global scale.

  • NETHERLANDS

    NETHERLANDS

    Zoey Ivory

    Age: 23

    Hometown: ALMERE

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Zoey Ivory, 23 years old, is a professional model and dancer who studied at the University of Education and Institute for Performing Arts. Ivory has studied many types of dance styles, and continues to express herself through movement. Ivory is known for having an artistic side, she has a passion for music, art and photography. While growing up she realized that reading and writing doesn’t come naturally for others. Therefore, if crowned, she would love to continue to help children learn by tutoring and reading stories to them.

  • NEW ZEALAND

    NEW ZEALAND

    Tania Dawson

    Age: 24

    Hometown: AUCKLAND

    Height: 5’ 5”

    Tania Dawson was born and raised in New Zealand in a rural town called Waiuku. An overachiever might be an understatement for Dawson, she graduated from The University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts, double major in Drama and Film/Television, and Media Studies. On top of that, Dawson has a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching. Dawson is now a secondary teacher in Media Studies and Drama and her students ages range from 11-18 years old. Not only did she put a lot of her effort in school, but she also volunteered at Variety-The Children’s Charity and has event managed a fundraising fashion show. If she becomes the next Miss Universe, she would like to support anti-domestic violence, gender equality and women’s rights.

  • NICARAGUA

    NICARAGUA

    Marina Jacoby

    Age: 21

    Hometown: MATAGALPA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Marina Jacoby is no stranger to being on stage and in the spotlight. This model and commercial actress has appeared in two international Mercedes Benz Fashion Week’s and television commercials. Currently, Marina is leading a campaign against bullying in her country. Winning Miss Universe is important to her because she wants the competition to shine a light on Nicaragua so the world can see the extraordinary features Nicaragua has to offer.

  • NIGERIA

    NIGERIA

    Unoaku Anyadike

    Age: 22

    Hometown: LAGOS

    Height: 6’

    Unoaku Anyadike is a young, ambitious and beautiful 22 -year old, who was born into the Anyadike family from the eastern part of Nigeria, Anambra State. Anyadike graduated with honors in Psychology from the University of Ibadan, which is the the first University in Nigeria. She is currently undergoing the National Youth Service corps ( NYSC) in her country at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which is a mandatory service to her country. Anyadike is an advocate of Endometriosis awareness. She is very passionate about children. If she were to hold the title of Miss Universe, Anyadike would hope to have her own school and help counsel youths to enable them to have a brighter future.

  • NORWAY

    NORWAY

    Christina Waage

    Age: 21

    Hometown: NES, NORWAY

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Christina Waage is the local union leader for Nes Red Cross and is also a student in nursing school. Christina chose this career path because helping people is an act that she holds close to her heart. She is passionately working hard to bring help and advocacy to children with disabilities. Being Miss Universe Norway has given her the opportunity to bring her work to a national level, if she wins Miss Universe, maybe even the world.

  • PANAMA

    PANAMA

    Keity Drennan

    Age: 26

    Hometown: PANAMA CITY

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Keity Drennan is not a stranger to pageants. Drennan is a Panamanian-American model, a former Miss International Panamá 2011 contestant and has competed in Miss Panamá 2016 where she won the title of Virreina Panamá in 2011. Now, Drennan is thrilled to represent Panama at the upcoming Miss Universe competition. After graduating high school at American College in Panama City, Drennan won the ‘Chica Chico Modelo’ contest which led her to her modeling career. She had the chance to work with Physical Modelos, represent Panama in the Ford Model’s Supermodel of the World 2008, and is now employed with Next Models in Miami. With her successful modeling background, Drennan hopes to win the title of Miss Universe. If she wins, Drennan wants to advocate for children who have autism. She believes that society today has a lot of misinformation on autism. She wants the world to know that children with autism have just as many skills, if not more, as everyone else.

  • PARAGUAY

    PARAGUAY

    Melgarejo Gonzale

    Age: 22

    Hometown: VILLARRICA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Melgarejo Gonzale is an extreme sports lover who was born in Villarrica, Paraguay. This 22 year- old lady is always on the go, as she is a medical student, a haute couture professional model, a car racing co -driver, and a chemistry, math and physics teacher. Gonzale also volunteers at schools from rural areas, orphanages, nursing homes, and assists children who are deaf. If crowned Miss Universe, she would love to encourage others to help save lives by being organ donors.

  • PHILIPPINES

    PHILIPPINES

    Maxine Medina

    Age: 26

    Hometown: QUEZON CITY

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Originally from Quezon City, Philippines, Maxine Medina is a sporty Runway, TVC and Print Model at the Professional Models Association of the Philippines. Medina enjoys being creatively engaged in her work, which is why she is so successful at being a residential condominiums interior designer. Medina has visited children who had cancer at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, supported “Operation: Smile” in Sta. Ana Hospital, taught street children organized by Gawad Kalinga, and participated in relief operations to typhoon victims within the Philippines. After her actively working face to face with many children, she would love to continue to work with adolescents who have cancer if crowned Miss Universe.

  • POLAND

    POLAND

    Izabella Krzan

    Age: 21

    Hometown: OLSZTYN

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Izabella Krzan was born in medium size city in Poland called Olsztyn. Krzan currently resides in Warsaw where she studies Economics at Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Not only is Krzan sporty,  she also has a very elegant side in her. Aside from volleyball, Krzan likes to share her pageant stage with ballroom dancing. In the future, she hopes to become fluent in Spanish and also become the next big TV presenter. If crowned the next Miss Universe, she hopes to raise awareness on the terrorism happening around the world.

  • PORTUGAL

    PORTUGAL

    Flávia Brito

    Age: 23

    Hometown: VILAMOURA

    Height: 5’ 7”

    With a degree in Tourism, Flávia Brito, currently works as the Chief Stewardess at Motor Yachts. When she isn’t working, Brito enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and watching movies. Being active comes naturally for Brito, as she enjoys swimming, handball and volleyball. You can find her at the sea when she is most at peace and well. If crowned Miss Universe, Brito hopes to help and raise awareness for people who are homeless because she believes they deserve attention, education, medication, and joy.

  • PUERTO RICO

    PUERTO RICO

    Brenda Jimenez

    Age: 22

    Hometown: AGUADILLA

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Brenda Azaria Jimenez is a 22 -year old Biology and Psychology Honor Student at the University of Puerto Rico. She plans to one day become a Neonatal Pediatrician in hopes of helping children have a better quality of life. Jimenez was raised in Aguadilla Puerto Rico where she played in numerous basketball teams on a local and national level. Pigeon racing, horseback riding and modeling are some of her favorite pastimes. Throughout her life, she has volunteered with community initiatives to help the homeless by collecting food and personal items. She also participated in health clinics for addicts and HIV positive individuals that live on the streets. If she takes home the crown, she would want to continue to be an advocate of HIV awareness with special attention to homeless people who could be afflicted with the disease.

  • ROMANIA

    ROMANIA

    Teodora Dan

    Age: 27

    Hometown: BUCHAREST

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Teodora Dan is a 27-year-old full time model, born and raised in Romania. With an outgoing personality, Teodora thrives most when she is swimming, canoeing and scuba diving. Not only does Teodora have an active lifestyle,  she’s also artistic and is a great painter. For relaxation, Teodora enjoys cooking and dancing. Helping others is something that Teodora also strives to do. She has contributed to developing communities by learning how to build walls, plaster, mix mortar, lay blocks, and more for schools and homes. If she is crowned Miss Universe, Teodora hopes to advocate for awareness on abused and abandoned animals.

  • RUSSIA

    RUSSIA

    Yuliana Korolkova

    Age: 22

    Hometown: ORSK

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Yuliana Korolkova is a 22-year old student attending British Higher School of Art & Design where she learns how to turn new ideas into objects. Born in the Orenburg region, she now lives and studies in Moscow. With a friendly personality and a sense of humor, Korolkova loves to meet as many people as possible and make new friends from around the world. Yoga is one of her favorite ways to keep in shape, clear the mind and hold good balance. If crowned, Korolkova would like to fight against substandard food such as trans fat. She believes, living healthy makes you live happy.

  • SIERRA LEONE

    SIERRA LEONE

    Hawa Kamara

    Age: 26

    Hometown: FREETOWN

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Hawa Kamara is making history this year by being the first contestant to represent her beautiful Republic of Sierra Leone during the Miss Universe competition. Kamara was born in Kono, the land of diamonds, and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city. After graduating Methodist Girls High School, one of the most prestigious girls school in Freetown, she began traveling and competing in beauty pageants. On the weekends, Kamara spends her time volunteering by talking to young girls about the importance of education. Kamara is looking forward to meeting all the contestants representing their country in the competition. Kamara hopes to continue to make history by taking home the crown, if she does, she hopes to advocate and raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.

  • SINGAPORE

    SINGAPORE

    Cheryl Chou

    Age: 20

    Hometown: SINGAPORE ISLAND

    Height: 5’ 6”

    Cheryl Chou hails from the sunny island of Singapore in the South East Asia region. She grew up as a lover of sports and played for her middle school’s touch rugby team for three years. Being an animal lover, Chou devotes her time helping strays find a home, she especially did such when she was living abroad. Currently, she is living on a plant-based diet to show her support towards protecting the lives of animals and shares her progress through social media. If crowned Miss Universe, Chou would love to continue to support animal rights and spread the importance of veganism around the world.

  • SLOVAK REPUBLIC

    SLOVAK REPUBLIC

    Zuzana Kollarova

    Age: 25

    Hometown: BRATISLAVA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Zuzana Kollarova is a busy student at the University of Seattle as she is finishing up her BSBA  degree and plans of getting an MBA degree in the near future. Always smiling, Kollarova is always surrounding herself with animals and she helps them as much as possible. Kollarova always reminds herself to never give up, which is why she is fully motivated to fulfill her dreams. You can find Kollarova traveling, learning about different cultures and meeting new people. Kollarova is honored to be representing Slovak Republic at the upcoming competition and she is looking forward to meeting all  the wonderful contestants.

  • SLOVENIA

    SLOVENIA

    Lucija Potocnik

    Age: 25

    Hometown: LJUBLJANA

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Lucija Potočnik is a 25- year old Education Major planning to be a teacher in a primary school. She enjoys teaching others so much, that she began teaching ‘walking’ in a modeling school. Potočnik believes that teaching is the most powerful tool that we can use to positively change the world. Donating her time to an organization that offers holidays to under privileged children is something Potočnik loves to do in her spare time. For her personal time, Potočnik enjoys swimming and modeling. She strives to do everything she can with positive energy, which she is ready to show on the Miss Universe stage this year.

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    SOUTH AFRICA

    Ntandoyenkosi Kunene

    Age: 24

    Hometown: MKHONDO

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Ntandoyenkosi Kunene is a 24 -year old, Bachelor of Education Honours graduate who is currently the official ambassador for the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day. The organization gives South African girls first-hand experience in an industry, and it allows them future career opportunities. As the late Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the one tool that can be used to change the world.’ Ntando believes that having an education is vital, and it empowers others to be the best person they can be. If crowned Miss Universe, Ntando would want to pass his message on to young women, hoping it will be one of the key factors for South Africa’s socio-economic development.

  • SPAIN

    SPAIN

    Noelia Freire

    Age: 24

    Hometown: CIUDAD REAL

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Noelia Freire is a 24- year old certified hair dresser and model who is proud representing Spain in the upcoming Miss Universe competition. Being active is something Freire strives to do on a daily basis, whether that means working out or playing sports like basketball or soccer. Freire doesn’t necessarily believe in luck. She thinks that you’ll achieve your dreams if you work hard. Freire enjoys helping others, especially when it comes to helping those who have alzheimer’s at AFADAL. If crowned Miss Universe, Freire hopes that she can advocate and raise awareness on breast cancer.

  • SRI LANKA

    SRI LANKA

    Jayathi De Silva

    Age: 26

    Hometown: COLOMBO

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Jayathi De Silva was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka and then later moved to London, UK to do a BSc in Molecular Biology and Forensic Science and an MSc in Cancer Biology. She completed her studies and returned home to pursue a career in science and philanthropy. Currently, she works as a scientist, primarily focusing on cancer research and identifying genetic diseases. In her spare time she also models as she believes that it is important to have well-rounded experiences and broadening her creative horizons provides her with valuable perspective. Jayathi is a passionate activist and volunteers at the National Cancer Hospital in Sri Lanka. As Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2016 and a role model amongst her peers she is eager to raise awareness for palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients and to encourage young women to get into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields as there is a global underrepresentation of women in these fields. One day, Jayathi, hopes to become a renowned cancer researcher, contribute towards finding a cure for cancer with her research and improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients.

  • SWEDEN

    SWEDEN

    Ida Ovmar

    Age: 21

    Hometown: LULEÅ

    Height: 5’ 5”

    Ida Ovmar is an aspiring personal trainer with a passion for the great outdoors. Ida is a part of Sweden’s Sami people which are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions. Ida believes that everyone should eat clean, get enough sleep, and focus on maintaining their health. From a small farm in Sweden to the global Miss Universe stage, Ida is inspiring others to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

  • SWITZERLAND

    SWITZERLAND

    Dijana Cvijetic

    Age: 23

    Hometown: GOSSAU SG

    Height: 5’ 9”

    Dijana Cvijetic is a successful model and multiple crowned Miss, born and raised in Switzerland. As Miss Universe Switzerland, Dijana Cvijetic would like to request all young people to go their own way in life and have the courage to live their personal dreams. Cvijetic is one that loves to help others, and one of her proudest moments was when she helped the Balkan flood victims. If crowned, she hopes to get involved in raising awareness on animal rights and be a voice that can hopefully change fashion in a positive way.

  • TANZANIA

    TANZANIA

    Jihan Dimack

    Age: 20

    Hometown: DAR ES SALAAM

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Despite her gentle appearance, Jihan Dimack is a fierce young woman filled with determination. This Lebanese-Tanzanian grew up in a mixed culture and is the embodiment of diversity and beauty. Dimack currently works as an Administration Officer, and when she isn’t doing that she is continuing her modeling career. She has graced the cover of 3 Tanzanian magazines, won several Swahili Fashion Week awards, worked with over 15 designers, and has been featured in advertisements. Dimack hopes that her knowledge and beauty will take home the crown this January, and if so, she hopes to raise awareness on Wildlife Conservation in Tanzania.

  • THAILAND

    THAILAND

    Chalita Suansane

    Age: 22

    Hometown: SAMUTPRAKARN

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Chalita Suansane is a 22- year old Thailand native currently studying Microbiology at Mahasarakham University. Ever since Suansane was young, she was often curious and eager to learn new things, including a passion to explore living organisms that you cannot see by the eyes. On top of her studies, Suansane volunteers at ‘Baan Home Hug’ which is an orphanage that houses children who have inherited HIV from their parents, children who were abused, and children who have lost their family. If crowned, she would like to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. Suansane would also like to let young women know that fulfilling your own passions, having self-respect, and being compassionate to others will make you confidently beautiful in your own way.

  • TURKEY

    TURKEY

    Tansu Cakir

    Age: 21

    Hometown: ISTANBUL

    Height: 5’ 6”

    Tansu Sila Cakir surely knows how to kick you into shape for the Miss Universe Competition. While studying Nutrition, Dietetics and Psychology, Cakir also likes to keep herself moving in sports such as pilates, yoga and kickboxing. Healthy living plays a big role in Cakir’s life, she enjoys cooking organic meals and hopes to write a recipe book in the future. She would love to use her knowledge and education to help build and create more hospitals for people who have eating disorders. If crowned Miss Universe, Cakir would like to work with an organization that raises awareness to end world hunger.

  • U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

    U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

    Carolyn Carter

    Age: 27

    Hometown: ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

    Height: 5’ 7”

    Carolyn Carter may come from a small island, but she’s been actively working around the globe for years. Carolyn is an active spokesperson for HIV/AIDs awareness in the Caribbean, with her experience taking her all the way to Uganda. In her down time, she is a fashion blogger and painter. Being the first Chippewa woman to win the Miss Universe US Virgin Islands title, she plans on taking the stage to show the world what she has to offer.

  • UKRAINE

    UKRAINE

    ANDREA BEZDEKOVA

    Age: 19

    Hometown: KIEV

    Height: 5’ 11”

    Alena Spodynyuk is no stranger to friendly competition. From age 12 to 17, Alena played professional handball, even being chosen for the Olympic reserve of the Ukraine. Overall, her team brought 5 gold medals to Kiev. More than anything, Alena is passionate about her country, currently studying Tourism and Hospitality at the Kiev National University of Culture and Arts. She hopes that Miss Universe will bring her closer to her goal of becoming a host on TV.

  • URUGUAY

    URUGUAY

    Magdalena Cohendent

    Age: 22

    Hometown: ARTIGAS

    Height: 5’ 8”

    Magdalena Cohendent is a 22- year old student at U.T.U currently studying Business Administration. When she is not busy at school, Cohendent enjoys reading, cooking and cycling. She is excited to make her country proud and show the world how beautiful Uruguay truly is. If crowned, she would love to continue to support and raise awareness on HIV. On top of that, she would also like to fight against environmental pollution.

  • USA

    USA

    Deshauna Barber

    Age: 27

    Hometown: WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Height: 5’ 10”

    Deshauna Barber is the first woman actively serving in the US Army Reserve to win the title of Miss USA. After completing her Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Deshauna returned to live in Washington, D.C. working as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Deshauna has been spending her year as Miss USA working directly with soldiers suffering from PTSD and focusing on suicide prevention in the Armed Forces. Taking what she has learned from the US Army, Deshauna plans to make history for the United States of America at the Miss Universe Competition.

  • VENEZUELA

    VENEZUELA

    Mariam Habach

    Age: 20

    Hometown: EL TOCUYO EDO LARA

    Height: 6’

    Perseverance, hard working and determined is how 20- year-old, Mariam Habach, would describe herself. As a student studying dentistry, she is focused on providing children with the care they need for healthy and beautiful smiles. Her passion for helping others led her to work with more than two thousand adolescents in her volunteer work as Miss Venezuela. When Habach takes time out for herself, she enjoys singing and dancing. Habach is grateful to be representing Venezuela in the upcoming competition, and hopes to advocate for HIV awareness if she takes home the crown.

  • VIETNAM

    VIETNAM

    Le Hang

    Age: 23

    Hometown: DA NANG

    Height: 5’ 9”

    23 year old Le Hang isn’t shy when it comes to volunteering. Hang has been an Ambassador for the Miss Universe Vietnam Fund and Vietnam Agent Orange Relief, she has participated in #hashtaglunchbag, and volunteered for Smile Train Vietnam and Red Cross Vietnam. When Hang takes some time out for herself, you can see her playing the plucked zither, painting, boxing, or practicing martial arts. Hang would best describe herself as compassionate, generous and motivated. If crowned the next Miss Universe, Hang would like to use her voice to protect endangered animals. She wishes to be a cultural activist and role model for her country and eventually the world.

2016 MISS UNIVERSE CANDIDATE