|PHOTOGRAPHY BY FADIL BERISHA|
GIVE THREE ADJECTIVES THAT YOUR FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE YOU.
I believe my friends would describe me as ambitious, humble, and funny!
IF YOU WERE TO COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL IN THE NEXT LIFE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
If I were to come back as an animal in the next life it would most likely be as an otter! Like me, otters are so playful and love spending time by the water!
NAME THREE THINGS THAT YOU WOULD NEVER DO.
Three things I would never do are smoke a cigarette, bungee jump, or elope (because what girl hasn’t dreamed of her Cinderella wedding?)
CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT DESIGNER SHOES? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Although I do love my designer heels, sometimes my budget isn’t as big as I would like! So yes, I could live without my designer heels.
DO YOU THINK THAT "SEXUALITY EDUCATION" SHOULD BE PART OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS?
I do believe that giving the option for “sexuality education” in schools is important. Keeping children informed about sexual behavior can prevent sexually transmitted diseases as well as teen pregnancies down the road. However, I do believe parents and students both should have the option to decline the class.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
In the next five years I plan to be happy and successful! I hope to have started on my first dietetics based cookbook, “Red Carpet Nutrition,” as well as have a list of celebrity clients who I train to live a healthy lifestyle!
IS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IMPORTANT? WHY OR WHY NOT?
I do believe physical appearance is important in many aspects. Not only is it important for meeting new people and for employment opportunities, but also for self-confidence. When you feel like you look your best, you are more confident in whatever you are doing!
DO YOU THINK THAT OUR CULTURE IS TOO PREOCCUPIED WITH BEAUTY? HOW COULD WE CHANGE THAT?
I think our culture has become a little caught up in beauty and looks. Most of social media is used for selfies, and magazines continuously promote looking like the “perfect man or woman”. I think instead of promoting our outward appearance, we need to focus on promoting education and teaching young girls the importance of inward beauty.
DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM MAN (OR IF YOU'RE GAY, DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WOMAN).
The man of my dreams is passionate about what he does, whether it is being a father or running a company, he has a great sense of humor, he is adventurous and loves to go on spontaneous trips, and spoils me with ice-cream after I’ve had a long day!
HAVE YOU EVER HAD COSMETIC SURGERY OR ANY OTHER ALTERATION TO YOUR APPEARANCE?
I personally have never had cosmetic surgery performed. However, it is not because I am against plastic surgery, it is simply because I love myself the way I am!
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PAGEANTS LIKE MISS VENEZUELA PROMOTING COSMETIC SURGERY SO MUCH? IS THAT A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE EXAMPLE FOR YOUNG WOMEN?
I think promoting girls to have cosmetic surgery in order to win a pageant is a bad example. I don’t think we should be teaching young girls that in order to reach their dreams or become a national titleholder - that they need to first alter their bodies to appear to be perfect.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE THAT AMERICA FACES?
I think the biggest challenge we are facing is the expansion of technology and the loss of face-to-face relationships. Most of our days are spent texting, posting pictures on Instagram, or worrying about how many “followers” we have.
DO YOU THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE A CERTAIN AGE WHEN PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO RETIRE?
No, I don’t believe there should be a set age when people are forced to retire. I think that if a man or woman is willing or wants to work, they should be allowed.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH OLDER PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER LIFE-THREATENING DISEASES WHERE THEY CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES?
I believe that we should open facilities for those who are suffering from diseases and are unable to take care of themselves. These facilities should be safe, clean, and available to anyone who needs the help.
HOW SHOULD THE U.S. GOVERNMENT RESPOND TO THE THREAT OF ISIS?
I strongly believe that the U.S. government should take action against ISIS. The United States has never been a country to take terrorism lightly and now should not be the time to start. Many innocent lives have been taken across the globe because of this terrorist group and the U.S. needs to take action to help bring this group to a halt.
DO YOU SUPPORT LAWS TO REQUIRE MANDATORY BILINGUAL EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS?
Growing up in South Carolina, taking a foreign language was a graduation requirement in school. I definitely agree with this requirement. Learning a new language is important with the growing diversity in the United States. Not only did you learn how to speak and understand different languages, but you learned the culture behind it.
PEOPLE SAY THAT MOST PAGEANT CONTESTANTS ARE RELIGIOUS. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?
I would agree that most pageant contestants are religious. I, myself, am very strong and grounded in my beliefs, as well as many of my friends who I have made in the pageant industry.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF AN ETHICAL PERSON?
Being an ethical person means you have the ability to see the difference between what is right and what is wrong. It also means you always choose to do the right thing according to your morals.
WHAT WOULD A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER LEARN ABOUT YOU FROM REVIEWING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS LIKE FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER?
If a potential employer looked at my social media accounts they would learn that I love to be outdoors at the beach or bowfishing, I am always on the road traveling, and that I spend as much time with my family as I can.
WHAT HAVE YOU GAINED BY COMPETING IN PAGEANTS?
By competing in pageants I have gained confidence in myself. When I first began competing I was reserved and introverted. However, over the past few years I have gained a confidence that has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and has opened the doors to so many new opportunities.
Thank you, Sarah, for granting us this interview