1. Why did you choose cancer as your platform and how are you trying to make an impact on the cancer world?
I chose cancer as my platform in honor of my Grandmother, Denise Diaz. Not one person I know has not been effected by cancer in some form or another. I created an Instagram account, #BELIEVEinaCUREforCANCER with the hopes of sharing local and current events and information surrounding different forms of cancer. This is to inform people about early signs and overall health and wellness.
2. Tell us about #believeinacureforcancer.
My platform focuses on my advocation of the American Cancer Society(ACS) and it's events and missions. Through ACS, I became the Youth Ambassador for the Board of Tucson. I support all of their events in efforts of raising my own voice and sharing with my peers that even one voice matters.
3. How and why did you get involved with pageants?
I started modeling when I was 10 years old with Barbizon and Southwest Model Talent Agency in Tucson AZ. To gain more experience, I decided to do pageants. I did a few Cinderella pageants to try it out and get a feel for it since I could not compete for Miss Arizona's Outstanding Teen until I was 13. This is now my third year competing for the Miss America system. I never knew this system would be fulfilled with as many opportunities and volunteering services, and I have loved every minute of it.
4. What attracts you to small business?
Over the years, I have found that small businesses are very personable. The beauty in each small business is they all love what they do and they often sacrifice a lot to get there. I love supporting them in any way possible to honor their hard work. I have found that it is so important to support small businesses and help our communities grow and flourish. Many small businesses that I support today have an underlying promotion for a cure for cancer in our generation. If they don't, they usually grow to understand my focus and support.
5. Do you have a favorite social media platform?
My favorite social media platform is Instagram. Through Instagram, you can share other people's posts to support them, post pictures and videos, post temporary stories, and do live videos with or without other accounts. Businesses and brands of all kinds also use Instagram to promote themselves.
6. More than a brand ambassador, you are a pageant title holder, influencer and fashion model. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am currently applying to colleges to pursue a focus in psychology. I want to further understand the effects of the brain as well as the mind. There are so many mental illnesses that make the brain think a different way than what is considered "normal" which also causes people to act certain ways. Psychology interests me so much because it has made me realize that with or without a mental illness everyone has some sort of baggage or trauma that influences their daily life, and everyone has a beautiful story to tell.
7. Who are some of the people or events that have inspired you?
Both of my parents have been my role models. They have shown me what it means to work hard to get where you want and to put in the work everyday even when you don't feel like it. They are my biggest supporters and encourage me to be whatever I want to be. One thing they have always said is, "There will always be someone better than you, stronger than you, faster than you, or whatever it may be, but no one should ever work harder than you."
8. What are your passions outside of your normal daily routine?
I have a true passion for modeling. Not everyone sees modeling, makeup artists and photographers as artists but we are and it's hard work. I enjoy the challenge and working with so many amazing people. I also have a love for piano. I have been playing since I was 5, and it allows me to express myself through music. Although I may not have enough time for it all the time, I have discovered I also really love painting.
9. Do you have any advice or positivity that you would like to give others?
"Follow your heart" is something I carry with me all the time and reminds me that we may not always be on the path we imagined but if we follow our heart we will always be on the right path.
10. What is that you love about Desert Camo Apparel?
I love Candice Mason and how brave and inspiring she is by sharing her journey with the world through Instagram and Desert Camo Apparel. There are very few people who have fought their battle with cancer and willingly share their story. Cancer is an ugly disease and treats everyone differently. Cancer takes so, so much from a person that will forever change their outlook on life. I applaud Candice for fighting, winning and sharing her story so that others may be inspired to fight, win, and share their stories.