GIVE THREE ADJECTIVES THAT YOUR FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE YOU.
Kind, cheerful and sassy!
IF YOU WERE TO COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL IN THE NEXT LIFE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I would come back as a dog! My family rescued a beautiful gray Havanese with big brown eyes that could melt your heart. We absolutely adore her and she brings so much happiness to our family. I would love to bring that same happiness to another family!
NAME THREE THINGS THAT YOU WOULD NEVER DO.
I would never intentionally hurt someone, wear real fur or stop eating carbs because let's be real: are the best!
CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT DESIGNER SHOES? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yes and no, I don’t need to have designer shoes in my life even though my Louboutins are my favorite; however, I believe that with the right shoes a woman can do anything, so GOOD shoes are very important!
DO YOU THINK THAT "SEXUALITY EDUCATION" SHOULD BE PART OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS?
I do think that Sexuality Education should be taught in schools. If not, kids are more likely to experiment without knowing the consequences, so with the proper knowledge parents can help their kids make the right decisions. But I do understand why some may not want this in schools as well.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
Other than hopefully winning Miss USA 2015 (fingers crossed), I would like to go back to school and get my Master's degree in Psychology from Harvard, take a summer to travel across the country and visit various landmarks and maybe discover a little gem of my own and finally, give back more. I am very involved with philanthropy and one of my greatest passions is working toward suicide prevention so I would like to continue to promote the Samaritans suicide prevention hotline. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll even be on the Oscars red carpet!
|PHOTOGRAPHY BY CREATIVE SPARKS IMAGERY
IF YOU WON MISS USA AND ONE OF THE CANDIDATES TOLD YOU THAT YOU DIDN'T DESERVE THE CROWN, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HER?
She has the right to her own opinion; however she wasn’t there through every part of competition and might not know me well enough if she feels that way.
IS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IMPORTANT? WHY OR WHY NOT?
I think physical appearance is important to each individual; someone can be a size 0 or 12 but as long as he/she is happy and confident with themselves, that's all that really matters.
DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM MAN (OR IF YOU'RE GAY, DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WOMAN).
While I love a guy who’s tall and handsome, my dream man is a guy who knows how to treat me well. Someone who is there for me and supports my dreams and ambitions and pushes me to be better.
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 do think it sets a negative example for young women. Venezuelan women are absolutely stunning and I understand that they want to send a “perfect” representative to Miss Universe; however, it sends the message to women that you need to change yourself somehow to be perfect in order to win a pageant. Personally, I believe Miss Universe is looking for someone natural who can represent woman all over the world and you don’t need to alter yourself to be that girl.
|PHOTOGRAPHY BY FADIL BERISHA
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ABOUT THE U.S.A.?
This is truly the land of opportunity! As someone who came from another country (Albania) with nothing, I used the resources that were provided to me to make something of myself. Anyone can make something of themselves here in the USA!
DO YOU THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE A CERTAIN AGE WHEN PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO RETIRE?
I don’t think so, if someone is healthy enough and chooses to work, they should be able to use their skills to benefit themselves and others.
IF SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY WAS TERMINALLY ILL AND IN AGONY AND ASKED YOUR TO HELP THEM DIE, HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE IT?
Naturally, I would be devastated; however, if someone I loved was struggling and in pain with no cure, it would take everything in me to help them make that decision, but I would do it to put the person I love at ease and not force them to suffer anymore. I would do it out of love.
DO YOU SUPPORT LAWS TO REQUIRE MANDATORY BILINGUAL EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS?
I do support those laws. America is a melting pot with people who speak various languages like myself. Teaching kids a difference language will make them smarter, powerful and more cultured since they will have the ability to communicate from people from around the world.
PEOPLE SAY THAT MOST PAGEANT CONTESTANTS ARE RELIGIOUS. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?
Yes, I would agree that most pageant contestants are religious. There is a certain amount of faith that goes into competing. A lot of the girls who compete in pageants believe there is a higher power watching over them and helping them through the process. For me personally, prayer and faith makes me feel calm and more confident on the inside.
WHAT WOULD A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER LEARN ABOUT YOU FROM REVIEWING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS LIKE FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER?
I think they would learn that I am a very passionate and dedicated person. I try to inspire people with my posts as well as motivate them. I want them to know they can be whatever they want to be!
WHAT HAVE YOU GAINED BY COMPETING IN PAGEANTS?
Personally, I have gained a lot of confidence and public speaking skills. I love to volunteer and am a befriender on the Samaritans suicide prevention hotline, so to use the skills that I have learned and give back by promoting charities is a dream for me.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?
I agree with affirmative action. I think everyone should have the same opportunities for success regardless of their race, sex, or religious views. Equality is what will make us a great country.
SOME STATES STILL PRACTICE THE DEATH PENALTY AS PUNISHMENT FOR HORRENDOUS CRIMES. DO YOU THINK THAT IT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED? WHY OR WHY NOT?
After the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, the love for my city and people makes me say that we should keep it, but at the same time I understand it is cruel and it is best to keep those who commit terrible crimes behind bars so they never hurt another person again.
COMPARED TO THE 1950s-1970s, WOMEN TODAY HAVE MORE OPTIONS IN TERMS OF THEIR PERSONAL CHOICES AND PERSONAL LIVES. DESPITE THESE OPTIONS, WHY DO YOU STILL WANT TO BE MISS USA?
For me being Miss USA is about the message I can spread. I came to the United States from Albania at the age of 5 and have been tackling the American dream ever since. Winning Miss USA shows people all over the world that no matter who you are or where you come from you too can have the American dream and aspire to be whatever you want as long as you work hard and stay true to yourself.