This yr’s winner of the Miss USA title made historical past together with her victory — however her work is not stopping there.
Noelia Voigt, 23, earned the title of Miss USA 2023 on Friday on the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, beating out runner-up Miss Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz and second runner-up Miss Wisconsin Alexis Loomans for the coveted crown.
The childhood most cancers survivor from Utah tells PEOPLE that although her victory nonetheless doesn’t really feel actual at instances, she is worked up to make her mark as the primary Venezuelan-American to turn out to be Miss USA.
“Miss USA is a logo of unity and variety and inclusivity,” Voigt says. “If the US goes to name themselves the land of alternative and a spot the place you possibly can obtain the American dream … Miss USA ought to have the ability to signify all of them.”
Voigt says she spent years making ready for Miss USA. She was first-runner up in her state’s pageant 3 times earlier than she gained — turning into the primary Venezuelan-American lady to win the title of Miss Utah — and superior to the nationwide competitors.
Regardless of initially falling wanting her aim, she “all the time walked away with one thing useful.”
“It will’ve been very simple for anyone to get first runner up 3 times and simply say, ‘Oh, I am carried out. I can not do that anymore.’ However for me, it wasn’t that means,” Voigt says.
“I knew I needed to hold pushing ahead and hold pushing via till I made it to that Miss USA stage,” she continues.
Voigt is following within the footsteps of R’Bonney Gabriel, who was the first Filipino-American lady to win Miss USA in 2022. Gabriel later went on to win Miss Universe and handed down her Miss USA crown to Miss North Carolina Morgan Romano.
Because the reigning Miss USA, Voigt goals to attach with Venezuelan Individuals and different Latin American communities “on a deeper degree.”
“That is what I am right here for,” she tells PEOPLE.
Voigt —who’s the writer of a kids’s e book that honors the lifetime of a 9-year-old woman who died by suicide “due to how badly she was bullied” —additionally hopes to proceed her anti-bullying advocacy and elevating consciousness about teen courting violence.
Moreover, she desires of tackling a variety of different points which can be vital to her, from animal welfare to pores and skin most cancers consciousness.
The Utah lady, who was identified with pores and skin most cancers at age 15, needs to teach younger individuals concerning the illness and share vital suggestions to assist keep away from it or catch it early, similar to visiting a dermatologist.
“If I did not, then who is aware of what would’ve occurred to me,” she says.
Now, Voigt is shifting on to the Miss Universe, which will probably be held Nov. 18 in El Salvador. Her predecessor, Gabriel, remains to be the reigning champion.
“Let’s examine if we are able to do it back-to-back for USA,” Voigt says.