"If a problem arises, come up with a solution, and run with it”.  The gorgeous Cynthia Lau, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Florida USA, lives by this mantra since she was 13 years old, when she was diagnosed with a Gastro Intestinal Tumor - "Utilizing my voice as an outlet to tell my story on behalf of those affected by cancer and life-threatening illnesses has been one of the biggest accomplishments in my life to date" - she explained.

Current estimates for the total number of GIST cases each year in the United States range from about 4,000 to about 6,000. These tumors can start anywhere in the GI tract, but they occur most often in the stomach (about 60%) or the small intestine (about 35%). Until the late 1990s, not much was known about these tumors (and doctors didn’t have good ways of identifying them with lab tests).

Cynthia is currently a senior completing her Bachelor's Degree at Florida International University majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Public Health. In the near future, she will specialize in Health Policy and Management to help find compelling solutions for health care and public health problems on a global scale.

Her biggest and proudest work to date has been alongside the Make a Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the American Cancer Society: Cancer Action Network - "My role as an intern, volunteer, and now ambassador for these organizations have allowed me to go to Congress and speak to legislators on the importance of medical research funding, cancer prevention, and treatments. Furthermore, they have offered me a chance to share my story as a survivor and health student, and for this I am eternally grateful."

Ballroom dance, belly dance, acting, and piano are her favorite pastimes. She has been a dancer all her life being trained in ballroom dance and belly dance. Cynthia's dedication towards her goals, and her success which has been a result of her ambitions and efforts, will surely take her long on the road of victory. Discover more about her story below!

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Obviously the world of sports is completely different to the beauty pageant world but you have to be just as disciplined. A great deal of discipline is needed in order to be successful in both, you have to practice tirelessly, stay in great shape, and doing all of the other things that are necessary to be the best prepared for the competition. These values of discipline that are instilled help the competitors to succeed in other facets of their life.

The gorgeous Nicole Renault, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Florida USA 2018, is an ambassador of the World Boxing Council. She began her local and international professional sport career at the age of six. She is the winner of 160 medals, six plates and 12 trophies in track and field. She is a Central American champion in triple jump and heptathlon where she has won eight gold medals in the Central American Games in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

But she also won 6 beauty pageants, including Miss Teen World Costa Rica 2006, Miss Teenager Universe Costa Rica 2010, Miss Piel Dorada Internacional 2013, Miss WBC 2015, Miss Miami 2017 and Miss South Florida USA 2018.

If she wins the crown of Miss Florida USA Nicole will have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss USA 2018. While Florida has had runners-up, finalists, and semi-finalists, the state has never won the Miss USA pageant, although Cheryl Patton became Miss USA after Sylvia Hitchcock won Miss Universe. The most recent finalist was Brittany Oldehoff who placed 4th runner-up in 2014.

Here we bring you the untold facts about Nicole’s life and also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

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As Miss Texas USA she would like to be of service to others. Stephanie Ludwig, 22, won the title of Miss Kemah USA 2017 only two months ago but it has already given her many opportunities. - "I entered my first pageant because I thought it would be fun but now I compete because it is making me a better public speaker and preparing me for a career in journalism."  she explained. She has a passion for mental health and wants to bring awareness to everyone. So, pageantry has given her chances to speak to businesses and people around our community of the importance of Mental Health Awareness.

Aside from being a pageant queen Stephanie is a Senior at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX; She is double majoring in Mass Communications and Multiplatform Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies.  She plans to be a baseball Sport Broadcaster and hopes to work for ESPN one day.  Here we bring you the untold facts about Stephanie’s life and also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

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Pageantry has taught her to be respectful and represent herself as a young, confident, and strong girl. Being apart of a beauty contest is a real boost to help spread your platform and awareness to other people. The beautiful Olivia Fonville, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Florida Teen USA later this year, is the founder of Livie's closet. She plans on giving out dresses to those less fortunate - "I want a girl to put on one of my dresses I give to her and feel like she’s the beauty queen. With the Stay Gorgeous Girl’s organization we provide a day for girls to come and know that they are beautiful in their own skin, and teach them how to become more confident so they can slay the world!" - she explained.

Olivia is 17 years old and a senior in high school. She has been modeling for two years now. She has always been tall and athletic, that's why volleyball was a big part of her life. This year she will represent her home town, Ponte Vedra Beach. In preparing for this contest she has been following a healthy meal plan, workouts twice a day, along with yoga and pilates - "Some days it is hard to get up and work out, or give up that chocolate cake, but then I think of my the competition and I persevere and keep working so that I may achieve my goals" she said.

The state of Florida has never won the crown of Miss Teen USA but they tie with Illinois for most Miss Photogenic awards. These were won in a successive streak from 1996-1998. Miss Florida Teen USA and Miss Teen USA's Miss Photogenic in 1997, Cristin Duren, later became Miss Florida USA 2006 and 2004 titleholder Anastagia Pierre was later Miss Florida USA 2009. 1996 winner Kelly Gaudet later won the Miss Florida 2001 title and competed at Miss America.

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There are so many tragic stories in the field of addiction, and no shortage of onlookers who are drawn to the shock and awe of addicts’ war stories. It’s easy to lose sight of the brighter side of the story: Treatment works and people do recover. Hope matters in addiction recovery because put simply, without hope nothing changes.

According to Drugfree.org more than 23 million people (10% of adults) in the United States have recovered from drug and alcohol problems. Emily McLeod, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Florida USA, would like to share a message of hope with others "For those struggling with substance abuse, recovery is possible. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and neither does recovery. We only compete one or two nights during our time as titleholders, the rest of the year is 363 opportunities to help someone else and create something amazing" - she explained.

Emily was employed as a counselor’s aid at Willingway Hospital. Willingway is a drug and alcohol treatment facility located in Statesboro, GA. Since 1974, Willingway has been loving others until they could love themselves again - "I saw people come in so sad, resentful, and hopeless and toward the end of their stay, the lights in their eyes would start to come back again. This journey is very near and dear to my heart. There was truly nothing more fulfilling than seeing that process and being able to offer hope to others in that situation."

If she wins the crown Emily will have the opportunity to represent the state of Florida in Miss USA 2018. While Florida has had runners-up, finalists, and semi-finalists, the state has never won the Miss USA pageant, although Cheryl Patton became Miss USA after Sylvia Hitchcock won Miss Universe.

The most recent finalist was Brittany Oldehoff who placed 4th runner-up in 2014.

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One per cent of the population suffers from vitiligo, the skin condition that causes patches of skin to lose their pigmentation. The main symptom of vitiligo is flat, white spots or patches on your skin. Initially, the vitiligo may start as a patch of skin that is paler than the rest.

Problems with confidence and self-esteem are common in people with vitiligo, particularly if the condition affects areas of frequently exposed skin.

In 2014 the disease was thrust into the spotlight by Winnie Harlow, a model who appeared on the 21st season of America’s Next Top Model and has since been featured in many fashion campaigns.

The beautiful Asia Cymone Smith, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss California Teen USA 2018, would like to raise awareness of vitiligo because her mom has the condition and lives each day in fear of judgement and rejection - "I would like to inform people of this autoimmune disorder and help promote research for a cure, while helping those with vitiligo realize that their outward appearance does not define their true character" - she explained.

Asia is not a stereotypical pageant girl. She is extremely athletic, and because of this she is very muscular - "I have had many instances where I felt defeated because I didn't fit the image that society places on pageant queens. I even attended a modeling event, and I was unable to fit some of the clothing because of my broad, muscular shoulders. Because of this, my self-esteem was lowered. However, I have learned to be very proud of my body. I hope to make a difference in the pageant industry, and be an example that beauty is not solely on the surface; true beauty comes from within."

I had the opportunity to interview Asia on her preparation for the upcoming Miss California Teen USA Contest. If she wins the crown she will have the opportunity to represent her state at Miss Teen USA 2018. The most successful Miss California Teen USA was Shauna Gambill, who won the Miss Teen USA crown in 1994. She later became the only Californian teen to cross over to the Miss California USA crown. Recently, Cassidy Wolf became the second Miss Teen USA from the state of California, when she won the Miss Teen USA 2013 pageant on August 10, 2013 in the Bahamas.

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