From Burn Injury Victim To Survivor - How The Pageant World Changed Catherine Cortes' Self-Confidence For The Better

The journey of recovering from a burn injury often comes with doubt, hard questions, and physical and emotional pain. Burn survivors know that their scars do not define them – yet the stories behind them can offer a powerful path to healing. Sharing the story of her journey – the gorgeous Catherine Cortes can renew burn survivors' strength and inspire others. Her story can become a gift to the burn survivors community, a way of telling each other: “You are not alone.”

When she was a toddler Catherine was burned over 30% of her body - "That made me grow up with so many insecurities. It wasn’t until I meet my husband that those insecurities started to subside. Although after we had our first child those insecurities started to come back, with weight gain and stretch marks I was back were I was Years before. After feeling down and upset I finally decided to do something about it and found an all women’s gym (Body Construct by Lori Ann Marchese) and started my new journey" - she explained.

Lets know a little more about Catherine's story and her journey to the crown through this interview!

You won the title of International Ms Puerto Rico 2018, what does it entail ? 

I am so humbled and honored not only to be given the opportunity to recieve the title of International Ms Puerto Rico but be the first to represent my beautiful Island in the International MS system and because of this I want to be able to represent my title with honor and grace. I want to show women who juggle many roles in life like wife, mother,worker, daughter,sister, friend to not forget a very important role in there life.

The role of of being an individual. An individual with a dream and that no matter what life has thrown there way that they can still follow there own hopes and dreams.  Being International MS Puerto Rico will give me an opportunity to not only share my story but also share my Dream with the world. 

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Pedro & Sharon Photography

Tell me something about yourself and your work.

I have been volunteering for the Make A Wish Foundation for the past two years and I am also a hoard member for a Non Profit organization called Beauty is You. I work full time at a Dental Office and I am also a free Lance Photographer. I love spending time with my family and planning out where our next adventure will be. 

You are a wife, mommy, youtuber and pageant girl, what are you most proud of ?

I am MOST proud of being a mother. Being a mom is what lit a fire in me to get out of my comfort zone and do things that I would have never in my wildest dreams think of doing. I want my kids to look back and see that I didn’t let anything stand in my way, trough adversity I pushed and made things happen so that when they grow up they will have the same tenascuous spirit to guide and  push them to follow there dreams and aspirations.

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Social media seem to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not? 

I do believe that social media plays a major role in pageantry nowadays. People get a chance to know you and what you stand for before pageant week/weekend. They can make personal connections with you. It becomes about more then just a pretty face but about what the contestant stands for. 

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We’ve all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference ?

Two years a go I competed in a pageant place 1st runner up an Miss Congeniality. I felt so blessed and humbled knowing that the girls saw the genuine person that I sought out to be through the pageant. That year was the first year that I didn’t just see Pageantry as a competiiom but as a sisterhood and a way to make a difference. Even something as simple as lending a hand or sharing your story can impact and make a difference in a young women’s life. That to me would mean more to me then winning the title. I’ve always said that if I can make the difference in ONE persons life then my job would be done.

What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day? 

Find out who you are and be that person. A lot of the time we try to be what we Think everyone else wants use to be. But when you find what truly makes you happy you run with it.