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Winner Experience: Miss Universe

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She’s beauty and she’s grace. She’s Omaze’s Miss Universe experience winner! Watch Ashley’s reaction to finding out she won and read all about her trip to the Philippines for the Miss Universe 2016 competition with Pia Wurtzbach.

Tell us all about your Miss Universe experience!
It was amazing. I don’t know how else to explain it besides it was like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to be on the Miss Universe stage and wear the crown. I ended up competing in other competitions and aging out (until they changed the age this year). I never thought I would be on that stage, so having the opportunity to meet all the contestants, see everything that they get to go through, see my friends that were competing and then wear the actual the sash and crown without having to compete really made me feel like I won something.

That’s awesome! What was it like backstage?
It was crazy backstage, but it was unbelievable how organized everything was. Every single girl had their own hair and makeup artist. When I was backstage, I arrived later than the other girls in hair and makeup because I didn’t need to be in the show. Everyone was telling me to hurry because they thought I was a contestant!

Did you meet anyone cool backstage?
I got to meet everybody! I got to meet the host from the show, Flo Rida, Boyz II Men… it was awesome.

How was it meeting Pia?
Pia is so wonderful. She’s so nice and hilarious. I even got to have lunch with the President of Miss Universe, Paula Shugart. We talked about the pageants that I did, Pia and her year, what’s happening next and the move of the Miss Universe Organization. I even told her who I wanted to win and she ended up winning! I was like, “I should start predicting these things.”

We heard you really stood out.
I was probably one of the tallest people in the Philippines. Everywhere I went people were staring at me and everyone thought I was a contestant just because I was tall!

What was the highlight of the trip?
Probably the crowning moment. I loved watching the pageant and everything like that, but having to know what that moment felt like and to wear the official Miss Universe sash and crown and stand on the stage with my mom watching me was unbelievable. Now I can say I officially got crowned. The first native woman from Canada got crowned and I didn’t even have to compete!

What would you say to your fellow Omazers?
It’s worth it to donate. There’s a chance you could win. I mean, I didn’t think there was a chance I could win because so many other people donated but you’re donating for a good cause, so why not? You never know what could happen. I’m still smiling about it.

We’re so excited you finally got your crowning moment, Ashley! Thank you for supporting Cordaid and their efforts to empower women and girls through education across 22 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

You can live the dream too!

Check out our current experiences.

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