Haitian-American model Lisa Drouillard will compete in the 64th Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 20. Drouillard will compete against 79 contestants in the categories of swimsuit, evening gown, and interview.
The Brooklyn-born beauty queen made history in 2011, when she became the first Miss Teen New York to hail from New York in nearly 30 years.
“I came here to represent and show young Haitian girls that it should not matter where they come from,” she said in a post published on Instagram. “When the odds are against you for being Haitian, just milk it.”
In the past, there’s been controversy over a Haitian-American representing Haiti in international pageants. Critics argue members of the Diaspora, are too removed from the day-to-day of Haiti to accurately represent the culture, and often cite language barriers, such as not speaking Kreyol fluently.
“No matter what happens on Sunday, I will go back home with pride and greet some of my precious Port-au-Princessess.”
For the first time fans will be able to vote during the telecast of the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant for each contestant during the competitions. The scores will help determine which contestant will be crowned the next Miss Universe. Viewers can cast their vote at missuniverse.com/vote.
The Miss Universe Pageant will air this Sunday on Fox at 4 p.m. EST.