Photo by Arthur Garcia for Select Studios
Hair: Eric Vaughn for Estilo Salon
"Never let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big," is a philosophy that Ylianna Guerra, the 21-year-old McAllen native and new Miss Texas USA lives by. Now with the crown firmly ensconced on her beautiful brunette head, Ylianna shared some of her life's lessons that have kept her grounded and made her the outstanding young woman she is today.
"First of all, I am a very ambitious person! Sometimes people laugh jokingly because I have all kinds of 'big' and 'crazy' ideas for my future, but I believe that if I set my mind to it, I can make 'big' things happen." Obviously she utilized these beliefs to make her big win at Miss Texas USA come to fruition, but also wants to pass these reminders on the others who will look to her for inspiration. "To the next generation of young adults, do not be afraid to dream big. I firmly believe that the secret to life is the law of attraction. Be a positive person and positive things will come your way. Don't let small minds tell you that you can't do something. Anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and faith in yourself and in God."
One of Ylianna's favorite quotes is, "Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it is inspiring." Having won the title on her third attempt, it was a personal goal that she set and worked hard to achieve. "Personal fulfillment to me means living a life that you can reflect on and feel triumphant and to know that you did all you could to be a good person and live life with no regrets. We are all put here on earth for a reason and it is our job to figure out what our purpose in life is and act on it." She currently maintains a 3.8 GPA (Dean's List) at the University of the Incarnate Word, plans to graduate in December with a degree in Bilingual Communications then enroll in a graduate program to obtain her Masters degree.
As for her pageant success, Ylianna confides, "Pageants are not just about beautiful women parading on a stage. Unfortunately, I think many people who don't really know about pageants have a negative viewpoint on the industry. The single most important message is to get rid of those stereotypes. Personally, I wouldn't be doing this pageant if I did not want to reach the positions of Miss USA or Miss Universe. For me, it is not just about the title, but what you do with your title that makes it significant. Although your reign will only last one year, it is important to make a name for yourself and utilize your time wisely to make a lasting impact. If you do this, you can go much further once you relinquish your title. It is a win-win situation for both the titleholder and the organization because you can represent the Miss Universe Organization in a positive light even after your reign and show the world that pageant titleholders are strong leaders of society who direct their efforts to making a difference and positive impact on our world."
As for the upcoming year, she says she is a big believer in the quote, "'When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.' I am a firm believer that if you set and focus your mind on something, anything is possible." With the title in her hands, she is reminded of the qualities that brought her there. "Confidence is the first quality I think every woman should possess. A confident woman is sexy, desirable and powerful. That being said, a woman should also possess humility. You can be confident, but don't forget to be humble. I think humility goes hand-in-hand with confidence--there needs to be a balance. It is important to stay grounded no matter what your success."
~by J. J. Smith
Photos courtesy of Select Studios