Aerospace Engineer Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Cariño

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Aerospace Engineer Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Cariño

Today, we will discuss Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Cariño and her journey toward Miss Universe 2022. To understand more about Miss Universe Puerto Rico, Ashley Cariño. We have invited Puerto Rican pageant commentator and analyst Oscar from Bellezas Boricuas.

Tell us about Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Carino; what is her background?

She has been studying Aerospace in Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Since a young age, she has always loved space. She would look at the stars at night and just say; I want to be an astronaut. She wanted to be the first Miss Universe to reach space. It is phenomenal how her dream could maybe come true. Ashley is a powerful candidate even though she has minimal pageant experience. It is not like Madison Anderson, Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019, who had been joining beauty pageants from a young age. Ashley competed at Miss Florida USA 2021 state pageant with her sister; Puerto Ricans have long last names. Since both sisters have the same name Ashley Cariño, to not be confused, one of them was Ashley Cariño, and her sister was named Ashley Barreto. She won the state pageant even though; she did not think she will win the main title. Then, she represented Florida at Miss USA 2021 and finished 2nd Runner-Up. It shows her potential because we all know the level of competitiveness is enormous in Miss USA. It assures her capability, as she is not a pageant veteran.

George: She is intelligent as it is tough to study about outer space and her future goal is to work with NASA. Former Miss Universe Ireland 2019, she worked at NASA as a regional director of NASA's Space Apps Challenge in Washington, United States. It is fascinating as I imagine what is outside this planet Earth. There is so much more outer space in the galaxy, in the universe. She is studying outer space since she wants to work with NASA. I think that is a great background.

Can you talk about her pageant experience when she was crowned Miss Flordia USA and placed 2nd Runner Up at Miss USA 2021?

Since she is new to pageantry, she joined the state pageant to get some experience. She did not think she would win Miss Florida. She achieved knowledge from those occasions, then competed at Miss Universe Puerto Rico. She was anxious about her Spanish speaking skills however, she speaks Spanish perfectly. She had a good performance at Miss USA though I feel she was holding back a bit. It takes time to process for her to be comfortable in her skin. During Miss Universe Puerto Rico, she gave dazzling performance.

George: She looked beautiful in her golden gown in Miss USA 2021. Ashley looked gorgeous in her performance, everything was quite well, and she only needed a little more energy. Energy-wise, she was not there. She was almost 80% on the stage. It is a joy to see her grow and display improvement within a year, time duration is less than a year from Miss USA 2021 to Miss Puerto Rico 2022. Delighted to see her change, grow and transform into this beautiful queen.

George: I was watching her National pageant, yesterday to just be ready mentally for this video. I was impressed by seeing her performance at the Miss Universe Puerto Rico. It felt as if she was competing at the international pageant of Miss Universe, it was that good, she has a great stage presence. I am excited to see what she is going to bring to the Miss Universe stage.

Oscar: I think that it comes with the fact that she is not a pageant girl. She was not a pageant girl before 2021. I feel every girl even with experience, you have those moments of self-doubt. Maybe it is just because she sees it so competitive and she used to be very self-conscious about the fact that she is tall and naturally thin, she does not diet or anything. She is just thin so she used to be self-conscious about her body. I feel maybe it held her back in Miss USA.

While doing my research about Ashley for this discussion I found that she has received a certification to work as a psychosocial rehabilitation specializing in working with children with cognitive diversity. I found that inspiring because she has ADHD and she wants to help children going through a similar experience as her, I think that is wonderful because nowadays being a Miss Universe is more than a pretty face.

Having social advocacy that is relevant and related to her background I think it makes much more sense. I am happy she is there to help other children with ADHD so they could feel more uplifted. She start her project during the pandemic in 2020. One of the things, she helped these kids and how she realized she wanted to go to Miss Universe Puerto Rico. She did a session with them, kids write on a piece of paper about their dreams, they feel are unattainable but they would like to achieve in their lifetime. She always did this with the kids for their dreams and goals. One day a little girl that Ashley was helping asked her to do it as well with her. When she was filling out, what she wanted to do in her future was to represent Puerto Rico at Miss Universe. She said that that was the moment she realized that she was holding herself back and that she was the one that had to make the choice of competing at Miss Universe Puerto Rico and just give herself that opportunity. She has been doing it since 2020 and it is amazing, she has an incredible, portfolio, and background with not only her studies, and her professional life but social work as well and one of the things that she was helping kids through science. Some people help them through art, and music and she uses science because she loves science so much.

What is its biggest strength of Ashley and what can we expect to see from Puerto Rico in Miss Universe?

Ashley is very centered, she is focused she does not let things distract her. I think that is one of her biggest strengths, how mature she is and how she handles things. I told her when I interviewed her. I feel you are very at peace all the time. You can tell just the way she speaks, her tone of voice is so soothing. If she talks the way she did at Miss Puerto Rico in Miss Universe. I think that that could be a winning performance. I think Miss Universe Puerto Rico organization needs to be careful with the gown selection. For a gown, they do not have to reinvent the wheel, they do not have to do anything new. They just need to do something beautiful, the shape that is cinched to her body. Something similar to her evening gown in the national pageant.

George: While watching the national pageant, I noticed that all the girls in the top five finalists in Miss Universe Puerto Rico wore white evening gowns. I do not know if that was on purpose or if it was just a coincidence. It would be nice to see Ashley wear bright, vibrant colors with saturation evening gowns. It will compliment her tanned brown skin and help her stand out as Miss Universe. In the last 2 years, I had Puerto Rico in my Top 5 finalists; I have updated my Miss Universe Top 5 list, and I have Puerto Rico in my Top 5 Prediction. After Ashley won the Miss Universe Puerto Rico crown.

Oscar: I agree her styling needs to be improved for Miss Universe. It needs to be what it is now with her hair and makeup at Miss Universe. She is one of those candidates who is already naturally beautiful, she does not have any surgeries on her face. She is naturally gorgeous; I feel like she needs to go to Miss Universe exactly the way she is now, they just need to work on a couple of things like her evening gowns and her outfits. I think that they are doing fine, right now but you are right. I would love to see her with some colors. I could imagine her with a Zuleyka Rivera style dress but in red color. Something to pop out on the stage or even yellow not like a toned-down yellow, I want to see a vibrant yellow gown at Miss Universe 2022. I was disappointed with the gowns at Miss Universe Puerto Rico to be honest with you because they all look the same. Do you guys remember Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020 Estefanía Soto's green dress that gown sparkle because of the material but it had no embellishments. There was nothing, it was just the fabric and it was gorgeous. I can imagine Ashley in a gown like that but in yellow where she gives me a twirl like that, I think I would die, I would die. Yellow is my favorite color and I think she is such a spectacular morena brown beauty. She could wear a vibrant color and be remembered. If you are going to have different gowns for the Preliminary and the Final, make sure both of the gowns are spectacular, please. If you are going to use one evening gown, make sure that it is a knockout. Do not use an okay safe gown for preliminary and spectacular for finals because we may not even see it.

How are Ashley's preparations going for Miss Universe 2022?

I am friends with the person that prepared her for the national pageant. He is the same person that promoted Michelle Marie Colon last year. He helped Cynthia Olavarría Miss Puerto Rico 2005, Miss Puerto Rico 2009 Mayra Matos and Miss Puerto Rico 2010 Mariana Paola Vicente Morales. He has trained a lot of iconic beauty queens. I have told him to please be careful with the dress. The Miss Universe final is scheduled for early next year, it will be fine. She has plenty of time and needs to maintain herself but she does not have a long way to go. Keep working on the runway, and keep working on the final look. She knows how to do her makeup and hair because she does it herself at pageants. She needs to be focused. Currently, she is doing a lot of Media stuff because she was crowned a few weeks ago. Then they will be a laser focus on everything else she needs.

Every year Oscar, I always love Miss Puerto Rico in every International Pageant, you guys know how to train beauty queens. For a small island nation like Puerto Rico, you have 5 Miss Universe winners, 2 Miss World winners, 2 Miss International winners and the first ever Miss Grand International 2013 winner is also from Puerto Rico Janelee Chaparro. I am so excited to see what Puerto Rico is going to bring at the Miss Universe and Miss Grand International?

In Puerto Rico, whoever wins has to be the best viable option for the pageant, it is not always a hit. Sometimes it is a miss, unfortunately, like in Miss Supranational 2022. Puerto Rico did not even place at Miss Supranational. I do not think she was suitable for Supranational; usually, we make the right choice because at least we get a placement. Puerto Rico has finished Top 10, Top 5, and winner in 2018. Honestly, I think Vivianie Diaz-Arroyo, performed like the Miss Grand International winner. Send the girl most appropriate for the pageant, let the national pageant aside, and think about who can win the International Pageant.

What do you think of Miss Universe Puerto Rico pageant after Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones took over as the national director in 2018?

She was the one who put beauty pageants back on the right track in Puerto Rico ever since she took over in 2018. Miss Universe Puerto Rico organization is lucky we got such an intelligent and well-spoken candidate like Ashley is ready for the Miss Universe crown. They are doing a good job at diversity, it is about time. Puerto Rico is an Afro-Caribbean island, we have only really had three Miss Universe Puerto Rico that are considered black queens. I think it was unfortunate, for a while we were sending the same prototype to Miss Universe. Before Denise came in and it was not working. She arrived at the right time and saved the day because of the last four years in a row. Puerto Rico has placed at Miss Universe; Michelle Colón was the fourth consecutive placement. I believe that this year is going to be the fifth year.

George: The gorgeous Miss Grand Puerto Rico 2022 Oxana Rivera, watching her Instagram live with Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova. They were connected because they share similar backgrounds since they both were born in Russia and moved abroad. I am impressed with Oxana's communication skills, especially in the English language.

Do you think she will be able to win the second golden crown for Puerto Rico at Miss Grand International 2022?

I think she has tons of potential Top 5 placement is the minimum. She is a brilliant candidate with strong communication skills, last year. I interviewed her for Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2021. Since last year, she has done an extraordinary job preparing for this golden opportunity. Maybe Mr. Nawat would like her as she was not born in Puerto Rico. She is technically European but she is representing Puerto Rico. She hits two birds with one stone. If he wants to crown somebody a European winner then Puerto Rico fits the bill perfectly. Because she represents both her background and her heritage as well as this Island. This will give her a second opportunity and it would be amazing. She is diverse and fully embraces Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican Culture. She celebrates her background with her adopted Puerto Rican family. They used to have Russian Christmas together with the Russian community. She is a complete package and a sweetheart. Deserving of the crown, happy that she gave herself the opportunity. She won the national pageant and she can be the next Miss Grand International.

George: I am happy to see Instagram posts where she consistently shares her love for Miss Grand International. She is learning about  Thai culture and Thai language, and Indonesian culture. Indonesia is this year's host country for the 10th Anniversary of Miss Grand International. On social media, many Thai fans love Oxana's beauty, personality, and presence. Hopefully, she wins the second golden crown.

Do you have any message that you would like to give to your beauty queens Ashley and Oxana?

I will tell Oxana and Ashley; that no matter what happens, we are already proud of you. We are already dreaming of both international crowns, the possible sixth crown for Puerto Rico for Miss Universe, and possibly the first time a country wins two crowns from Miss Grand International. I am just happy that you girls are living your dream. You are representing everything with a lot of love and passion. I am grateful to be that tiny title speck of sand in your path toward the crown in this pageant world. I am happy and proud of you both. They are super sweet with Incredible backgrounds. Completely different both of them are opposite ends. Both of them represent a very unique and diverse Puerto Rican Beauty.

You run a pageant page and I am also a pageant commentator, every year we see so many passionate pageant fans support their queens but we also see some pageant fans pulling other delegates down. What are your thoughts on the online bullying of delegates and international winners?

I always say these people who are saying these horrible things about national girls or international winners. It is just a reflection of the unhappiness; they are putting on social media. What are you going to gain by insulting somebody? A lot of times, fans ruin things that they love. If you love pageants and you love these girls so much. Do not leave terrible comments, do not say them. Go to your favorite and compliment them. Do not go to a girl you do not like and say you are ugly. Support who your queen in the world, and it will resolve everything. I feel so horrible for Harnaaz Sandhu - Miss Universe 2021 had a lot of online bullying after her crowning. We are admins of pageant pages and see these comments every day. If there is any negativity then I block, block, and delete. I believe in constructive criticism, you have something that could help a candidate then you can say it respectfully. However, leaving a nasty comment is a no. Be constructive and thoughtful, I will like to see a gown of this color, and please change the gown. Do not go and say mean things because they are human beings just like us. Imagine you getting an insult like that and multiply by a thousand percent. These comments affect your mental health, so make sure before you type and post them. Think about your message and whether would you like to receive it. Will you be okay if your sister, mother, aunt, and cousin get this kind of message? Think about that before you post it. Direct our energy towards our favorite delegate to encourage her and support her on her journey toward any International Pageant. Regardless, it is Miss Universe or Miss Grand International.

George: We need to be wise and mindful of our actions on social media because the Miss Universe organization is watching the comments we are posting on social media. In the recent video, Madam Paula invited Miss Philippines and Miss Indonesia. They talked about #KindnessCampaign They talked about the importance of being kind to each other on social media and stopping the spreading of online bullying or hatred toward beauty queens. It is about time that we get united. We pageant fans are the representative of our countries and how we present ourselves on social media. It is equally important as the beauty queens perform on the international stage. My advice is to be kind to one another.

In the end, do you have any message you want to give to our viewers? Especially from Latin America? Puerto Rico.

Thank you for the invitation; I had a great conversation about Puerto Rican queens. I want to thank people in general because even though there has been a lot of negativity. I have seen a lot of support for at least Puerto Rican candidates on my page. I predominately focus on Puerto Rican queens. Grateful to Thai fans because I feel Thai fans tend to love Puerto Rican Queens. Viviane Diaz-Arroyo, Estefanía, and Madison all received so much love from Thailand. Before I leave, Thailand has an incredible candidate this year for Miss Universe. I think Anna is stunning, she is a frontrunner from Asia to beat at this point. She needs to stay as she is right now and knock it out of the park in Miss Universe. Thank you for all the support.

In the end Oscar, where can our viewers reading this article, find you on social media?

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube @bellezasboricuas and follow me there, support the girls. The point of these pages is to give our opinions but be supportive of the girls who deserve them. These girls are competing to represent their countries in the best possible way, and the least we can do is spread love and respect for them.

George: Make sure to follow him on his social media and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Oscar regularly posts about Puerto Rican beauty queens. You can become part of the Pageant Empress family by joining us on social media @pageantempress to get the latest pageant news and updates. Thank you so much for reading this article and supporting Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Cariño and her journey toward Miss Universe 2022.

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