Friday, September 08, 2006

"Miss Universe Contestants 2006" / Sophie Nys, 2006


On July 23rd, 2006, the life of 18 year old Zuleyka Rivera changed forever as she was crowned Miss Universe 2006 live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Hailing from Salinas, Puerto Rico, a small coastal town off the Caribbean Sea, Zuleyka is the eldest of three children. Extremely close with her two younger brothers, she has always considered family to be her top priority. “My parents always provided both my brothers and me with all the necessities in life, but taught us that that what matters most is being a part of a united, loving family where respect and honesty prevail.”

An aspiring actress, Zuleyka has already worked on several commercials and television programs, as well as tested her skills as an emcee. “I would love to be a crossover actress and work in both Latino and American cinema.” The 5’ 9” Latina hopes to distinguish herself with determination, courage and self-confidence; three traits she feels have defined her as a young woman.

When she is not representing her native country Puerto Rico, or presently, the Universe, Zuleyka enjoys working up a sweat with activities like jogging, spinning, weightlifting and dancing. She is also a self-professed fan of the Latin version of “American Idol.”

As Miss Universe, Zuleyka will spend the next year championing the official causes of MISS UNIVERSE®, which include increasing HIV/AIDS awareness by focusing on women's health and reproductive issues as well as forging relationships with organizations committed to research and education, such as the Global Health Council, God’s Love We Deliver, GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis) and amfAR.
The Miss Universe Organization, producers of the MISS UNIVERSE®, MISS USA® and MISS TEEN USA® competitions, is a Donald J. Trump and NBC partnership.

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