One on One with Claudia Herrera: Miss D.C. Nationwide 2013

 Claudia Herrera is your reigning Miss District of Columbia Nationwide 2013! She also represented the Virgin Islands at the Miss United States 2012 pageant! Claudia works for the government of the District of Columbia.
Age: 26
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Book: Eat Pray Love
Hobbies: Physical training, running and sports.
Congratulations on being Miss District of Columbia Nationwide 2013! Can you tell us how you got involved with pageantry? I first got involved in the pageantry system the summer of 2012 when I came across the Miss United States Pageant. I submitted my application and was called personally by the director to represent the territory of the Virgin Islands for 2012 at Nationals. What made me get involved into the pageantry system is the fact that my mother always wanted me to get on stage and “dazzle the audience with my beauty” as she would say. She thought I would be a perfect candidate to compete.
What would you say to a woman who may be on the line about competing in a pageant? What I would tell a woman that is entering the pageantry system would be to have a strong passion for your platform. Saying you like this organization or would like to be a part of one is not enough. These women need to be involved because they will be seen as community leaders.
What is the most rewarding thing about pageants? The most rewarding thing about pageants is that you form sisterly relationships that can last a lifetime. Being in the pageantry system you learn to be competitive but you also learn how to let yourself trust others to help you and guide to do things right. Aside from forming relationships you get the experience to expand your platform and inform a large audience the importance of it.
Tell us about your platform: My platform is breast cancer awareness. I choose this platform when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She struggled with the disease for 7 long years and beat the odds when Doctors told her she would not make it past 2 years. Breast cancer awareness and education is extremely important has been a major topic in the current and will be in the coming years due to the fact that more and more people are being diagnosed with the disease. I became passionate about learning ever in and out which included how to diagnose, treatment, reconstruction, recovery, etc. to educate others and let them know this isnt the end, but the beginning to a battle for their life.
What preventative measures can our readers take to protect them from cancer? Preventative measures readers can take to protect them or have early detection of cancer would be to do self examinations. When ladies are in the shower a great self examination would be while washing up to rub your breast and check for any lumps, discoloration of any kind or anything that might seem off or irregular. This should and can be done all over the body for different types of cancers such as skin cancer and for men testicular cancer. Each and every person should do their research to see if their bodies are responding differently than they normally do.
What can our readers do in their communities to join the fight against cancer? What people can do in their communities to join the fight against breast cancer would be to get involved in an organization that wants to help protect or fight the disease. There are fundraisers, walks, activities all around the city or residing state year around that one can participate in. The news on TV and newspapers are a great outlet to find out about these events.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? 5 years from now I see myself married with my first child and progressing in my career.
Do you have any advice you can offer for our readers who may be bullied? The advice I would offer to someone may be bullied would be to try and talk to the person(s) that is bulling them first and if that does not work to find help. If they are in school, counselors can help in finding a resolution to the bullying. If you are an adult, find help. There are many resources that are available to people paid and free to get out of a bullying situation.
Who is your role model and why? If I had to choose a role model it would be between Cathy Lanier and Hillary Clinton. I would choose these two women because they are simply awesome! Now only are they political figures and help our city but have done so much to improve it.

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