Miss Venezuela Veruska Ramirez
A: Luzmila Franco, my neighbor, because she took care of me when my parents abandoned me. I was with her from ages nine to 14.
Q: What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than representing your country in this pageant)?
A: My proudest personal accomplishment is to have been able to overcome all the obstacles in my life from a very young age, and having been able to achieve my goals since then.
Q: What is your most treasured possession? Why?
A: My most treasured possession is a Divine Child medal because it is a faith symbol which I have had since I was a child.
Q: What is your career ambition? What are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
A: I would like to be a marine biologist, because in the future mankind will be dependent on the biological treasures of the sea for food. I will study hard in college in order to become a good professional.
Q: What is the most important message or lesson someone in your unique position can convey?
A: To be positive in all instances, to persevere, to be yourself, and to work hard, because nothing in life is impossible to achieve. If you really wish for something with your heart, your dreams can come true.
Q: If you became MISS UNIVERSE and have a chance to represent the women of the world, what is the primary goal you would want to accomplish?
A: The primary goal I would like to accomplish is to motivate homeles children to look to the future, to move ahead in life, and to believe in themselves. I was one of them once, and I know that by being positive and working hard, you can achieve everything you want in life.
Q: Have there been any professional and/or personal hardships that you have endured to reach where you are today?
A: When I was a child, I was homeless because my parents abandoned me. I then found many wonderful people who took care of me and helped me get to where I am today.
Q: What question would you like to answer that you have never been asked? What is the answer?
A: The question would be whether I still love my parents even though they couldn't raise me. The answer is: "Yes, I love them very much. I'm not a rancorous person and my situation helped me learn the real value of having a family."
Q: We are approaching the millennium, a once-every-1000-year milestone. What do you think the role of women will be in the next century?
A: I think the role of women in the next century will definitely be better. Women are now expanding into all fields and professions, and can become very strong leaders.