Caroline Bustamante is crowned Miss Pinecrest USA

Caroline Bustamante – Miss Pinecrest, Florida

Ysabel Semorile found an effective way to help her daughter overcome her shyness. With a little prodding she got her involved in modeling to boost her self-esteem and confidence. It worked, as 15-year-old Ronald Reagan Senior High School sophomore Caroline Bustamante was recently crowned Miss Pinecrest USA.

The official preliminary events to Miss Florida Teen USA were held recently in the Florida Keys and Bustamante walked away with the crown after competing in the swimsuit, cocktail dress, evening gown and interview categories.

“I was really nervous,” said Bustamante. “But I had to be secure and I knew I could do this. If I didn’t win, it didn’t matter. It was a really good experience and I learned a lot. But it was really exciting to win the crown; I was so happy, I started crying.”

Bustamante had a public speaking opportunity at the event during the interview category. The six judges asked contestants what was their favorite magazine, if they watch television in Spanish or English, what was their childhood dream and is the dream still the same.

“I told them Teen Vogue was my favorite magazine because I like to read about fashion,” said Bustamante. “I watch television in Spanish because it is always good to know a second language and my childhood dream to become a lawyer is still the same because I want to fight for what is right.”

The former Miss Teen Summer USA said the judges were nice, but with serious faces that could be a bit intimidating.

“It could be scary, so you just have to calm down,” she said. “These events have helped me so much to be less shy. I talked to a lot of the girls this time and they encouraged me a lot.” Bustamante has already made local appearances to support area not-for-profit organization events, and she has been on Telemundo and Nickelodeon television programs as well She credits her mom for giving her the encouragement and support to pursue her dreams.

“My mom has always been there for me even though we lived alone for a long time. She fought for everything for me and never gave up on me so I could have a good future.”

Semorile says her daughter has almost overcome her shyness, but that she still has a ways to go. “I would say she is about 70 percent confident now and, depending on her effort, she will continue to get better,” she said. “She always liked fashion and this was a natural way for her to develop her poise and confidence.

“I always remind her that beauty fades, but what you learn through life with studies and preparation has more value. With total humility and confidence, you can get anywhere in life.”

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