Sarah Rose Summers has come a long way from Papillion, Nebraska.
Summers, who became Miss USA in May, is now in Bangkok, Thailand, and ready for one of the biggest stages in the pageant world.
“I’m feeling very confident and I’m enjoying the experience,” she said. “I have a great support system and I’m so happy to be here.”
Summers is competing this week for the title of Miss Universe. She arrived in Bangkok on Dec. 1, and the pageant finale will be Sunday with 94 women vying for the title of Miss Universe.
The 2013 Papillion-La Vista South High School graduate said she doesn’t feel any pressure for the international competition.
“I’m so carefree and I’m joyful to be here,” she said. “I don’t feel any pressure. I feel confident and I’m not falling to any comparisons. Everyone here is qualified and I’m enjoying learning from them. I get to represent the United States, and I want to be the best I can be.”
Summers said she has learned a lot since being crowned Miss USA and is excited for the opportunity.
“I’ve learned to never sell yourself short,” she said. “This is such a unique opportunity. It’s different from an event like the Olympics because we get to stand hand in hand empowering each other. I’m very excited to be a part of it.”
One challenge Summers has faced is the time difference —Bangkok is 13 hours ahead of Nebraska.
“The time difference is hard, but the language barrier hasn’t been too difficult,” she said. “It’s been amazing spending time with these empowered women.”
The Miss Universe competition will air live on Fox at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Summers won’t be the only Nebraskan at the competition. Lincoln native and supermodel Ashley Graham will be hosting the contest with comedian Steve Harvey.