R’Bonney Gabriel made history as she became the first Filipina American to win the Miss Universe 2023 pageant on Saturday night.
The competition for the crown came down to Gabriel and Miss Venezuela, Amanda Dudamel.
Gabriel won the hearts of both the competition judges and people around the world with her many talents and achievements.
The Filipino community in the US and outside of it both rejoiced as R’Bonney Gabriel took the crown. Here is a little bit about her life and why people around the world find her inspirational.
Finding her passion
Gabriel was a high-school volleyball player when she found her new passion – sewing. She went on to major in fashion design in college. She now works at a non-profit design company called Magpies & Peacocks which collects waste materials and upcycles them into fashion.
According to her profile on the Miss Texas USA website, she is a fashion designer, sewing instructor and artist. She specialises in sustainable methods and eco-friendly materials in her fashion design career. She also teaches sewing to domestic violence survivors.
“I teach sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence. And I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference,” CNN reported her as saying, when asked how she would demonstrate Miss Universe as a “empowering and progressive” organisation.
“We all have something special and when we plant those seeds for other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change.”
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