Stephanie Del Valle's interest in entertainment began at a young age when she realized her love for the arts and music. This realization led her to become a model and pageant competitions. She has traveled to many countries, partnering with nonprofit organizations, raising awareness and funds to help children all over the world, including her homeland, Puerto Rico. There, she launched a fund-raising campaign that created the first Pediatric Liver and Kidney Transplant Unit. Del Valle has inspired many people with her charitable acts worldwide and she continues to be an inspiration. She embodies what it looks like to walk like a beauty queen with a purpose
I am a 23-year-old Latina from beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am the youngest of three siblings, and I love spending time with my family. I’m the youngest of 3 siblings and love spending time with my family. As a Puerto Rican woman, I describe myself as a go-getter, type A, multitasker with great sensibility. I'm always reminded of the essential ingredients that define our common goals. I’ve always been a lover of music and theater. From a young age, I used to perform on stage with the San Juan Children’s Choir, and I’ve been in love with performing ever since. I studied communications and pre-law for a year at Pace University in New York City before competing and winning the Miss World title in 2016.
After traveling the world for a year, helping others with the organization as Miss World and for two years as the Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador. I’m now following my dreams of becoming an actress. I'm ready for that giant leap into Hollywood!
I take inspiration from many people in life, such as Lin Manuel Miranda, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, my mother Diana and my aunt Gloria, who lives in New York, to name a few. There was a time in my life when I thought I knew what the most inspirational and amazing women the world had to offer. I soon came to realize this was false.
In 2016, I met a woman who has changed my life and the lives of thousands all over the world. She is the person whom I aspire to be like in the future. She is the CEO and President of the Miss World Organization, Mrs. Julia Evelyn Morley, or JEM, as I call her. This lady, who recently turned 80 years old, has been changing the world since 1972, when she revolutionized pageantry, minimizing the frivolous aspects of a beauty contest and adding a real purpose, “Beauty with a Purpose.”
The “Beauty with a Purpose” Foundation has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide by creating a platform for young women with aspirations of being the next Miss World, to change their communities and countries and to bring awareness to global problems at an international level. Over $1 billion has been raised since it began, creating change and allowing hope to prevail throughout the world. Julia Morley is one of the kindest and most giving people I have ever met. She is a true hero to many and is compassionate, dedicated and radiates goodness.
Every year she inspires people to continue her legacy. As she says, “It is better to light one candle in the darkness than not to see at all.”
One of my fondest memories I have, I experienced in 2017. I flew to the Philippines for the Miss World Philippines 2017 final. As Miss World, I was taken to visit different charities across Manila. One of the places we went to was a school in Smokey Mountain, a landfill that is home to hundreds of low-income families. We were taken to this school to see what equipment and materials they needed in order to provide modern education to the children of Smokey Mountain, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty and help their families in the future. As we were visiting, all the students came running to the door to say hello! We were greeted with warm smiles from the teachers and excited giggles from the students. “Welcome Po!” with roaring applause after (‘Po is a term used out of respect in the Philippines like sir or ma'am).
The first class we visited was the younger students. A young boy and a girl came rushing to grab my hands and give me a tour of where they studied, washed their hands and had lunch. These two children stayed with me all day long and never let go of my hand. Next, we moved on to the second floor, where middle and high school were. All the students came rushing to explain to us what materials they needed to have a proper education. We listened, took notes and promised they would have all their materials and equipment soon. Then we were taken back downstairs. Before leaving, they allowed us to stay and play with the children for a little while. The two kids that grabbed my hands at the beginning came rushing back and had me play with them and their friends. I took out my phone to take some pictures and cherish this moment forever. They were in awe of what they saw on the screen! Laughter and animated screeches filled the entire school! And at that moment of happiness, I was taken aback because I remembered where these kids lived and what they had to go through to get a meal, but realized they could still be happy with what little they had.
It was then time to leave and we were all sad to part. The boy and girl who greeted me at the beginning were now clinging on to my legs, saying: “Po, please don’t go!” My heart shattered into a million pieces when their teachers came and said, “It’s time for Stephanie to go,” as they lowered their heads, turning their big smiles into tears. As we got in the car, the children ran out to wave goodbye. As we drove away, I could see the kids running after us, and soon the little boy and little girl disappeared in the distance. Needless to say, I then realized how relative happiness is and what little you need to truly be happy. I vowed to make sure they got everything they needed and thankfully they have. I want to go back to the Philippines soon and visit them all again.
Oh, of course! There have been multiple times when things don’t go to plan and I just felt like giving up. When I was preparing for Miss World, there was so much that needed to be done; public speaking classes, modeling classes, history lessons, question and answer practices, gym sessions, finding innovative ways to work with my charity, learning how to stand out among 117 other well-prepared and educated women, etc.
Plus, I was juggling that with being a college student! There were times when it felt like it was too much and all I wanted to do was quit! But, I had people who supported me, like my mom.
I didn’t realize it then, but now I know she used reverse psychology on me. Whenever I’d complain saying that I couldn’t handle it all, she’d say, “Ok, Steph. If it’s too hard, just quit. No one will judge you for that. ” All that did was set an even stronger fire in my heart and motivated me, even more, to create change through this platform and make me see the bigger picture. “If I could win, I could help others all around the world.” I’m now looking forward to becoming an actress, and I can’t say it has been easy! There is a lot of training, footage, information, contacts and credits that you need to make it in Hollywood. As someone who is just starting, it can feel overwhelming, but I know history is just repeating itself. Soon I will have my mom saying the same thing, causing me to push harder and reach for my goals.What’s your self-luxury?
To be sitting near a window with all the paints spread out ready to be used, the brushes in size order resting on the floor, music and a blank canvas is what I call luxury. This is my favorite time to let my creativity take control and let the brushstrokes do all the work. I’ve always been a creative person and everyone around me knows that when I sit down to paint, it’s because I’m feeling stressed and need time to relax my mind. I have discovered you can listen to silence and learn from it.What are you proudest of?
The proudest moment of my life so far has been winning the Miss World title in 2016. So many emotions were running through my mind that day. I am proud of that achievement, not just because I, Stephanie Del Valle won Miss World, but because I could do that for Puerto Rico; representing my island all the Latinx communities and bringing home the coveted Blue Crown that we had all been waiting 41 years for!
This is also one of the proudest moments in my life because, for a whole year, I was able to travel the world helping others in so many different ways. I’ve met important people all over the world, including Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, as well as helped communities that needed us. I have raised over $40 million for those in need, becoming the only Miss World to have raised that much money during her reign.
Everything that I have learned growing up is what got me ready for the great responsibility I had ahead of me. I am forever grateful for everything that I have experienced.