It’s been awhile since a Miss Haiti has created so much excitement. Everywhere you turn on the social Medias, you will have the same feeling: Lisa Elisabeth Drouillard is well-known and respected in the pageant industry.
As she prepare to depart for Las Vegas to participate in Miss Universe 2015, the 23 years-old beauty queen with a degree in criminal justice, sat down with us for her first exclusive interview since her election as Miss Haiti Universe 2015.
Lisa, who are you?
I am a girl with many dreams. Sometimes I feel like my dreams are too big! I am always thinking of ways I can keep myself busy but in a successful manner. I do not do things to make time go by, I always have a plan. I am a simple girl that enjoys life for what it is.
You were born in the US. So, how much of the Haitian culture do you know?
I actually know more than I probably should (laughs). Not only did I learn almost everything I know from home in respect to the culture, I also read a lot about Haiti. I think it is important for me to know where I come from. If I don’t fully know who I am, I will not know what I am capable of, and I know that I am from a bloodline of strength. I think it is pretty awesome when family or friends ask me where to visit or stay while in Haiti and I actually have an answer for them. I am there all the time so I better know a thing or two (laughs).
Where ever they are on this planet, Haitian parents can be very strict. How did your parents end up letting you compete for the first time in a beauty pageant?
I had to beg my mother and tell her all of the positive side of pageantry before she considered it. She did not want me to compete in a swimsuit at all, but when she realized I was a strong competitor and that I did not let the beauty world distract me from my studies, she took a chance and now she is a certified pageant mom. She absolutely loves watching me be confident on stage. My father is cool with anything I do, he was not against it, he just wanted me to be sure that this was what I wanted.
In all the pageants you’ve been competing in, were you always a winner or a finalist?
Almost! I placed in every pageant that I have competed in except Miss Teen USA. Pageants are political and sometimes it is not in the plan for the girl to win and I believe Teen USA was not in “my plan”. I had a great time because my family and I traveled to the Bahamas and I got the chance that a lot of teens in the US try to have year after year and sometimes never get the opportunity. Representing the great State of New York was one of the greatest accomplishments of my pageant career.
How have these experiences help you be the person you are right now?
I definitely say that these experiences have groomed me into not only a better competitor but a better woman, and an overall better person. My purpose now is bigger than just me; it is now all about who I represent. I am more self-aware of what is around me. I have a voice now and I know it counts. I know that it is okay to have an opinion without disrespecting someone. These are the tools that I learned from competing against the best of the best and training with number one trainers in the nation and abroad.
Many are the one believing that a beauty pageant contestant is just a pretty girl that can smile and walk on runways. What would you say to them?
It is much more than that. It takes a lot of discipline and courage to compete in a beauty pageant. Not only do you need certain credentials such as good grades and (community service hours to name a few), but to represent a group of people takes a lot of bravery and strength. You put yourself in the public eye which means you have to be ready for the scrutiny, for the negatives and positives. You have to be strong to take the decision to be a beauty Queen. It is not an easy task at all. Yes you have to work on your body and the etiquette of industry, but it is more of a mental game than anything else. Not everyone will love you, not everyone will think you are the best, but as long as you know that you are worth it and can deliver the job, nothing else matters but making sure the people you represent as a whole is well represented for years to come. That is a lot of pressure, but pressure we vow to take for a people.
Do you have a cause that is dear to your heart?
I do, children’s health is very important to me such as eating the proper foods for the best nutrition, having clean water, the ability to have health checkups are all what my focus is on especially for Haiti. I am very passionate about kids; I think they are the best thing in the world! Thus, I have worked with March of Dimes, The Ronald McDonald House Foundation and The Children’s Make a Wish Foundation. I adore working with children and teenagers because they are so innocent and they need us.
What does competing as Miss Haiti Universe 2015 means to you and your cause?
Competing as Miss Haiti Universe to me means that I have made it. I have been competing since I was 12 years old so to be on this level is incredible. Growing up, my family spoke so much about Haiti and how much they love it that to finally carry this honor and defend the land at Miss Universe as the Haitian Queen is indescribable.
For my cause, having a platform like Miss Universe can help bring more awareness to what is going on in Haiti in general but also for the children that are growing up there who ultimately deserves a chance.
What are you looking forward to in this upcoming Miss Universe Pageant?
I am looking forward to getting Haiti back in the spotlight. I know it will be difficult because we are conditioned into thinking that a certain kind belongs in the top 20 and beyond, but I want to change that. I know that it will be extremely hard to achieve that goal because again pageants are funny, you never know which way it will go, but I will definitely work as hard as I could.
Do you have a message for all the young girls who will be watching you in this journey?
Absolutely, do not be afraid to believe in yourself. We live in a world where people want to be mediocre because it is easy and safe. No, do what it is you love to do and do it well. Always remain respectful in all that you do. Respect yourself; respect those that are helping you and those that are supporting you. Nobody owes you anything, if they are in your corner it is because they love you and want to see you do well. Always stay true to your beautiful self and accomplish the impossible. Go be great!
Miss Universe Competition will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) from December 1st to December 19th. The Grand Finale is scheduled for December 20th at The AXIS Theatre at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.