In one of your Pageant questions, you said “I will dedicate my voice and essence to carry that torch and to set charitable causes alight, such as my personal advocacy, the Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project.” Tell us more about these charitable projects that you are involved with?
I work mainly around supporting access to education. For the last three years I’ve worked with Young Focus, a NGO in Manila, Philippines that works to give children access to quality education as a means to break the cycle of poverty. I also work with several HIV/AIDS organizations in both the Philippines and abroad (Love Yourself PH, amfAR, Apicha, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Latino Commission on AIDS and more) to help spread awareness and education on the virus, encourage others to get tested and break the stigma often associated with testing.
Your advice and motivational words to the inspiring and budding fashion models who all are your fans and look up to you?
I believe that we have an ambition placed in our heart for a reason and that our dreams are valid. Not only do you need to believe in yourself, but you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you too. And find your purpose—why are you doing this? I truly believe our purpose comes to life when we use our unique talents and skills to give back and enrich the lives of others.
You have over 6 million followers on your Instagram account @catriona_gray, how do you use this platform to connect and motivate your followers?
I use social media as a tool to connect with my supporters and also as a channel to push for awareness and educate others on the causes that I’m passionate about. I’ve found so much fulfillment in involving people in my journey and cultivating an online environment that’s positive.
What do you wish to say about the website Womenfitness.net and message for our visitors?
Each of us have unique journeys and it’s important for us not to get caught up in a “comparison trap” and lose our joy by comparing our lives to the lives of others. Neither society nor your peers should be the ones to define what success is for you—that’s up to you.
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Women Fitness Team extends a special thanks to The Miss Universe Organization for facilitating the interview with Ms. Gray.
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