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Miss Belize, Destiny Wagner, has been crowned Miss Earth 2021. The 25-year-old’s achievement broke the competition’s record spanning 19 years without a Black winner, and she’s also the first to score a major international crown for her home country.

“Belize — my heart bleeds for you! WE did it! 🇧🇿🇧🇿🥰🎉 , the pageant winner and model wrote on Instagram on Nov. 21. “I am so excited to begin this journey as the new @missearth 2021 and I promise to do my best to fulfill my reign with grace and love.”

“To the young women/men who have often been overlooked, forgotten or discredited, DO NOT GIVE UP! Your time will come and when it does it will come BIG,” Wagner added. “I look forward to this journey that God has blessed me with and I hope you all will support me along the way!”

The Miss Earth pageant is an international environmental event started by Carousel Productions Inc. in 2001. Its contestants, usually around 80 delegates from all over the world, “compete on beauty and knowledge of environmental issues” as a way to spark interest in getting others to become involved in preserving and protecting Mother Earth.

Its winner is tasked with being an ambassador to environmental protection campaigns worldwide, reports the pageant’s website.

Wagner’s win as a Belizean-American Black woman trails that of Kenya’s Winfred Omwakwe in 2002, the last and only other Black woman to be crowned in the competition, according to Travel Noire.

Last year’s Miss Earth was Lindsey Coffey hailing from America.

On Twitter, Belize’s Prime Minister Johnny Brinceño celebrated Wagner’s success by tweeting, “I congratulate Ms. Destiny Wagner on winning #MissEarth2021. We look forward to your stellar representation of our beautiful country during your next year.”

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In addition to being a pageant winner and model, Wagner is also a Pace University graduate, television presenter, poet and author.

Her book, So You Need Advice, includes stories written in the form of poetry that range from topics including sex, love, school and work. “The scenarios are endless along with the laughs,” the book’s description reads.

Wagner truly upholds Miss Earth’s motto of “Beauties with a cause.” Congratulations to her on her big win!

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