The Newsroom Blog

Big Dreams Lead to Big Accomplishments

Andrea Soleta and the Top Five

Andrea Soleta has always believed in dreaming big.  Ever since she was a little girl, her bedroom was adorned with a Brigham Young University (BYU) poster on the wall.  BYU located in Utah, USA was where she wanted to study for college.  Her dreams included going around the world, winning a beauty contest, graduating from BYU and marrying in the temple. 

Andrea is from the Philippines. 

She was attending college in BYU and needed more money to enroll in winter semester when she was coaxed into entering the “Miss United Nation USA 2012” pageant.  She was performing a traditional Filipino dance with a friend when a recruiter, Agnes Higley, spotted her and asked her to compete.  She had only four months to prepare.

Andrea Soleta Fans

Her friends looked at her and wondered why she would even think of applying.  You see, since the age of 16, Andrea had been suffering from Psoriasis which left her with unsightly pigmentation all over her body. 

But having been raised in a loving home where the gospel of Jesus Christ was the focal point and through a very close relationship with her greatest inspiration in life, her mother,   Andrea was taught to believe beauty isn’t skin deep.

“Beauty comes from within and includes speaking kind words, dressing modestly, being smart, and having confidence in yourself,” she affirmed.   

And she needed the scholarship money.

Andrea Soleta and 25 Red Dress Contestants

When Andrea was a child she had joined a school pageant.  In it she enjoyed the pure, jovial feeling of being cheered on by a crowd of excited and supportive parents, friends and relatives. 

For the Miss United Nation USA competition Andrea’s sister, Guia, designed her gown.  Beginning at the tender age of six, Andrea had been a dedicated piano student who learned to practice hard because the rewards from her loving father included new music to play when she passed off the previous piece. 

Andrea Soleta Red Dress

She also had a firm faith in God.  She knew that He would always be there to help her as she strives to do things that would bring honor to Him. 

A judge, while conducting a one on one interview with her as part of the competition process, commented, “The first time I saw you I could see light beaming in your eyes.”

When one of the participants, a Catholic girl from Peru, asked Andrea to pray with her to calm her nerves, Andrea held her hands and they shared a prayer.  Both felt better. 

The night before the contest, Andrea used the “think positive” approach.  She wrote, “Dearest Diary, I am so thankful because I won all three things I dreamed about winning, “Best in Gown”, “Best in Talent” and ultimately, “Miss United Nation USA 2012”. 

The following day, not only did Andrea win the pageant, she also won “Best in Gown” and “Best in Talent.”  She also received the only perfect score from one judge, Miss Utah Heather Anderson, for her talent performance.


The crown gave her opportunities to do monthly service projects.  Some of those projects she had done were:

  • Giving out school supplies to students attending the “Special Children” school where her sister with Down Syndrome attends together with Rotary Philippines
  • Introducing to students of Utah Valley University  the “Miss United Nation” pageant and advocating on the need to help people of other countries
  • As president of the Philippines Club in Provo, she helped in raising $1,200 for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda through a benefit concert with BYU performers on November 22,  2013
  • Arranging for free haircuts for troubled youth
  • Raising money for a young girl in Kaysville, Utah with a rare blood disease
  • Entertaining senior citizens at a home through her playing the piano in Farmington, Utah
  • Attending the Princess Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, and doing a meet and greet with little girls who wanted touch her real crown.  She was able to entertain them and remind them that true beauty comes from within
  • Speaking to 8th grade students at the Eagle Light Academy introducing them to the Philippines
  • Working with Paul Mitchell salon to get donations from haircuts to help an abused girl and her family in Vietnam

Andrea Soleta with Little Girl

To add to her long list of achievements, her hard work academically earned Andrea a place on the dean’s list.  She will finish her schooling in August 2014 with a political science degree from BYU. 

She currently plays the violin in the school orchestra and serves as the Relief Society pianist in her ward (congregation).  She is also an intern at Congressman Chaffetz’s office in Utah and has plans this fall to be an intern at the Philippines Embassy in Washington D.C. 

Much like in fairy tale books, she dreams of meeting her prince so they could live happily “forever” after. 

Members of the Church believe that marriages performed in temples are “sealed,” or blessed to last for eternity. The concept that the family unit can continue beyond the grave as a conscious, loving entity, with the marriage partnership and parent-child relationships intact, is a core belief of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The first 23 years of her life was a dream come true!  It would take as much hard work and determination to make the next chapters in her life equally fruitful! 

soleta 1

soleta 3

Andrea Soleta with Flag



Browse the Blog

About The Blog: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.