beauty pageants

Kissimmee, Florida’s Ashley Cariño is Miss USA 2021 second runner-up

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Ashley Ann Cariño Barreto, 27, of Kissimmee, Florida, United States almost won Miss USA 2021. She was the second runner-up of the 70th edition of the national beauty pageant that selects the Miss Universe candidate of the U.S.

Hosted by Zuri Hall, Patrick Ta and Nicole Adamo, the Miss USA 2021 coronation night took place at the Paradise Cove Theater of the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA on November 29, 2021. Including Cariño, 51 candidates competed for the crown.

It was Ellen Elizabeth ‘Elle” Smith, 23, of Germantown, Kentucky, USA who won the title while Caitlyn Vogel, 21, of Minot, North Dakota, USA was her runner-up. Sydni Bennett, 20, of Algonquin, Illinois, USA was third runner-up.

Born in Puerto Rico, Cariño is fluent in English and Spanish. In 2000, she and her family moved from Puerto Rico to Kissimmee, Florida, where she grew up.

Cariño attended Professional and Technical High School in Kissimmee. In 2015, she started working as a psychosocial rehabilitator at Insight Behavioral Health Specialists in Kissimmee.

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On July 18, 2021, Cariño represented South Kissimmee at Miss Florida USA 2021 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs, Florida and won the title, besting 70 other candidates. It was her first beauty pageant. 

While reigning as Miss Florida USA 2021, Cariño is studying aerospace engineering at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. It is her dream to work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  

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