Lake-Sumter State College graduate and Umatilla native, Clarissa Bowers, was crowned Miss World USA 2017 at the national competition held in Orlando on August 13.

“I am overwhelmed with joy,” says Clarissa Bowers shortly after receiving her crown. “The America’s Miss World crown is a symbol of a woman who inspires, empowers, and advocates.”

Bowers is a graduate of Umatilla High School and received her associate’s degree from LSSC while playing volleyball for the Lakehawks. She continued her education by transferring to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., to study neuroscience. Her career goal is to become a reconstructive surgeon and help wounded members of the armed forces.

Bowers advances to the global Miss World competition with representatives from over 120 countries on November 18 in China.

According to the pageant’s Web site, Miss World is the oldest and largest international beauty pageants in the world. In 2014, the pageant eliminated the swimsuit portion of the competition to focus on competitions that celebrate the many attributes of women around the world. The winner of Miss World is determined by a series of events designed to test the candidates’ fitness, talent, modeling skill, public speaking, social media interaction, and philanthropic endeavors.