December 21 2014 Latest news:
By Anthony Carroll
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
A teenage student from Oulton Broad is making waves on the catwalk and in the charity world as she proves that beauty is not just skin deep.
Soraia Mateus, 17, has set up her own beauty pageant company and has raised more than £2,000 for good causes by organising events that let people of ages enjoy the limelight.
Soraia, who lives in Cutler Road and studies at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, set up UK Princess and Prince International Pageant to raise funds for three charities: the Rainbow Child Foundation, the Dean Puplett Appeal and the Icca Orphanage.
So far her company has organised three pageants which have raised £2,100 for the good causes, and she is organising three more this year in Brighton, Cheltenham and Birmingham.
Soraia, who is originally from Portugal, is no stranger to the catwalk as she has clinched two top titles at pageants herself.
She was named Miss Portugal and Teen Miss Charity at the Face of the Globe pageant in Disneyland Paris last October after she impressed the judges with her fund-raising abilities.
Soraia, who has ambitions to become a film director, said: “Pageants are great fun and it is great to see the smiles on people’s faces when they take part and do well.
“Pageants are fun and they are not all about beauty – you have to show a caring side to impress people. Anyone can take part as well.”
Before she formed her own company, Soraia organised a Mr and Miss Lowestoft Pageant in January last year at the Hotel Victoria, which saw 30 people take part and raised £700 for charity.
Soraia, who is studying A-levels in art, photography and media studies, was sponsored by the sixth form college to help her go to Disneyland and she says she appreciates its continuing support for her charitable enterprise.
The Rainbow Child Foundation helps underprivileged children around the world; the Dean Puplett Appeal has been set up to help a young Welsh boy fight neuroblastoma cancer; and the Icca Orphanage is located on the Cape Verde islands, off west Africa.
Soraia has relatives in Cape Verde and she has also organised a fund-raising pageant at the orphanage during a visit to the country.
Yolanda Botham, principal of Lowestoft Sixth Form College, said: “Soraia is fantastic student and a good example of students here.
“She is hard working and committed and thinks of others before herself.”
Soraia moved to England eight years ago and previously attended Roman Hill Primary School and Denes High School.
To find out more about Soraia’s charity efforts, visit: www.ukprincessandprincepageant.weebly.com