May 6, 2024

Los Angeles Premiere Of STARZ's "Mary & George"

Current Miss USA Noelia Voigt announced Monday that she was stepping down from the role to focus on her mental health.

Voigt, who represented Utah and became the first Venezuelan-American to be crowned Miss USA in Sept. 2023, announced the “very tough decision to resign” in an Instagram post.

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“I realize this may come as a large shock to many,” Voigt, 24, said in the caption of her post. “Never compromise your physical and mental well-being. Our health is our wealth. A million thank you’s to all of you for your constant and unwavering support. Time to write the next chapter.”

In her post, Voigt reflected on her favorite moments during her time as Miss USA, including working with the world’s largest cleft-focused organization Smile Train and being an advocate for anti-bullying, dating violence awareness and prevention, and immigration rights and reform.

Read More: America’s Age Old Mental Health Crisis

“Eternal gratitude fills my heart when I think about the platform I was given to make a difference, the feeling of achieving a lifelong dream, and connecting with people all over the world, just as I said I would do on the Miss USA stage,” she said in her statement. “Deep down I know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter for me, and my hope is that I continue to inspire others to remain steadfast, prioritize your mental health, advocate for yourself and others by using your voice, and never be afraid of what the future holds, even if it feels uncertain.”

Miss USA thanked Voigt for her service in a statement released on Facebook, adding that the organization wished her the best in her future endeavors.

“We respect and support Noelia’s decision to step down from her duties,” Miss USA said in the statement. “The well-being of our titleholders is a top priority, and we understand her need to prioritize herself at this time.”

The organization added that it would soon announce Voigt’s successor.

Voigt was previously an interior design student, and hoped to establish her own design firm and host a TV show to help families “in need of a home makeover,” according to the Miss USA website. She also wrote a children’s book about anti-bullying, called Maddie the BRAVE.

The Miss USA pageant has been around for over 70 years. Former President Donald Trump previously owned the Miss Universe Organization, which includes the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. Trump sold the Miss Universe Organization in 2015, after he had made a series of derogatory comments about Mexicans that prompted broadcasters NBC and Univision to cut ties with him and the pageants, according to Rolling Stone.


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