MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Maritsa Platis grew up in North Myrtle Beach and is the first representative from South Carolina to win an international pageant title.
“I moved down here when I was 9 so I’ve grown up in the North Myrtle Beach grand strand area so holding this title means so much,” Platis said. “I represent South Carolina and my community so I feel proud and honored to be the first.”
Not only did Maritsa compete in pageants the past several years, but she also graduated from North Myrtle Beach High School and is now pursuing a career in pre-medicine.
“I decided to go to Coastal Carolina University to pursue my career in public health and I decided to transfer this year to the University of South Carolina and I will be a pre-med student there so I’m really excited to go and continue on to medical school one day and hope to be a neonatologist,” Platis said.
Maritsa said along with Miss International there is the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants but she says she chose this one to compete in because of her culture.
“So the Miss U.S. International organization stands for ambassadors in peace and beauty so this really coordinated with me and my heritage and who I am,” Platis said. “I am a greek American so seeing that they have ambassadors and people who want to unify others was something that really resonated with me and apart of my roots.”
Platis added, “My parents are 100 percent Greek so I grew up with the Greek heritage my whole entire life, I went to the Greek St. Johns Greek Orthodox church here in Myrtle Beach ever since I was little. I was on the Greek traditional dance team so I would dance in all the Greek festivals.”
The Miss International competition works with UNICEF but Maritsa also created her own initiative.
“Cradle of love is an initiative I created to educate parents on safe sleeping and prevention of SIDS,” Platis said. “I provided parents with cradles and cribs and I raised money so that I can go out and buy supplies that parents need.”
Maritsa says her personal experience led her to start that initiative and study pre-medicine.
“Because of this passion and drive to do so because of a family experience I had, I actually have been inspired to be a neonatologist working in the NICU so not only do I want to provide items for parents but I also want to help parents through the journey of their child becoming healthier in the hospital,” said Platis.
The Miss International competition will take place in Japan in October 2021. Maritsa will represent the United States as she competes against 129 countries for the title of Miss International.
“Our motto at the US international organization is cheer all women so not only do we work with ambassadors of peace and beauty but also empower women to be confident in their own skin,” said Platis.