Amelia Vega was Miss Universe 2003. After winning the Miss Universe title, she became the first-ever Dominican entrant to become Miss Universe. At the age of 18, she was the youngest winner to be crowned Miss Universe since 1994.
After winning the Miss Dominican Republic title, Vega represented the Dominican Republic in the Miss Universe 2003 pageant held in Panama City on June 3, 2003. She became the first delegate from this country to win the title.
Amelia Vega was crowned in Panama. She wore a white evening gown during the competition, which featured strings of beads on the sleeves.
As Miss Universe 2003, Vega traveled extensively working with internationally recognized HIV/AIDS organizations including the Global Health Council, Cable Positive, amfAR, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and God's Love We Deliver. As a celebrity spokesperson, she was responsible for working with the international media to generate a better understanding and acceptance of AIDS/HIV epidemics and its prevention while helping to increase awareness, funding, and resources for these key organizations.
As Miss Universe, Vega represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her "sister" 2003 titleholders were Tami Farrell (Miss Teen USA, of Oregon) and Susie Castillo (Miss USA, of Massachusetts). Vega is the third among Miss Universe winners who also won the National Costume competition. Thailand's Porntip Nakhirunkanok won the award in 1988 and eventually won the crown then, Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago also won the Best National Costume and went on to win the 1998 Miss Universe crown. At the time she was the youngest woman since 1994 to win Miss Universe (until Zuleyka Rivera in 2006).
After moving to an apartment in New York as part of her overall prize package as the new Miss Universe titleholder, Vega visited over 30 countries around the world including: Dominican Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Ecuador, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, and numerous trips around the United States. Vega returned to her home country several times, and was awarded an honorary medal in the 2003 Pan American Games, held in Santo Domingo. Later that year, Vega co-hosted the Festival Presidente de Música Latina.