Elizabeth Tran is an environmental advocate with a passion for building organizations from the ground up. She started her non-profit Teens Go Green when she was 12 years old, encouraging minimal waste practices through service events, speaking engagements, and most notably trash fashions. She was the first pageant contestant to compete in evening gown with a dress she made completely out of garbage from her office and home. Sustainability became her life's mission after she was part of Disney's Friends for Change, and worked with her inspirations like Jane Goodall and Zendaya to bring more young people to the forefront.
Elizabeth and her mother Rosanna combined their love for pageants, modeling, event planning, and fundraising through Model4Miracles, the largest charity modeling event in Florida. Over the last 11 years, they have raised over $130,000 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Participants enjoy being a model for a day to support the cause. The kids from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are sponsored as Miracle Supermodels with a red carpet limo experience.
Elizabeth graduated with her Masters in Web Design from the University of Florida with a 4.0 GPA and currently analyzes businesses for international investors and small business owners. Her love for business came from her parents who were immigrant entrepreneurs that moved to the U.S. to pursue their American Dream.
Elizabeth credits much of her opportunities and work ethic to her experience in pageantry. She first competed at Florida's National American Miss and Miss American Coed. From 8-12 years old, she did not place in any pageant. The third year she did not place top 15 at the Florida Miss American Coed pageant her family member told her to give up, she would never even make the top five at a state pageant because she looked "Too Chinese."
Despite her lack of placement, it did give her the confidence to create her environmental non-profit organization, Teens Go Green. This then became her platform in future pageants to come.
She worked with many coaches during her Jr. Teen years that helped her tremendously with placing in pageants. She won Miss American Coed Victory Jr Teen and Teen and was also the National American Miss Florida Jr Teen and Teen. She also represented Florida and placed top 5 in the national pageant for International Junior Miss Junior Teen and Miss Teen International. As a high school senior, she was Miss Florida Collegiate and placed Top 15 at Miss Collegiate America the same year as Savvy Shields and Sarah Summers! She also found her glamour and pursued her modeling career through competing at the World's Perfect Pageant for six years, winning Best Interview every year in the Teen division.
One of the most pivotal moments in her pageant career was competing at Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen from 2009-2011. She started Miss Miracle, a charity pageant that raised over $3,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, which later developed into Model4Miracles. She placed in the Top Ten for the first two years and then did not place her last year, but it was a growing experience that catapulted her charity work. She won the community service award every year she was at Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen.
Her first Miss title was as Miss Earth Florida, and she competed in Miss Earth United States directed by Evan Skow to win the element title US Miss Earth Eco. This lead to her first opportunity to compete overseas internationally as the USA Charity Queen in Taiwan. This experience changed her life as she met over 80 girls from 80 different countries. She never thought a girl who was “Too Chinese” could represent the USA in an Asian country the way she did. This then lead her to compete in several other international pageants including Pageant of the World in Australia, Miss Tourism Planet in Greece, and Face of Beauty International in India.
Although Elizabeth has competed in many different pageant systems, her dream pageant is Miss USA. She was intimidated to compete for many years but finally took the leap in 2018. During her first year at Miss Florida USA she did not place but she won the community service award. So much of her preparation was focused on the wrong things, like crash dieting for the swimsuit competition and checking the other contestants. She decided to take a year off Miss Florida USA to go back to the system that brought her to international pageants as Miss Eco Florida (now known as Miss Nation of States by Evan Skow) and placed in the Top 5. When she decided to compete at Miss Florida USA 2020, she focused much of her preparation incrementally, and developing self compassion. This process lead her to have the best Miss Florida USA experience in 2020. She knew it has been her life’s mission to promote sustainability, and wore a garbage gown she made out of CDs, packaging, and flyers from her home and office. She did NOT expect right before the pageant to sprain her ankle and snap two ligaments, and went to the pageant with a crutch known as the iWalk. Her story touched many lives as it became a featured segment on Inside Edition. She is eager to compete once again at Miss Florida USA as Miss Miami Beach USA! She is extremely excited to represent Miami Beach as it is an opportunity to work with one of the most sustainably active cities in Florida that is also unfortunately the most vulnerable to sea level rise. She hopes to integrate her passions of pageants and environmental activism on an international level.
To learn more about Elizabeth, listen to this Pageant Planet Podcast: